2004 NAC

From QBWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
2004 National Academic Championship
Edited by Questions Unlimited
Champion St. Thomas
Runner-up Elizabethtown
Third Horace Greeley
Fourth West Chester East
High scorer Jeff Ditzler of Elizabethtown (MVP)
Site Loyola University in New Orleans (May 28-31), Marymount University in Arlington, VA (June 3-6), and Drury Plaza Hotel in St. Louis (June 11-14)

Won by St. Thomas Academy of Minnesota in a protest-marred 330-315 final over Elizabethtown of Pennsylvania. Both finals teams came out of the St. Louis prelims, with St. Thomas defeating New Orleans champion West Chester East in one semifinal, and Elizabethtown beating DC champion Horace Greeley 370-345 in the other.

Tournament Events

Two New Orleans playoff games were decided on sudden-death tiebreakers. One of the questions was "Most of the 80 million citizens of Vietnam inhabit two large river deltas, one each in the former North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Name them."

The other tiebreaker was "Which English poet penned these lines: 'In what distant deeps or skies, / Burnt the fire of thine eyes? / On what wings did he aspire? / What the hand dare seize the fire?'". This question was answered by West Chester East to win their quarterfinal over Wilmington Charter. Regrettably, this match was marred by a nasty protest. In their lightning round West Chester East had "what chemical element was named after...". Unfortunately, they forgot the lead-in mid-category and started to give answers such as "Berkley" rather than "Berkelium". After time expired Chip decided to give the team another chance since "they forgot". Wilmington Charter protested, but the protest was denied. The score was updated and ended in a tie after the fourth quarter, and Wilmington Charter lost in double overtime. This round also involved a dubious second oppurtunity given to West Chester East on a tossup leading to a bonus in the second round where Wilmington Charter answered something akin to "the second one" in a multiple choice tossup and were not given credit while Elise Lenthe on West Chester East gave the accepted answer without being directly prompted (Chip eventually ruled in East's favor because one of the judges had non-verbally recognized Elise by looking at her, but it didn't matter much in the end because the replacement tossup on Monaco was not converted).

Pocono Mountain West and Brebeuf Jesuit were both named "Rookie of the Year."

Ripley was named "most improved team" for going from 97th in 2003 to 17th in 2004.

Championship-Deciding Protest

Following the final train whistle in the championship match, the scoreboard showed Elizabethtown 335, St. Thomas 330. St. Thomas team member Blake Hovander lodged a protest over this earlier math calculation tossup:

"Solve for all values of x between 0 and 360 degrees: sine squared x equals 1/4."

Elizabethtown had earned 20 points by giving the answer on the paper of "30 and 150 degrees." St. Thomas contended (correctly) that the actual answer was "30, 150, 210, and 330 degrees," and that the points should be taken away from Elizabethtown.

While this was an entirely legitimate protest, its questionable aspects include the fact that a bad question with the wrong answer was included in the finals match, that Elizabethtown was celebrating its apparent victory before the protest was announced, that Beall has eliminated any mention of it from his tournament summary (reporting the end-of-game scenario as a St Thomas player buzzing in to put his team in the lead, rather than put them within the margin of the upcoming protest), and that Beall no longer links to the below page on his site explaining what happened.

Beall's description of the protest

Additionally, a person who may be Hovander, but who was definitely one of the St. Thomas team members, later posted this on a non-quizbowl forum to continue the tradition of sportsmanship among NAC winners:

I was the Captain of my school's Quiz Bowl team this last year and we won the national tournament. http://www.qunlimited.com/national.htm is the site for it. Definitly the top thing that happened in my life, and it was a really big deal for everyone. I won the first national championship at my high school, which was suffering from it's first year of no state championships in a long long time. Also, I won by being a complete dickhead to the other team... so that makes me proud.


Some questions from the tournament:

"Who immortalized the world of American finance with a painting entitled The New Orleans Cotton Exchange?"

"When slaves escaped and hurried north on the Underground Railroad, they were given some directions. They were advised to follow, not Ursa Major or the Big Dipper or the Plough, but what?"

"You can read some of the classics online at which web site, named for a Melville short story character?"

"Translate the opera title 'Rustic Chivalry' from English to Italian."

"Identify the two planets with atmospheres predominantly of carbon dioxide."

"What is Monster.com?"

"In Emily Dickinson's poem 'Because I Could Not Stop for Death,' who was the other person in the carriage in addition to the narrator and Death?"

