Shawn Pickrell

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Shawn Pickrell
Current college none
Past colleges Randolph-Macon (1994-1997)

George Mason (2000)

High school Warren County(1990-1993)
Stats HDWhite • NAQT

Shawn Pickrell is the CFO of HSAPQ. He was the Commissioner for the Virginia High School League Scholastic Bowl from the 2000-01 season until the 2008-2009 season. In August 2007, the Missouri State High School Activities Association selected him as the vendor for the 2007-08 season. He is also noted for running 1996's Randolph-Macon Harvest Bowl, which was quite possibly the worst tournament in history, as he and the team had not written enough questions for the event and did not let attending teams know until noon of the tournament.

Pickrell is a 1993 graduate of Warren County and a 1997 graduate of Randolph-Macon College, where he started a team. While at Randolph-Macon, Pickrell also directed the Commonwealth Academic Tournament, a 34-team high school tournament, and the Larvae Festival, a 5-team freshman/sophomore tournament. He also attended George Mason in 1999-2000 and started a team there as well. The R-MC team died as soon as he graduated, while the George Mason team survived a year. While at Mason, he directed two summer trash tournaments called Capital Punishment. While the first was decently-received, the second was criticized for overly forumlaic questions (the Mason team wrote the entire tournament.)

Pickrell had interviewed for the Commissioner job in 1997, when the Scholastic Bowl competition was beginning, but Claude Sandy was selected, due to his experience running Virginia's Academic Decathlon competition. Sandy retired in the fall of 2000 after the death of his father. After Sandy's retirement, Pickrell was interviewed and selected for the job.

Over his term as Commissioner, Pickrell has gradually made tossup questions more pyramidal, although many teams criticize the continued inclusion of computational math, foreign language, English grammar, and vocabulary questions.

Pickrell was then selected to write the Missouri State High School Activities Association's district and state tournaments in the late summer of 2007. As such, many conferences and independent tournaments have sought to employ Pickrell as their question vendor. However, the strain of overseeing the production of 55 MSHSAA and 68 VHSL matches proved too much, and Pickrell withdrew from the Missouri market in the spring of 2008.

Following the 2008-2009 VHSL Scholastic Bowl season, Pickrell stepped down from the commissioner position. It has since been bestowed upon Fred Campbell.

In his non-quizbowl life, Pickrell is married with a daughter, lives in Vienna, Virginia, and works as a UNIX system administrator in Arlington, Virginia.