Around the Horn–QuizMasters Debate

Wanting to get a fresh perspective on AACS, I sent out questionnaires to four people whose QuizMastering ability is unquestioned. Yet, I didn’t just want four quizmasters, I wanted people who had actually competed at AACS. So, the names David Douglas, Matt West, and David Poston were the immediate thought. Then after reading some of Startup’s articles about his quizmastering at FACCS and in DC, I determined that he was the perfect fourth choice. His answers seemed to be quirky, but I think they’ll fit. Then I was informed the Mr. Douglas’s answers were withdrawn, so here is the amended version of the latest installment of “Around the Horn”

What is the best and worst part about QuizMastering?

Poston’s Answer–The best part about quizmastering is being able to be so up close to the quizzing even though you’re not quizzing. The worst part about quizmastering is that a q.m. mistake could possibly lead to a team unjustly losing the tournament. That can be stressful if you’re in a tight quiz.

Startup’s Answer–Prayer is talking to the Lord; it comes from the heart of the person praying. Some people are more articulate than others, and can reveal their heart’s thoughts clearer than others, but who am I to say that one person can talk with God better than another? I’m not sure we as humans are able to comprehend the depth of God’s love for us. We have, through our sinful nature, turned away from God and His truth time and time again. In this world of darkness, there is a light that can overcome anything, at that light is the light of the Lord.

West’s Answer–QuizMastering is something that is necessary for many to be provided with the proper motivation to commit themselves to memorizing God’s word. The worst part is that as an imperfect human, we undoubtedly make mistakes that discourage those same students we attempt to encourage.

Lindsay’s Decision–Startup, your answer sounds very familiar. I think that you, more than anyone, grasp the gravity of speaking to the Lord and how unworthy we are. West hops on board with this philosophy. I give you two a point each. Poston, your answer just fails to grasp the gravity of the situation.

Whose QuizMastering style do you most find yourself trying to emulate?

Poston’s Answer–Easy, David Douglas.

Startup’s Answer–Well, to be honest, being fat hurts anyone. But with all these magazines and newspapers talking about the growing rate of obesity in this country, I need not elaborate on that point. Honestly, quizzing is not much of a physical event, and thus some of the best quizmasters have been both overweight and underweight.

West’s Answer–Well, the only quizmaster I really knew when in school was Dr. Knapp. While he may not be perfect, he is certainly always the standard to which every quizmaster I know will always be judged.

Lindsay’s Decision–Startup, your answer sounds very familiar. I agree with your point that a QuizMaster can often be overweight. But, I think that both Poston and West answer the question better than you, so they get a point each.

As a quizzer, what is the thing you dislike most about a QuizMaster? As a QuizMaster, what is the one thing you dislike most about quizzers?

Poston’s Answer–I dislike when a Quizmaster overrules a challenge before the quizzer even really presents the challenge. IMO, he could at least have the respect to hear the challenge. I dislike when a quizzer jokes about his team being such a bad team. Some teams come to tournaments unprepared and joke about geting hammered quiz after quiz. Don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve never enjoyed losing!

Startup’s Answer–There have been tournaments that I have quizzed or quizmastered at where the “best” team may have lost. By the way, if there is one thing that annoys me the most about quizzing, it is frivolous challenging. Over the course of my quizzing career, a lot of losses have been handed to my team because of an opposing quizzer making a needless challenge and the quizmaster accepting it. I find myself often on the losing end of the spectrum because a quizmaster is not showing enough discernment in his rulings.

West’s Answer–I think it is the same thing that bugs me on both sides. Most of all, I dislike someone who treats the event with more or less reverence than it needs. Some people are so serious that they clearly miss out on the fact that the reason we all do this is because it is fun. Others are so goofy, that they fail to realize that we are participating in an event that uses the very Word of God as its basis.

Lindsay’s Decision–Startup, your answer sounds very familiar. I really like your first statement. Poston, you also catch the best answer in balance. Point to both of you.

What is the best tournament at which to QuizMaster? why?

Poston’s Answer–I think that every quizmaster would love to q.m. at Nationals. But of all the tournaments, I’ve quizmastered, I enjoy the New year’s classic the most. First, I am very comfortable with the settings and with the Tournament Director. Second, there are usually very many teams which gives me the oppurtunity to Q.M well into the day!

Startup’s Answer–Quizmastering at a major tournament has always been something I’ve wanted to do. However, I was glad it was only temporary. Like I have said in previous articles, being fat does not hurt a quizzer’s ability to quiz. Exercise and a healthy diet play a role in every person, but in my experience, I wouldn’t worry about it for Bible Quizzing. If you do leg lifts and cardiovascular training, good for you, but it won’t help you jumping. Bible Quizzing is strictly a mind sport; that is, you jump when your mind is triggered. If you want, you can position the seat pad so that your light goes off when you, say, lift a leg or something, but that is about the only physical advantage you can attempt.

West’s Answer–Certainly, AACS is the tournament with the greatest tradition; however, I feel that Bible Quiz tournaments are about the quizzers. Any tournament where I have students who have committed some portion of time is of equal value to me. Nevertheless, I am probably most excited about the Elementary Finals forthcoming. The elementary kids seem to appreciate the quizmaster the most.

Lindsay’s Decision–Startup, your answer sounds very familiar. Your answer is diametrically opposite to Poston’s as he wants to go longer and you were glad it was shorter. I agree with the longer events (point to Poston) and West is so Spiritually correct in his answer, so I think he deserves a point also.

Scoreboard–Poston 3, West 3, Startup 2. Startup is eliminated!!

How does your experience as a quizzer affect your quizmastering?

Poston’s Answer–Our team found that the use of challenging can be very effective. We knew that challenging can become overbearing, but if any question was not completely answered, we challenged. As a quizmaster, if I think an answer if 50-50 and I am struggling to decide if it is correct or incorrect, I will lean toward calling correct. I do this expecting a challenge to follow. A challenge I will probably accept!

West’s Answer–Well, I really think that I see things that other QuizMasters may not see. I see the reactions to an improperly timed jump. I see the point where I think someone should get up. I see coaches who call timeouts I don’t think they should. I see timeouts that should be called. I see math being calculated. I see tossups being, or attempting to be, passed. But most of all, I see 15 students who sit in front of me that have put in as many hours as I put in years ago, and I think, “they are all winners” and I hope they know that.

Lindsay’s Decision–Well, try as I might to give the points to Poston, I really think that West’s answer encompasses more of what I always hoped QuizMasters saw when I was a quizzer.

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