New Year’s Classic: A Spectator’s Opinion

By Ron Zyhaus

As agreed upon by our three correspondents which have already written this week, the New Year’s Classic is one of the best tournaments around. I also concur with that opinion. Being the only one of our correspondents who didn’t actually quiz at NYC, my qualifications and justifications for calling this tournament great are surely different from theirs.

For at least the first forty years of my existence, I had never heard of the New Year’s Classic—or Bible Quiz for that matter. About ten years ago, my son joined the Bible Quiz at our church. His senior year, his team attended the New Year’s Classic. This was my first encounter with this tournament. I came as an interested parent, wondering what exactly it was that my son had been spending so much of his free time practicing for. As NYC turned out to be my first big time tournament, I was very impressed.

I’m sure most of you that are reading this article have probably spent a whole lot of time involved in Bible Quiz. For that reason, I’m not sure that you can truly appreciate what it is you’re witnessing at Bible Quiz tournaments. I think that at my first NYC, if only the lowest tier teams had shown up, I would have still been amazed, but to see quizzers jump up as soon as they heard the verse number—I was amazed.

Well, I stray from my appointed subject. All Bible Quiz tournaments have amazing quizzing. I can think of two reasons that make NYC truly a great tournament. I don’t know of any other tournament that can claim the same sort of leadership that NYC does. Jack Bamford does an outstanding job as tournament director, but I can think of no other man who would have spent nearly as much time with me personally answering my elementary questions about Bible Quiz. The second thing stands out about NYC is the annual basketball game occurring at the same time. Now I’ve heard Mr. Bamford complain before about having some rough times because his star quizzers were in the gym playing for the basketball team, but for the rest of us who aren’t affected by that, I love to watch some hoops between quizzes.

Actually, I’ll finish up my article today with an interesting tidbit related to the basketball played during NYC. Ever wonder how the New Year’s Classic got its name? It turns out that Athens Christian School used to have a basketball tournament every year with the same name and Mr. Bamford adopted it for the use of his Bible Quiz tournament.

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