Tidewater Challenge

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Tidewater Challenge was a televised quizbowl-like competition for high schools in the Hampton Roads area that aired on the Norfolk PBS station WHRO in the late 1980s. The first season was in 1982-1983. In the 1990-1991 season the program affiliated with It's Academic and changed its name accordingly for its final two seasons, going off the air due to lack of sponsorship after spring 1992. The final sponsor, Virginia-based Sovran Bank, pulled funding after the first of a series of mergers that ultimately led to it becoming part of Bank of America. The program was hosted by Jim Newsom.

Known finalists

Year Champion Second
1988 Western Branch Denbigh
1989 Poquoson John Yeates
1990 Poquoson Salem (Virginia Beach)
1991][1] Denbigh Salem (Virginia Beach)

An article about Poquoson in 1990 claims they won nine total championships. If this is accurate then Poquoson won every season to that point except 1988. No other information on the pre-1988 finalists has yet been found.


Several games are on Youtube:

  • Different news articles indicate either Denbigh over Salem or Salem over Kempsville as the final result in 1991.