Pandemic affects functionality of Scholars Bowl greatly

Brianna Carmack, Print EIC

Scholars Bowl is one of the many activities modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many extracurriculars, Scholars Bowl had to consider how to safely conduct meets. Their season thus far has only consisted of two meets, both held virtually over Zoom. However, they did have a freshmen meet that was planned for face-to-face competition until other circumstances prevented that from happening.

“I was set to take a group of freshmen to Frankfort High School for a J.V. meet,” Ted Dawdy, head coach, said. “But, they had a positive test that morning, had to quarantine several students and decided it best not to host the meet in person.”

Washburn Rural and Cair Paravel hosted both virtual meets over Zoom. Both meets implemented a new online buzzer system to replace the original system used for face-to-face meets.! is a website that allowed individuals to virtually buzz in, so that the meet could still operate similarly to a face-to-face meet.

“Each student on their device logged into a website called! with a game-given token. That is what we used for a buzzer system,” Dawdy said. “From there, it operated just like a typical Scholars Bowl meet.”

On Nov. 4, the team competed in a J.V. meet hosted by Washburn Rural. In a typical Scholars Bowl meet, teams are separated into different rooms, so in order to create the same effect, teams were divided into breakout rooms over Zoom. The meet hosted in Cair Paravel, however, sent out various Zoom IDs to each team and held the meet between different calls. 

The J.V. team did not advance out of pool play at the Washburn Rural meet. But they improved and were close to winning the whole tournament hosted by Cair Paravel.

“We lost one match en route to winning the tournament,” Dawdy said.

MHS Scholars Bowl has struggled a little with competing this year.

“We have struggled in the middle rounds a little,” Dawdy said. “We stay in one spot. There is no moving and we tend to get a little stagnate.”

The team still has time to improve and get used to the effects that COVID-19 has had on their season. Simple aspects of Scholars Bowl are missed by a majority of the students and coaches. Although it’s been a bit rough during the first few meets, the team is dealing with . 

“I think we miss the van rides and the change of scenery, but we are getting by,” Dawdy said.