QuizBusters information

Here is some information on the most intelligent game show on television.

QuizBusters is a game show, based on quiz bowl competitions, that is produced and aired locally (to us) by WKAR, the public broadcasting station from Michigan State University. The show, now in its 17th season, is hosted and produced by Matt Ottinger. Each season, 64 teams of high school students, with 4 students on each team, compete in a single-elimination tournament, with half hour games/episodes taped over the course of several months. That, of course, means that 63 games are contested throughout the year.

One might be inclined to call QuizBusters a trivia contest, except that the answers are (usually) anything but trivial, covering mathematics, science, literature, history, geography, and other topics. The knowledge that it takes to compete, and especially to win, is impressive. Two teams, one in each division (Green Division being larger schools, and White for smaller schools) win $5000 college scholarships to MSU, and the ultimate victors also receive book scholarships.

Last year, the team from East Lansing High School won the Grand Championship, and my son, James, was an alternate (by virtue of having joined the team after QuizBusters had already started). This year, James has played every game so far and is doing quite well. Here is a summary of the results so far:

The first game was versus the Hastings Saxons, which is the alma mater of my wife, ironically. This game originally showed on January 28, but it re-airs tomorrow afternoon. It may also be viewed (reputedly) from the web site: Hastings Saxons vs. East Lansing Trojans. East Lansing won 560-140.

The next game, in what is (confusingly) called the “first round”, the opponent was Eaton Rapids. This game was first aired on February 4 and will show again on February 15. This game can also be viewed (if one has RealPlayer) here: East Lansing Trojans vs. Eaton Rapids Greyhounds. East Lansing won 650-90.

Note: Everything hereafter is a spoiler.

This victory led to the Division Quarterfinals against Okemos, a neighboring community also known for excellent schools. This game was taped on January 29 and will not air until April 1, and again April 10, so no pictures or video are available online yet. East Lansing won 630-210.

That moved East Lansing into the Division Semifinals against Howell. This game, for the honor of playing in the Division Championship, was taped tonight and will not air until April 29 and May 8. Again, the score was not particularly close. East Lansing won 630-170.

The Division Championship tapes next Tuesday, February 20, and will be against either Lansing Everett or Hartland (to be determined tomorrow). The Hartland Eagles are very good and, as the #2 seed (behind East Lansing), should be considered the favorite. The Everett Vikings, however, are one of two teams that have beaten East Lansing during Quiz Bowl league this school year, so they certainly stand a chance.

In any event, I am certainly looking forward to next week; it should be a great game.

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