Charles Hang

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Xinyun "Charles" Hang
Noted Subjects:
Current Collegiate Team Washington University in St. Louis (2010-2013; 2014-Present)
Past Collegiate Teams St. Charles Community College (2010; 2014)
High School Team Francis Howell Central (2005-09)
Middle School Team None

Xinyun Hang (Charles Hang) is the president of the Washington University in St. Louis Quiz Bowl Team. He founded the St. Charles Community College team and led it to win the 2010 Community College Championship Tournament. In high school, he played for Francis Howell Central.

He owns Olympia Academic Competition Questions, a question writing company, and writes for NAQT and NHBB.

Charles is also known for wearing a boutonniere and taking pictures at tournaments.

Playing History

Middle School

Charles was first introduced to quiz bowl in sixth grade by Debbe Van Beers, his gifted program teacher at Saeger Middle School. As part of her husband Mike's Scholar Quiz Team, he was the unofficial top scorer in competitions between Saeger, Bryan, and Hollenbeck Middle Schools.

High School

After graduating from Saeger, Charles played for the Francis Howell Central Scholar Quiz Bowl team coached by Kathryn Keierleber from 2005 to 2009. He led the team to a 27th place finish at the 2009 NAQT HSNCT.


Charles was one of five former Saeger Quiz Team members to join the Francis Howell Central team in Fall 2005. His first tournament was the 2005 Two Saints Conference, where he was Junior Varsity top scorer, leading the JV A team to a third place finish. After joining the Varsity team in Spring 2006, he encountered good Quiz Bowl for the first time in late January at the WUHSAC VIII tournament. He didn't play much and failed to see the differences between WUHSAC's questions and Bryce Avery's Two Saints questions.

After WUHSAC, Charles was a high scorer at the Washington and Warrenton tournaments, where FHC took 3rd and 2nd, respectively. Charles also played on the 2006 Gateway Athletic Conference championship team. [1] Unfortunately, Charles had to take the ACT the day of the MSHSAA District competition and did not know to rejoin his team afterwards for the playoff rounds. His team placed second to Fort Zumwalt West after losing on the last question.



Charles was part of the Varsity A team in the 2006-2007 season. Despite spotty attendance, he was a high scorer at several tournaments. At his first tournament, the 2006 Two Saints Conference, he was second only to Teresa Kilmer of Fort Zumwalt West in scoring. His team was defeated by Zumwalt West and placed in the tournament's second playoff bracket, which it won, placing 5th at the tournament. Charles was the bracket top scorer.

Charles's Spring tournament attendance was spotty. As a result, the team did not reach the playoffs at both WUHSAC IX and the 2007 Warrenton Tournament. Charles did attend the 2007 Washington Tournament, where he was the top scorer on the championship team. Charles was also a high scorer at the 2007 Gateway Athletic Conference and at MSHSAA Districts. The team took second at the former and tied for third at the latter. During these tournaments, Charles relied heavily on freshman George Yu's math skills, which complimented Charles's history knowledge.


Missouri Scholars Academy

Like many Missouri players such as Jason Mueller, Alex Dzurick, and Ikshu Neithaleth, Charles's attendance at the Missouri Scholars Academy (MSA), a gifted camp for Missouri's top rising juniors, influenced his formation as a Quiz Bowl player. He was the top scorer at the Scholar Bowl tournament, with his team taking second place. More importantly, he began learning about the circuit by meeting players from other teams.


Charles was the team's Co-Captain in the 2007-2008 season, leading it to several victories. In the Fall, he was introduced to the Missouri Academic Competition Message Board by Jeremy Gibbs, setting him on the path to good Quiz Bowl. Ironically, Gibbs was Missouri's best known promoter of bad Quiz Bowl. Charles also helped double the team from about six to twelve members through recruiting.

As usual, Charles's first tournament of the season was the Two Saints Conference. There, he was the top scorer with the team taking first place on improved questions from 2007-2008 MSHSAA State provider Shawn Pickrell. The tournament was also his first time captaining the team, which he led on the tournament's second day to wins over Fort Zumwalt West's Varsity B and D teams.

Charles continued his leadership efforts in the Spring Semester. He captained the team to a first place finish at the 2008 Warrenton Tournament and a fourth place finish at the 2008 Helias Tournament with the help of George Yu's math skills. The team attended Helias in part due to his efforts to convince his coach to go to more tournaments. Unfortunately, he could only attend two regular season tournaments that semester. Thus, Charles chose to miss WUHSAC, showing his continued ignorance of good Quiz Bowl. Similarly, Charles failed to understand the significance of the 2008 NAQT Missouri Qualifier and thus let his coach's lukewarm response keep the team from attending.

