Mundane pointless stuff I must ask... high school quizbowlers

The school year is back in full swing, and with it comes quizbowl tournaments. I myself played throughout high school and college. Now that I’ve forsaken academia for yuppiedom, I help run quizbowls by serving as a moderator.

I’ve noticed that, especially at the high school level, the kids tend to get really wound up and nervous. To help put them at ease, I borrow a schtick from a fellow reader. To start the round, I have each player ring in and give their name and the answer to some inane poll question. Some of my favorites from the past have been, "Ring in, give me your name and…

… your favorite flavor of Pop Tart."
… the last board game you played."
… the first movie you remember seeing in a theater."

I’m headed to a tournament in a couple of days. What should I ask them?

You could try, “Who wrote the William Tell Overture?” I got that one while on TV. I was way nervous, buzzed in first, and answered proudly, “William Tell!”.

Man, that was bad.

I never forgot it was Rossini after that.

I suppose I should add that this little ritual serves two purposes: it lightens the mood and gives me an opportunity to get everyone’s name for the scoresheet. To that end, it’s not a race. Everyone gets a chance to answer.

I moderate too. Being that its quiz bowl asking a few goofy nerdy questions are not out of order either.

“Buzz in and say your name and favorite carcinogen”
“…favorite hormone”
“…favorite animated tv show”
“…favorite ‘Anchorman’ movie quote”


…where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.

…who took the cookies from the cookie jar.

…what you eat out of the Quiz Bowl.