Mr. Lluch revives Quiz Bowl

Mr. Javier Lluch oversees a recent team meeting – Pierce Laveran ’24

New clubs are nothing out of the ordinary for Haverford. Boasting a wide array of involved and educational student-run clubs, the school has seen many clubs come and go. 

Students have detected a buzz in conversations about clubs recently. The main reason for this reaction? Quiz Bowl.

But what is Quiz Bowl? Is it Jeopardy? Is it trivia? Or is it something new entirely?

Quiz Bowl coach Mr. Javier Lluch has had previous experience with academic clubs.  He also coordinates the Hephaestus Society, which celebrates extracurricular academic activities at a spring banquet. 

“We had a Quiz Bowl team more than ten years ago,” Mr. Lluch said. “This is my eleventh year at Haverford, and it existed before I came, so the idea sort of came to me as I was thinking about what to do during clubs. I used to have a club right after COVID that died, so I found myself not having something to do during clubs.”

Mr. Lluch has experience with Quiz Bowl, sparking the idea to fill this new gap during clubs.

“I used to have a colleague in my previous school in Ohio who did the Quiz Bowl team, so the idea came to me, why don’t I do this?” Mr.. Lluch said. “I reached out to a few students I thought might be interested, and then I asked the middle school teachers for the incoming freshmen class who would be good candidates, and then I emailed everyone in the Hephaestus Society. So that’s how it came about.”

Fifth Formers Conor McDonald and Finn Kelly stepped up as team captains. McDonald is especially experienced in Quiz Bowl, having done it for a few years in middle school.

“I used to go to Haverford Middle School before coming [here], and they had a very competitive Quiz Bowl team with an inter-school league of approximately six-to-eight teams every year,” McDonald said. 

Quiz Bowl practices during G and D-block lunches.

Mr. Lluch hopes the program can build toward competition.

“It really depends on how committed students are. At this point, we have a lot of interest, and what I am doing is reaching out to coaches in the area. I know that Garnett Valley has a very competitive team, and I have a phone call with that coach on Monday,” Mr. Lluch said. “Hopefully when I talk to them they’ll give me a better sense of what the league looks like, and how many competitions there are.”

“It’s basically an unofficial intramural league with a bunch of practice rounds, and anyone can come in and answer questions.” 

Conor McDonald ’25

Like any other academic endeavor, students gain skills during Quiz Bowl competitions. Ranging from knowledge about trivia questions they study or learning about teamwork and confidence, participating in Quiz Bowl is sure to build indispensable skills. 

“Quiz Bowl is a fun mixture of trivia, and it has both school trivia, but you also have more modern-day or pop culture-type questions, where it’s fun and in the news,” McDonald said. “Right now, we have about 20 members who come in during lunch. During lunch, it’s basically an unofficial intramural league with a bunch of practice rounds, and anyone can come in and answer questions.” 

Mr. Lluch dove into the skills students are expected to learn. “A lot of it is general knowledge, like trivia questions,” he said. “What’s really cool about Quiz Bowl is the way the questions are set up. It starts with something very general and then narrows down to pretty much giving you the answer, so the balance there is. ‘Do I buzz in and give an answer I may be unsure of, or do I wait until I have more information?’ That’s a really good skill, knowing when to respond or contribute, and how long you should wait.”