9th Annual CI Tournament
February 19th, 2005
By Paul Gipson
The day began with a welcome and instructions from host pastor Andrew Scott.
Each team is eager to capture a high finish in the standings if not the highest
and the 1st Place trophy. Today each participant will demonstrate his or her
knowledge of the assigned scripture passage, I and II Corinthians, as well as
quickness and agility in jumping, for the opportunity to answer the question.
The facilities are beautifully prepared with six separate quiz rooms, and an
excellent hospitality area. The Quizmasters get set to do their best in
conducting fair, precise quizzing desiring to judge correctly each answer given.
The butterflies are busy in the quizzers’ stomachs but after a few questions,
their focus is intent on the match. Hundreds of hours of studying God's word
will be tested and nerves tried as the preliminary rounds begin. The time
between rounds is relaxing for some and cramming time for others. For some, old
acquaintances are renewed. Some of the quizzers and coaches have competed in the
past, but all will make new friends with fellow believers.
Pastor Andrew has assembled a very qualified team of capable assistants and
helpers to conduct the events of the day. Teens help with snacks, take photos,
run the sound equipment and a crack crew of computer gurus compile the
statistics in order to track and place each individual and team. Important
information is transmitted between rooms and then put on display for all
attending to view. That same information is even visible to anyone on the WEB
via the CI Tournament website (http://www.citournament.org)
Preliminary Round 1
The spirit of the teams
and spectators captures my attention. Anticipation of the matches is now over
and nervous quizzers have settled down. I just experienced the most thrilling
moment in a quiz that I have ever seen. Tim Keenan, a quizzer from Old Paths
has just correctly answered six questions in a row and thus “quizzed out”. WOW!
The Quizmaster hardly gets out the question and the lights on the display module
flash on. Coaches closely track their team’s progress and pray intently for
each young person. As Pastor Craig Scott has often mentioned, it is not all
about the competition but how God’s Holy Word is driven deeper into the heart
and life of the quizzer through this learning medium. The entire team is
involved in the victory through encouragement, participation and prayer. After
the quiz, Tim Keenan responded that he, “just loves to get on a roll.”
The nerves are not completely settled down as another match comes down to the
final question of the round. The quizzers, coaches and the entire audience are
drawn into the competition and the atmosphere is electric. As a reporter getting
a sense of the activities, my emotions run high.
Preliminary Round 4
During matches, the
quizzers call a “time out” for brief team meetings with the coaches. Some
quizzers have concerned expressions on their faces while others remain focused
on the task as hand. This round has a Jr. High team against two Sr. High teams.
However, the age of the competitors does not seem to matter, everyone is equally
intense and competitive.
The quizzers recall the answers in various ways. Some rub their chin with their
hands while others bend over at the waist and place their hands on their faces
praying the correct information is brought to mind. Others take a deep breath
and strive to make their answer count correctly for the team. A slight pause
follows the response while the Quizmaster determines if the answer given is
acceptable. When he utters “Correct”, joy and glee are the expressions of the
Preliminary Round 5
Some rooms are set up so that the quizzers face away from the
audience, but the main auditorium arrangement allows the audience to look into
the quizzers face up on the platform. Each stares at the Quizmaster looking for
the slightest bit of lip movement to gain an advantage in predicting the
question that will come from his lips.
The coaches do a fabulous job of guiding their teams. Coach Kevin Lorch from
the Woodside Baptist Jr. High Team leads the quizzers through prayer, praise,
exhortation, deep breathing and other method to relax them and take the edge off
the intense competition. Another quality seen is the teamwork – each member of
the team is included and has the opportunity to quiz. Great work Coaches!
The preliminary rounds set the stage for the ranking in which the teams will
begin the afternoon rounds of double elimination. There was tremendous quizzing
from each young person involved.
Another exciting element is watching the parents of the quizzers. They seem
almost as intense as the teams. How difficult it must be for some parents as in
this quiz that matches the Woodside Sr. High and Jr. High teams against each
other. Three families have young people facing each other on the quiz
platform. For whom do you cheer? While Shari Grinnell, Anna Borkert, and
Christy Lorch battle on the Sr. High team, Shane Grinnell, Caroline Borkert and
Jason Lorch oppose them on the Jr. High team. This is a real Family Feud.
Each round as teams are eliminated, most remain engrossed in the remaining
matches. They root for favorites – some for the strong, well-established teams
and others for the underdogs scraping for each point. The applause seems to get
louder after each correct answer and the remaining opportunities for catching
the leader in the quiz dwindle. Time-outs are called at strategic moments
during the quiz and provide relief for the audience, Quizmaster and especially
The moments between matches are opportunities to communicate reports to loved
ones and interested friends back at the home churches across the country. Some
in the audience are brand new to Bible Quizzing and are asking questions
concerning the rules and regulations. A comment I heard several times today is
“how do the young people know what the question will be before it is asked?”
The response is simply that they have to, as a veteran Bible Quiz Coach Marie
Cline stated, “KNOW YOUR STUFF!” It is clear that many here today have followed
that advice because the speed of response and accuracy of the answers prove it.
The final two teams in the final quiz of the 2005 Colorado
Invitational are Old Paths from Downingtown, PA with one loss and Pleasant View
Baptist from McQuady, KY without any.
The quizzers are weary after 10 hours of quizzing, but the adrenaline flows,
giving body and brain the energy to keep going. The quizzers take their places
on the platform following a short break. The audience settles in anticipating
great quizzing. The Quizmaster begins the match.
Was this day scripted or what? - It just does not get any better than this.
With the score tied and just one question remaining, the team that jumps first
has the advantage and the opportunity to win. Old Paths jumps and can win the
championship, but misses the question that then goes to Pleasant View. The
“free” question is then answered correctly. WOW! Great competition.
Congratulations to all the teams as well as each individual quizzer, including
those memorizing but not on the team rosters. May God bless each one of you as
His word is hidden in your hearts to keep you from sin.