Academic Team

Bowdon Elementary School's Academic Team functions as part of the Academic Bowl through West Georgia RESA. Schools are divided up into four districts, and Bowdon Elementary competes in the Northern B division. Each team is allowed to play eight members in an academic season. There are three competitions each year consisting of three rounds each. Four members of the team are allowed to play each round. Awards are given at each meet to the top four scoring teams. At the close of these three meets, the top four performing students in each of the four division compete in a region's meet. In addition to the bowl schedule at RESA, all Carroll County teams compete against each other in a Carroll County competition. This event is treasured by all teams and schools.
Competition for all events is the same. During rounds, two teams compete by buzzing in answers to academic bowl questions. Rounds consist of toss-up questions in which all participants are eligible. Participants have exactly 10 seconds in which to buzz in with their answer. If the buzzing participant answers correctly, this team only is allowed to hear the two bonus questions. Should the buzzing participant answer incorrectly, the opposing team has 10 seconds in which to buzz in their response. Again, only if the correct answer is given does the team hear the bonus questions. All questions are worth 10 points each. Each round consists of twenty questions ranging from trivia to physics. It is important to note that quiz questions are provided by RESA and no team is aware of any particular company's name whereby these questions are purchased. For that reason, coaches work extensively to prepare students as best they can in all academic areas quizzed.

For the purposes of our schools, all students in grades 3-5 are eligible to participate on the team. It is equally important to note the difficulty level of knowing the material for third graders. For this reason, the coaches typically reserve major playing spots for the fourth and fifth grade students and allow third graders to function as "shadows" for one school year. As a "shadow" member, the third grader is required to attend all practice sessions and focus on learning the material given. They are listed as members of the team and allowed to attend all competitions, but they do not play at any of the competitions. This benefits them tremendously as a member of the team the following year because pressure from competition is removed, allowing them to spend all time learning the material and seeing how competition works. We generally allow two shadows each year, and these team members are not part of the eight playing members. Members of the team for any given year are allowed to automatically remain on the team the next year; as a result, spots for the next year are based on the number of fifth grade placements lost from the previous team. Often times, the shadow members become our strongest team members in their fourth and fifth grade year.

One week prior to tryouts, a message is sent out through school messenger for parents and a daily announcement is made each morning at school for students interested in trying out for the academic team.. Tryouts are held each year in August, and practice generally begins toward the end of August or first of September in order to give ample time to learn material. Practice is held each week after school until 4:30pm. It is during practice the coaches can assess who learned the material; these students will be the ones asked to fill the team spots for competition because our school and district are represented by their performance during competition.