Top Quizzers

For many adults, Bible Quiz is viewed as a great tool to motivate people to memorize God’s Word. As a secondary purpose, the fellowship and camaraderie are a great byproduct. For most adults in our circle, Bible Quiz is a minor part of many other responsibilities which often include church, work, school, and a myriad of other activities with which the average parent is involved. I’m starting to believe I might contain a bit more passion about Quiz than the average participant. While I haven’t reached the elite status of Bible Quiz passion that few people such as Nada Rogers and Craig Scott have achieved, I am crazy enough to rank the top teams, discuss the top quizzers, and write articles about whatever topic is buzzing in the Quiz world. I have seen how this website has motivated students to invest more time in learning God’s Word and I love it. Even this week, quiz coaches have reminded us that the website has been influential for their programs. My own quizzers listened to a podcast in which Matt and I discussed the top teams. Their response: “We want our team mentioned in that podcast (of top teams) next year!” Though the website has had its ups and downs, I am grateful that it is serving to motivate quizzers and improve the quiz experience. We are working to improve the website and are open for any suggestions or input. We would love to have others contribute as well!

Among those of us who love to talk about quiz (think of Douglas, Wood, West, Ludlow, Lofgren, etc.), discussing the best quizzers both of the current year and of all time is always an intriguing topic. If you ask any one of those I mentioned about who is the best quizzer of all time, you might hear 4 or 5 different answers (though I feel we might be able to reach a consensus.) But if you ask the same question about this year, I’m confident the majority would select Bobby Smith. Since the first time we met a team from the Barbers’ new location, it was obvious that it would only be a matter of time before Hillsdale would be great. A combination of the Barbers’ coaching ability mixed with a great crew of passionate young people is a deadly combo (or should I say lively.) Within a few years, Hillsdale started challenging at the majors and a star was in the making.

As we stood in line at Woodside on Sunday getting ready to eat a hearty lunch provided by the church, I spotted Bobby standing alone in a corner sad and depressed. Wait…that’s not at all how it was. I spotted Bobby with 20 other people gathered around him conversing and laughing. If you know me very well at all, you are likely aware of my weird sense of humor. Hence, this story won’t surprise you. I walked up to the group and said, “Bobby, if I hear your name get called one more time…I mean one more birthday celebration…one more top 10 quizzer award…one more anything…I’m shooting your knees out.” My questionable humor was well received both by the group and especially by Bobby. This should come as no surprise—for as all we’ve seen, the senior seems to be the kind of guy you’d like your son to grow up to be. Beyond his humble attitude and kind personality, the kid is a force to be reckoned with in quiz right now. As most people in attendance, I was quite surprised when Pastor Jono announced that Bobby was the tournament’s 2nd best quizzer. Patience Lofgren is a phenomenal quizzer, but it seemed that this tournament and its highest individual award belonged to Bobby.  To see just how close it was between 1st and 2nd place individually, I consulted with After double checking my math, it seemed clear to me that their spreadsheet had miscalculated Bobby’s point total. Indeed, 100 points were missing from his tally. As assumed that day by most, Bobby was the tournament’s #1 quizzer.

In deciding the top quizzer of 2013, there are some good arguments that can be made for others (I’ll discuss those other options in the next article.) However, it is clear that Bobby has set himself apart from the rest of the field. At times, his style of quizzing reminds me of that of Falls (WI) as it seems he is the first quizzer standing more times than not. But though his errors may mount up, by far his production outweighs the points lost. In fact, he quizzed out forward in every quiz at Denver earlier this month. 10 quizzes, 60 correct. In speaking with various coaches, quizmasters, quizzers, and spectators, one common theme present when discussing his Denver accomplishments was how it seems he regularly pulls out answers without receiving what appears to be enough information in the question. Whether he has a knack for feeling what the quizmaster is about to say or he is great at guessing, I do not know. What I do know—it’s scary to think a quizzer so good will also get a higher than normal percentage of questions on which he seemingly jumps too early.

As I prepared to write this article, I considered various points and information to include. I noticed quickly that my points were disjointed and all over the place. Should I discuss his humility? Should I discuss his leadership? His calming presence? His 2013 production at Athens and CI? His prior years’ accomplishments? How I threatened to shoot his knees out? But I digress…Ultimately I came to the realization that this article would not be a Pulitzer Prize piece. Why could I not muster up a more poetic flow in discussing Bobby?

I find myself disinterested in listing his tournament accomplishments or discussing how his team has placed. Frankly, I’d rather focus on the intangibles that supersede those accomplishments. Personally, I’m thankful that today’s “face” of Bible Quiz is a God-fearing, humble, confident young person who loves the Lord. I challenge Bobby and every other quizzer to continue into adulthood standing strong on God’s Word with a determination to continue growing and becoming more effective for God’s kingdom. Sadly, there have been a number of “God-fearing, humble, confident young person(s)” from Bible Quiz that have faltered in the years following their Bible Quiz career. Yet I believe whole-heartedly that this current group of quizzers is going to change the world for Christ. Hence, Bobby should be even more proud that he is at the top of the list of a group of world changers than simply being first in statistics. But…if we must consider stats, Bobby Smith is currently Bible Quiz’s best quizzer.

We’ll consider those vying to take the top spot from him in the coming days.

Comments 1

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