Midseason Events

Ron Zyhaus and I recently had a discussion that led to our articles for this week. He is continuing his top 5 list (which my “Top Five People Ever” dwarfs, of course) and I am writing in my typical vein. In my last series I touched on the different styles of memorization by teams and some of the pros and cons of each. Some of the natural debate that follows arose.
I would say that at this time there are two main methods of memorizing. The first is where you take the whole section and divide it equally among your team members. These teams are not able to conveniently quiz in an event where just the first half (or any other portion)is used because a good bit of their team is not really participating. The second are those who split it up into sections also, but they split up each section as months go by. These teams easily adapt to progressing portions of the whole, but they struggle to get students to learn a cohesive unit of Scripture.

While Ron will discuss in his article the benefits and downfalls of a tournament structured to help progress a team through the material, those seem to be better events to me than those covering all the material too early. Of course, I remember when Athens New Year’s Classic was too aggressive and teams struggled there. So, it is entirely possible that these earlier tournaments will set a new bar, but for now I think they are too early. And I have never seen a tournament designed to segment chunked sections (i.e., a tournament that covered chapters 1,2, 5,6, 10,11, 14,15, 19,20, 24,25).

I remember in my quizzing days when Florida teams were first making the switch (Hobe Sound actually never did, making for some weird team combos in those early months) from memorizing chunks of Scripture to memorizing a chapter or two in each monthly subset. There were definite disadvantages for us as quizzers. However, I found the benefits to far outweigh the costs. We were able to get a realistic quiz experience earlier, which in turn gave us a quicker motivation, which in turn made us learn more, which in turn negated some of the gaps in the passages, which was the drawback to start with.

Why do I bring this up at all? Well, we will soon have Midseason events. There are at least two that do the first half (or thereabouts) and those events will have almost 30 teams total participating. There are at least two that do the whole section and they will likewise have almost 30 teams participating. Which is where we reach the crossroads. Which of these two sets of 30 teams is better? Well, that varies from year to year. Last year, when Valley and Woodside won, it seemed to be a boon for the chunked passages. The year before when Faith and Athens won, it was a boon for the opposite side.

I guess the best thing to realize is that years ago when there were no competitions, no one even debated this, so a healthy debate is good. And I guess it is obvious from the empirical data that either way can easily produce a champion. I guess the thing to look at now is which benefits your specific Bible Quiz mission. If the mission is to get more students memorizing God’s word, then I guess it varies on the student.

Some students, like my great teammate Amanda Callahan, have an innate desire to understand the context, so she would memorize as large of chunks as possible and didn’t really want to be bothered with stand alone chapters. But most quizzers, like myself, are motivated by the competition itself and when that is the case, we need to (much like voting in Chicago) do it early and often. When that is the case, doing it with segmented chapters is the way to go. And, let me add, that Mandy changed her style in her Senior year and learned them segmented so she could get more competitions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.