In post-season play, Charles led the team to the 2008 Gateway Athletic Conference championship. Unfortunately, he had to take the ACT the day of MSHSAA Districts again. Thus, the team was eliminated during preliminaries by Kirksville and Fort Zumwalt West, the latter of which beat FHC by only five points.

By season's end, Charles had chosen to focus the team on good tournaments and to make the team more representative of the school through recruiting. To demonstrate the team's skills, he arranged the first ever Faculty vs. Team match, which the team lost 220-270 because he and George were regularly substituted out. [5] In recognition of his efforts, Charles was recognized as a Co-Captain of the team for the season.



Charles led the 2009 Francis Howell Central Quiz Bowl team to the most successful season in school history, including a tie for 27th at the 2009 NAQT HSNCT, where he was a tournament All-Star. He was the team's captain for the entire season after Nick LaFoy's departure at the beginning of the school year.

Charles's first tournament of the 2008-2009 season was the Truman State mirror of Zot Bowl, which he attended with MSA friends. There, he was the top high schooler and third highest scorer overall, with 70 PPG. [9] At this time, he came into conflict with the HSQB forum community, especially Matt Weiner, after describing some anti-MSHSAA criticism there as excessive. [10] Despite this, under Charlie Dees' influence, he began learning the canon and using pyramidal questions in practice. Finally, he helped increase the team's size to an all time high of 15 players through recruiting.

Unfortunately, Charles spent much of the 2008-2009 season playing questions from MSHSAA state provider Questions Galore. He was the top scorer at the 2009 Two Saints Conference, leading the team to a second championship. He was the third highest scorer and led the team to a first place finish at the Hancock Tournament in November, the team's first fall invitational in many years. [11] In early January, he helped the team win the DeSmet Invitational after arriving at the second half of the last preliminary game to help earn enough points to advance as a wild card. [12]

After DeSmet, Charles convinced his team to focus on good tournaments. The first of these was WUHSAC XI in late January. He was a tournament high scorer, placing second only to Siva Sundaram of Rockford Auburn, though the team suffered a disappointing quarterfinal loss to Parkway Central. [13]

Charles's next good quiz bowl tournament was the 2009 NAQT Missouri Qualifier, where he was "power champ, 10 champ, and neg champ" leading the team to a third place finish. [14][15] Two weeks later, he led the team to its first good quiz bowl championship, at the 2009 Missouri S&T Spring Tournament. He did so after convincing Ms. Jessica Rowe to chaperone in substitution for Coach Keierleber, who couldn't make it. He was again the top scorer. [16] Finally, around this time, Charles secured school funding for the to attend the 2009 NAQT HSNCT.

After such successes, Charles had to play bad Quiz Bowl again while leading the FHC team to a first place finish in the 2009 Gateway Athletic Conference. [17] Unfortunately, the team lost the final at MSHSAA Districts to Zumwalt West on a series of poor questions, though he was the top scorer. [18] He was recognized in the Missouri Academic Competition Message Board player ranking poll as the top Generalist and top male Quiz Bowl player in Missouri. He also tied for top history and top literature player. [19] [20] Finally, Charles became a member of the Missouri Quizbowl Alliance and a writer for NAQT at this time.

Charles ended his high school career by leading the 2009 Francis Howell Central team to a tie for 27th at the 2009 NAQT HSNCT. [21] He was the 23rd HSNCT All-Star, coming in 25th overall. [22]



Charles has been part of the Academic Team at Washington University in St. Louis since 2009, with the exception of the 2013-2014 season. He became the team's president in 2017 and was treasurer from 2010 to 2011. He also founded the team at St. Charles Community College and led it to win the 2010 CCCT.


Washington University in St. Louis

Charles's first tournament of the 2009-2010 season was the Illinois mirror of Early Fall Tournament 4. His WUSTL B team went 4-8 and came in 16th of 24 teams. He was the tournament's 6th highest scorer with 64.58 PPG. [31] At the Missouri mirror of ACF Fall 2009, he led the team to 2nd place, winning the Division II and Undergraduate championships, while he was the tournament's top scorer. [32] [33] A week later, he led the house team to take first at the fourteenth Gateway Invitational Tournament, where he was the second highest scorer. [34][35] Charles volunteered at practices at Clayton High School from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010.

