Robert Grierson Friend of Scholastic Bowl Award
The Robert Grierson Friend of Scholastic Bowl Award is an award, generally awarded on an annual basis by the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association (IHSSBCA). The award is generally given to individuals or groups (other than active coaches) who have in various ways helped improve the quality of the competition, enhanced opportunities for competition, or helped publicize quizbowl in the state of Illinois.
Until 2009, the award was always given to an Illinois resident.
The award was first given in 1996 as the Friend of Scholastic Bowl Award. After 1997, the award was not given again until 2002, when two awards were given, one retroactive to 2001, since which, it has been given annually. Since 2006, the award has been given out at the annual IHSSBCA banquet, held at Illinois State University in Normal.
In 2003, the award was renamed for Rob Grierson.
The award was given to Garrie Burr, Senior Grand Warden of the Masonic Grand Lodge of the state of Illinois. The award was given for the long standing and continued support of the Illinois Grand Lodge for their state championship tournament, the oldest state tournament in Illinois.
The award was presented to Bill Zobus, a representative of the Streator Rotary Club. The award was given for the organization's long standing support of competition, notably, the annual Streator Rotary Tournament which is believed to be the oldest continuously run quiz bowl tournament in Illinois.
The award was retroactively awarded in 2002 to Chuck Fabish, the Assistant Regional Superintendent of Peoria County. The award was given for using his office to promote Scholastic Bowl in the region, which had an influence statewide.
The award was give to J. Barron Robinson, the former principal of Springfield Southeast High School. "The Patriarch of Springfield Scholastic Bowl", Robinson was given the award for his tireless work to promote the activity in its early days, and for his years as a dedicated coach, advocate of the activity, and for his years as an official (which continue to the present).
The award was given to Rob Grierson the former coach at The Latin School, and long time officer of the IHSSBCA. The award was given for his tireless work in founding and building the IHSSBCA, his years as an official, and his years serving the association as treasurer and as editor of Scholastic Visions, the newsletter of the Association. Starting with this award, the award was renamed in honor of Grierson.
The award was given jointly to Dave Shultz and Alex Gary, reporters for the Rockford Register Star Newspaper. The award was given for their establishment of the "Brain Games" page on the newspaper's website; the first attempt by a newspaper in Illinois to establish continuous high profile reporting for academic competition, especially Scholastic Bowl, and in doing so established a "model for the nation on the reporting of academic competition".
The award was presented to Anthony Holman, Associate Executive Director of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The award was given for improving the relationship between the IHSSBCA and IHSA, and overseeing numerous improvements to the activity, including a streamlined rule book and the addition of a case manual to help illustrate consistent application of the rules statewide .
The award was given to Wendell Walch, member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of the state of Illinois. The award was given for his tireless work in running the Illinois Masonic State Championship Tournament from 1998-2004. Over his tenure heading the committee which oversaw the tournament, Mr. Walch saw a drastic increase in participation which helped to increase the number of schools competing statewide, as well as providing financial awards for teams to enhance their participation.
The award was given jointly to Durwin and Pam Nigus, owners of Buzzersystems.com (formerly Novell Electronic Designs). The award was given for their long time and ongoing support of quizbowl nationally, and especially in Illinois, by offering high quality buzzer systems, outstanding customer service, and for their long standing generous donation of lockout systems to the IHSA State Championship Tournament.
The 2008 award was presented to John Rathbun for his years of service as IHSA State Championship Tournament Manager and Peoria Area League Manager, as well as his work with Peoria Area World Affairs Council.
The award went to the University of Illinois Academic Buzzer Team for the work they have done hosting high school tournaments, supporting other high school tournaments, and supporting the high school circuit.
The award went to Frank Conry, Neil Pavlus, and Nelson Pyle, the former principals of Byron, Stillman Valley, and Winnebago, for their work in helping to start the mess that is the Masonic Tournament.
The award was given to Mike Wong for his work as a tournament director and logistics expertise which have helped the association.
The award was given to Dale Thayer for his leadership of the Masonic State Tournament.