"What adjective describes a solution in which the concentration of dissolved particles outside the cell is greater than the concentration of dissolved particles inside the cell?"

"What Hemingway novel made Pamplona's "Running of the Bulls" famous?"

"When Odysseus was being punished by Poseidon, who was the one immortal who begged Zeus to save the long suffering hero?"


The 112-team field, as ranked on the QU website.

  • 1. Saint Thomas Academy
  • 2. Elizabethtown Area High School
  • 3. Horace Greeley A
  • 4. East High School - Varsity
  • 5. White Plains High School
  • 6. High Technology - Team A
  • 7. Manheim Township High School
  • 8. Booker T. Washington
  • 9. Holland Hall Upper School
  • 10. Hastings High School Team A
  • 11. Bellaire High School - Team A
  • 12. Irmo A
  • 13. Chaska High School
  • 14. Charter School of Wilmington
  • 15. Scripps Ranch High School
  • 16. Aiken High School
  • 17. Ripley High School
  • 18. Edmond North HS
  • 19. Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
  • 20. Dwight D. Eisenhower High School
  • 21. Edgemont High School
  • 22. Horace Greeley B
  • 23. Pocono Mountain West High School
  • 24. Harrison A
  • 25. Walton High School
  • 26. Brookwood High School
  • 27. Auburn High School - Team Red
  • 28. Irvington HS - Team A
  • 29. Plano Senior High School
  • 30. Team Waramaug
  • 31. West High School
  • 32. Klein High School
  • 33. Byram Hills High School
  • 34. Oak Ridge High School
  • 35. Kellenberg Memorial
  • 36. Jesuit High School
  • 37. Fort Ann Central School
  • 38. Bromfield School
  • 39. Blue Valley North HS
  • 40. Hempfield High School
  • 41. Madison Central High School
  • 42. Harrison B
  • 43. Ithaca HS
  • 44. Irvington HS - Team B
  • 45. Eureka High School
  • 46. Hastings High School Team B
  • 47. Moorestown High School
  • 48. Alief Hastings High School
  • 49. Plano East Senior High School
  • 50. Fort Worth Country Day School
  • 51. Auburn High School - Team Black
  • 52. Clark High School
  • 53. Latin School of Chicago
  • 54. Penn Manor High School
  • 55. El Paso High School
  • 56. Kinkaid High School
  • 57. St. Marys High School
  • 58. Hobart High School
  • 59. Apollo High School
  • 60. Pingry - A Team
  • 61. Bellaire High School - Team B
  • 62. Tatnall School
  • 63. Academy of the Sacred Heart Grand Coteau
  • 64. St. Marys Memorial High School
  • 65. Ridgeland High School
  • 66. Osbourn High School
  • 67. Lamar High School
  • 68. St. Joseph's High School
  • 69. Rye Country Day School
  • 70. Kremlin-Hillsdale High School
  • 71. Klein Forest High School
  • 72. Rye Neck High School
  • 73. Western Wayne High School
  • 74. Newport HS
  • 75. St. John's Preparatory School
  • 76. Penn High School
  • 77. High Technology - Team B
  • 78. Brownsburg High School
  • 79. Sterling High School
  • 80. Plano West Senior High School
  • 81. East High School - JV
  • 82. James M. Bennett HS
  • 83. Charles Page High School
  • 84. Hamilton SE High School
  • 85. Jackson Prep
  • 86. Elida High School
  • 87. New London-Spicer High School
  • 88. Boone High School
  • 89. McCutcheon High School
  • 90. Delaware Valley High School
  • 91. Bishop Garrigan High School
  • 92. George Wythe High School
  • 93. Irmo B
  • 94. Mauldin High School
  • 95. Alief Taylor High School
  • 96. Monrovia High School
  • 97. Thomas Jefferson High School
  • 98. Queensbury High School
  • 99. Smithtown High School
  • 100. Liberty High School
  • 101. Edwards County High School
  • 102. Drummond High School
  • 103. Gulfport High School
  • 104. Weehawken High School
  • 105. Wilson High School
  • 106. St. Croix Country Day School
  • 107. Community School of Naples
  • 108. Pingry - B Team
  • 109. Wallenpaupack Area High School
  • 110. Socorro High School
  • 111. Del Norte High
  • 112. Buras High School


2004 National Academic Championship
2003 NAC
2005 NAC