The MIT College Bowl squad defeated the defending national champions from Harvard University in the New England regional championship on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Tufts University.
This victory in the self-proclaimed "Varsity Sport of the Mind" qualifies the team as one of 16 contenders for the national championship, to be held in late April at Arizona State University.
The team consists of team captain Jason Sugg, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science, Peter McCorquodale, a graduate student in mathematics, Jamie Coffin, a senior in EECS, Ryan Scranton, a junior in physics, and Dominic Ricci, a freshman. They were selected from the outstanding players participating in the IAP intramural tournament which attracted more than 100 participants. About 20 MIT students meet each Tuesday evening in Rm 1-136 to practice. Practice sessions are open to all interested students.
College Bowl matches are knowledge competitions between collegiate teams with questions based on academic knowledge and current events. Two types of questions are asked during a match, which is played in two seven-minute halves. Toss-up questions are open to both teams. The team of the player who correctly answers the toss-up question earns the chance to answer a bonus question. Success requires a trade-off between speed (to beat the opponents out on the toss-ups) and depth of knowledge (to maximize the points scored on bonuses).
Fifteen teams competed in the two-day intercollegiate tournament, including the perennial powerhouses of MIT, Harvard, Dartmouth, Boston University and Williams College.
MIT College Bowl squads have participated at the national level in 1988 (finishing seventh), 1990 (finishing second), and 1992, when MIT was first in the nation. The team is sponsored by the Student Center Committee and supported by the Campus Activities Complex and the IAP Office.
"They've got their work cut out for them," said James W. Bales, PhD '91, the team's coach and a research engineer in MIT's Sea Grant program. "But having won New England, one of the toughest regions in the nation, this team has shown it is capable of beating the best."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 6, 1996.