Speech and Debate students and AP students interested in competing in the upcoming Brain Bowl have begun practice for the University of Mississippi Academic Invitational Tournament to be held March 1. Team Captain J. Robertson will compete with teammates John Mark Busby, Ariel Keon, Jotavius Jones, Dustin Vance, and Corey Collins. Allison Movitz, AP and Speech/Debate teacher, is their coach for the after-school practices and the competitions.
Sixty-four 64 teams will compete for the championship round and trophies. Each team consists of four members and up to four alternates who compete by answering trivia questions in any subject. Teams are allowed to make "half time" substitutions of alternates.
In the competition, there are two types of questions. Toss-ups are one-part and are worth five points each. If the team wins the toss up question, they are asked a bonus question. If the answer is wrong and the question was completely read, the other team then has five seconds to answer the toss-up question, without restatement of the question. If a player confers with another team member during a toss-up, the response does not count, and the question is offered to the other team. A natural pause (approximately a count of two) is allowed between acknowledgment from the moderator and the beginning of an answer. The moderator has sole discretion to determine if a pause was unacceptably long. If an answer to a toss-up is given after the permissible natural pause has expired, the moderator will announce that time has expired and allow the other team a chance to answer. This rule is designed to prevent a competitor from buzzing in while still figuring a response. The competitor should be ready with the answer when acknowledged; stalling will result in a forfeit of the team’s response.
Bonus questions have multiple parts that are worth up to ten points each. A team will have twenty seconds to complete bonus questions. Timing begins when the moderator completes two readings of the bonus question. After the first reading of bonus questions, the captain may interrupt to give the answers to the questions. If the bonus question is two parts, each part is worth four points; supplying correct answers to both parts is worth ten points. If the question is composed of four parts, each part is worth two points, and ten points are earned by supplying correct answers to all four parts. A bonus question to a team after that team answers a toss-up question correctly.
The game is played in two, ten-minute halves. Each half begins with a toss-up question. The first player to signal and be recognized by the Moderator gives the answer to the toss-up question and must do so without consolation and within a natural pause of being recognized by the moderator. The Moderator will recognize a contestant by stating the name of the school and/or the contestant’s name. The team’s captain can only answer bonus questions. Any answer given by a non-captain player will be ignored. The captain speaks for the team after conference or discussion. The round ends with the expiration of the two ten-minute halves or when the question pool is exhausted.
The Bruce High School Brain Brawl team, who won 4th place in their first competition in November 2007, will compete double elimination rounds against area public, private, and parochial schools.