Charlie Steinhice

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Charlie Steinhice was a quizbowl player at WUSTL, Tennessee, and UTC as well as a longtime tournament director and team coach at UTC.

Early Playing Career

Steinhice was involved in the WUSTL team that lost the first College Bowl NCT to Stanford in 1978. He later finished his education at Tennessee, where he played on the team that won the first ACF Nationals with Robert Trent and others, under the coaching of Carol Guthrie.


At some point in the 1990s, Steinhice moved to Chattanooga and became the advisor to the UTC quizbowl team. UTC, under Steinhice's direction, began to run a lengthy lineup of tournaments including the fall "Trevor's Trivia: Bob Selcer Memorial" and spring "Trevor's Trivia: Dennis Haskins Open" high school tournaments, the fall Center of the Known Universe Open, winter Sword Bowl, and spring Moon Pie collegiate academic tournaments, and the fall Big Lots Clearance Open and spring RC Cola trash tournaments. Other tournaments such as the "ACF Detox" trash, the Moc Masters and Muck Masters summer academic and trash tournaments, and mirrors of the HSNCT were also run irregularly. UTC was also the host for ACF Regionals in the Southeast from 2000 until 2006.

Under Steinhice's editorship and direction, UTC's collegiate tournaments anchored the Southeastern circuit for many years and Steinhice worked with teams at many local and regional colleges. UTC tournaments (which were usually edited by Steinhice himself) were, however, criticized for a number of reasons: they tended to last for fewer-than-normal rounds and used formats unheard-of in the rest of the country such as single-elimination playoffs; questions were often meandering and full of unhelpful clues and non-clues such as terrible jokes in bonus leadins; rounds were often slow and approached 45 minutes in length; general question quality was variable, frequently spending time in the "poor" range due to wild swings in difficulty and general question structure; and packets often had higher-than-usual amounts of Trash. Over time, these tournaments began to fall dormant and/or transitioned to using vendors for questions rather than being housewritten.

A hallmark of UTC tournaments under Steinhice were events often described as funn such as throwing actual Moon Pies at opening meetings and leading chants of Steinhice's own "three rules of quizbowl" (roughly: winning beats losing, losing beats getting stomped, getting stomped beats not playing). Some teams enjoyed the local connections (such as autographed pictures provided by local actor Dennis Haskins) while others felt it detracted too much from the tournaments themselves. Hosting a post-tournament dinner at Provino's Italian was also a standard feature of UTC tournaments.

UTC tournaments were also notable for their abnormally late stats reports, which were often referred to as the UTC disk issues.

In addition to hosting tournaments, Steinhice made the UTC team a regular attendee at circuit events throughout the Southeast until the late 2000s. As of the end of the 2013-2014 season, Steinhice resigned from coaching UTC. He remains active in hosting trivia events in MENSA.

Later Playing Career

In Feb. 2008 Steinhice led UTC to a 4th place showing at the Southeast SCT. Steinhice was the top scorer and the winner of the Tuscaloosa Ram neg prize. He remarked that it was his first attempt at playing an NAQT tournament, as well as his first tournament period in ten years. Steinhice later led UTC to a 19th-place showing at the 2008 NAQT ICT in St. Louis and finished 7th in the individual rankings.

Relations with the Larger Quizbowl Community

Though he was on the original ACF Nationals Championship team, Steinhice later had strained relations with ACF, in part due to hosting a trash tournament called "ACF Detox" and voicing concerns that ACF was becoming too difficult. Criticisms of the question quality at UTC tournaments often played out in heated discussions online on the quizbowl forums. Perhaps the most severe version of this controversy erupted after Penn Bowl 2006, a mirror of UTC's Sword Bowl that accidentally ran on partially edited Sword Bowl questions that Steinhice had sent out for repeat- and spell-checking. This led to one of the more heated threads on HSQB.

Carper Award
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Don Windham & Gaius Stern
Charlie Steinhice