NMU student team fares well in national knowledge competition

By 8-18 Media
What extracurricular group at Northern Michigan University can you join if you love trivia and are interested in learning new things and having fun while doing it? The answer is quiz bowl, coached by Prof. Michael Joy of Marquette.
Joy, a Spanish professor at NMU since 2006, has been coaching NMU Quiz Bowl since he founded it in 2009. When he first started the team, there were only a few members.
“When we started we only had three or four members on the team and we would take trips to tournaments and stay in my friends’ basements,” said Joy.
However, over the years the team has grown significantly to a group of over two dozen players.
“Now we have 15, 20 or 25 people on the team and we stay in hotels when we go to tournaments, so it has gotten a lot bigger and a lot more fun,” Joy explained.
Throughout the history of the team, NMU has grown a friendly rivalry with the Michigan Tech Quiz Bowl team. When playing against Michigan Tech, they play for a trophy called the Superior Cup, which is similar to hockey’s Miners Cup. The NMU Quiz Bowl team has held it since it was created five years ago, and it currently rests in a trophy case in the NMU library. The quiz bowl team doesn’t want it leaving any time soon.
Sometimes, the NMU Quiz Bowl team makes it to the national level. In 2014, they made it to the national tournament, playing against teams from the likes of Yale and MIT. They finished in 26th place, just behind Cornell University.
How can kids get involved in quiz bowl? Joy said that there are local high school quiz bowl teams and even a middle school program if younger kids are interested in joining something similar to the NMU team.  Any NMU student can join the NMU team. The only prerequisite is to have an interest.
“At NMU you just need to start coming to my practices and it’s as easy as that.  It’s free.  It doesn’t cost anything. It’s open to all students, no matter what they are studying.  We meet twice a week, but you don’t have to come to every practice,” said Joy.
Ella Uren, a sophomore and anthropology major at NMU, joined her high school quiz bowl team when she was a freshman. When she got into college she joined the NMU Quiz
Bowl team. Uren explained how new NMU students find out about the team.
“They might hear about it at orientation or see a poster up around campus and they come to a practice and see how they like it,” Uren said.
The team works hard to prepare for games…


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(Written by: Liam Ulland-Joy, 14 and Esme Ulland-Joy, 11)

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