St. Charles Community College

Because Charles was a student at both St. Charles Community College and WashU, Charles founded a Quiz Bowl team at SCC in Spring 2010 in hopes of creating a Missouri Community College circuit. Charles played for SCC in the Spring 2010 semester, beginning with the 2009 NAQT CCSCT. Because of his prior Quiz Bowl experience, Charles played solo as St. Charles CC B at the tournament, taking first by going 12-0. [36]

This action was criticized because Charles was also taking classes at WUSTL in Spring 2010. One critic was WUSTL informal team adviser Sean Phillips. [37]][38] In contrast, Chris Borglum found nothing wrong with Charles playing at the Community College level, though he did oppose the dual affiliation. This was even though as coach of CCCT championship contender Valencia Community College, he was one of those with the most to lose by the existence of another strong team at CCCT. [39] In his own defense, Charles argued that the situation was no different than a high school student playing a high school championship despite taking most of his or her credits at a college.

NAQT decided that Charles's actions were permitted under NAQT's rules and that a player pursuing both four and two year degrees should have the opportunity to choose to play either CCSCT/CCCT or SCT/ICT. [40]

As a result, Charles went on to lead the St. Charles Community College team to win the 2010 Community College Championship Tournament, with the team going 11-1. Charles was also the top scorer, with 123.42 PP20TH. [41]

The week after the 2010 CCCT, Charles played solo at the 2010 Matt Cvijanovich Memorial Novice Tournament at Illinois. He came in 6th of 14 teams and was the top scorer. [42] Notably, the high school open team attending the tournament styled itself the "Charles Hang School for College Players Who Club Baby Seals," with team members Dan Donohue, Nolan Winkler, and Ben Carbery playing as Valencia, Chipola, and Northeast Alabama, respectively. [43] The "Charles Hang School for College Players Who Club Baby Seals" never had the opportunity to face Charles Hang because of his failure to make the top playoff bracket, though the high school team would probably have won.

Finally, Charles led the St. Charles Community College team to win the Top Community College award at the 2010 Division II Intercollegiate Championship Tournament, with the team going 7-6. He was the third place scorer in Division II with 81.94 PP20TH. [44][45]

Despite his dual affiliation, Charles was elected the treasurer of the Washington University Academic Team for the 2010-2011 season in 2010.

Over the summer, Charles directed his first tournament on July 17th, 2010, the inaugural St. Charles Open. At Chicago Open, He scored 1.79 PPG as part of "Academicus Anaemicus," the last place team. [46] He was also a member of the last place teams at the Chicago Open Literature Tournament and Chicago Open Fine Arts Tournament, with 0.83 and 10.56 PPG, respectively. [47][48] Charles resigned from the Missouri Quizbowl Alliance in August.



In the 2010-2011 season, Charles primarily focused on the Washington University team, though he still informally advised the SCC team. Charles directed the WUSTL mirror of the 2010 ACF Novice tournament in September. [58] His WashU A team took ninth place at the 2010 Early Fall Tournament at Illinois in October, where he was the third place scorer (though he received fifth due to having his points switched with those of one of his teammates during a round). [59] He also led the WUSTL team to first place at the 2010 ACF Fall tournament at Truman State, where he was the second place scorer. [60] Charles directed the fifteenth iteration of the Gateway Invitational Tournament on November 13th, which went well even though the WashU team failed to supply all of the promised mirror packets, which was partially his fault.

Charles announced the formation of Olympia Academic Competition Questions, a provider of high quality questions at the middle school and high school JV levels, in October 2010.


Question Writing

Olympia Academic Competition Questions

Charles currently owns Olympia Academic Competition Questions, a question writing company he founded in October 2010.


Charles has written for National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC since May 2009.


Charles has written for the National History Bee and Bowl since August 2016.


Charles wrote for High School Academic Pyramidal Questions from November 2009 to June 2010.

Independent Writing

Charles was a writer for the 2017 Eisenhower Memorial Tournament set, contributing half of the literature as well as history and economics questions.

With Julia Price, Charles wrote the 2009 Missouri Scholars Academy Scholar Bowl Tournament playoff questions, which were well received. [63] With the help of Dan Donohue and others, Charles produced a pyramidal tournament in the MSHSAA format for the Fall 2009 Varsity tournament at Richland High School. That tournament was intended as an introduction to pyramidal questions. [64] These writing projects inspired Olympia's formation.

External References