Hanover High Quiz Bowl Team Hopes to Qualify for New Hampshire Championship
The Hanover High Quiz Bowl team will compete in a regional New Hampshire Quiz Bowl League Tournament on Saturday, March 27. Hanover hopes that the tournament, held over Zoom, will qualify them for the state finals on May 15.
According to the NH QB League website, a team has two ways to qualify for the state finals. At each of the five qualifying tournaments, “the school with the best finish (not already having won a regional tournament), will receive a bid to the state tournament.” At the end of these tournaments, the three teams with the most matches won (who haven’t yet qualified) also qualify.
Hanover missed its first shot at qualifying due to having to split up the team between two states. As an interstate school district, Hanover competes in both the Vermont and New Hampshire quiz bowl tournaments. The first NH tournament occurred on January 30, the same date as Vermont’s only qualifying tournament. Hanover therefore sent its more seasoned players to the Vermont tournament, which Hanover subsequently won, earning the team the number one seed for the Vermont championship tournament. Four new players on the HHS team competed in the New Hampshire tournament, and their record of seven wins and three losses wasn’t enough to qualify.
On March 27, there won’t be any Vermont tournaments, so the Hanover team has a good shot of qualifying. The coach, Bill Murphy, says that, “we have a strong team this year and so…I would say it (the tournament) is ours to lose.” Kirk Garner, whose participation in the last qualifying tournament gave him a good sense of the opponents, predicts that “the Hanover Quiz Bowl team stands a good chance to place in the top three.”
Historical results support Murphy’s and Garner’s predictions. Hanover won the NH State Championship in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Last year’s championship team of James Eiler, Rose Luttmer, Dill Eisendrath, and Adam Gilbert-Diamond didn’t contain any seniors, so Hanover hasn’t had to cope with any losses of players this year.
If anything, Covid has helped the team recruit more players. Coach Murphy explains that usually the players would spend hours on the road traveling to and from tournaments, which is “a drawback to attracting kids to play.” Without the travel, tournaments take up less time so students are more likely to compete.
Even so, the 10 am start time of the tournament on Saturday, March 27 isn’t ideal. As Kirk Garner explains, “I think the biggest challenge is that I may oversleep and miss the tournament.”