posted on Oct. 23: Quiz bowl team will compete in England


McMaster's quiz masters are off to Oxford.

Four Level IV students who make up the University's Quiz Bowl Club will compete in the Oxford University Fall Invitational Tournament Nov. 18 and 19.

Ian Philp, an Arts & Science Program student who often captains the team, said the McMaster and Oxford teams hit it off at an international tournament in Boston last spring.

The invitation to attend the international tournament in England evolved from the rapport developed between the two teams, he added.

“We interacted with the Oxford team and they were impressed with our performance,” said Philp. “We're fostering the same ends that they are in that we're pursuing academic knowledge outside the classroom.”

The quiz tournaments are “like Jeopardy with a twist or Reach for the Top,” Philp said. Questions range from politics to nuclear physics and players have to beat the clock to win points for their team.

Teams from Britain, France and the United States are expected to participate in the event slated as the largest quiz tournament ever held in Britain, Philp said.

“We're hoping to square off against at least 10 British teams in regular play.”

The McMaster team is comprised of Philp, Matthew Choi, Evan Jones and new member Adam Fysh. Former team member Patrick Greco is attending law school this year. Last year's team won the Canadian Division 2 National Academic Quiz Tournament at the University of Waterloo, defeating five other teams competing for the first time.

Philp said Fysh, a Faculty of Social Sciences student, is a terrific addition. “We had tryouts and we had a number of people who were interested so we had them go through question packs. He was number one.”

Financial support to help defray registration fees and expenses has been provided by the McMaster Students Union, the provost's office and the University (through the McMaster Cold Beverage Committee).

As well, the team is looking for new members to carry on the tradition as this year's members are set to graduate in the spring. Team members spend an estimated five to 10 hours each week preparing individually and they also practise as a group, Philp said.

“We're trying to find other up and coming quiz masters to fill the shoes and take on the role,” he said.