|Virginia Commonwealth University|
|Current President or Coach||President:|
Matt Weiner, Cody Voight
|National championships||2005 NAQT Undergraduate|
2011 NAQT Undergraduate
Virginia Commonwealth University, often referred to as VCU, has had a quizbowl team continuously since 2002 and is prominent in hosting and playing events in the Mid-Atlantic region.
During the 1980s, VCU played College Bowl and hosted high school tournaments. Team members included Jim Lehman, Pam Kiely, Julie Savage, Randy Pittman, Carson Martin, Jim Comer, and Chris Aliff. VCU finished last at College Bowl Regionals in 1984, ninth out of twenty-four teams in 1985, and fourth (one spot above UVa) in 1986, which also saw VCU defeat Duke "by a big point spread." VCU also attended an unknown invitational tournament in 1985, finishing second. Chris Aliff was named co-MVP of the 1986 Regionals along with a player from Vanderbilt. This team remained active beyond the College Bowl intramural/regional series at least through the 1987-1988 year, and hosted three high school tournaments in the spring of 1986, 1987, and 1988. The team's faculty sponsor was Edith White. Per the IBA Buzzer newsletter, VCU was subsequently banned from participating in College Bowl for running a high school tournament on recycled College Bowl questions.
A second incarnation of the VCU team, about which nothing else is known, attended a 1993 invitational tournament at Virginia as per this Usenet post, and a team from VCU participated in College Bowl again at least in 1996 according to College Bowl's database (as well as 1991 according to Tom Michael's page).
The modern program of VCU quizbowl was founded by Matt Weiner in November 2002 by virtue of his attendance at the ACF Fall tournament held by Case Western. Tournaments won by VCU in this time period were the 2003 NAQT Sectionals at Virginia, the 2003 Princeton Buzzerfest, the 2004 Maryland Terrapin, the 2005 NAQT Sectionals, the 2005 Manu Ginobili/Tony Parker at Maryland, the undergraduate title at the 2005 ICT, the 2006 ACF Regionals at Princeton, the 2006 UNC tournament, the 2007 NAQT Sectionals at George Mason, and the 2007 Maryland Terrapin. Evan Adams and Andrew Alexander became team mainstays for the next two years, with George Berry, Cody Voight, and Sean Smiley all joining the team in fall 2009. Sometimes with the aid of dual-enrolled high schooler Tommy Casalaspi, the team went on to finish second to Maryland infinity times, also winning the 2010 ACF Winter tournament at NC Wesleyan and the 2011 Region 5 Division II Sectionals. VCU had a five-year streak of SCT Undergraduate championships from 2009 to 2013 despite a 100% turnover of its NAQT lineup over that timespan.
At the 2011 ICT, VCU's Division I team finished third overall and won the Undergraduate championship, while VCU's Division II team finished fourth after losing a tiebreaker game for second place to veteran D2 ICT participant Charles Hang. 2011 VCU, 2009 Minnesota, and 2014 Yale are the only Undergraduate-eligible teams to finish in the top 3 overall in the history of the DI ICT. A VCU team led by Sean Smiley and Cody Voight also won the 2011 ACF Fall site at UVa, and a team containing Smiley, Voight, and Berry finished a strong 14th at ACF Nationals in 2012, losing only to Rice in the second playoff bracket.
VCU had a nine-year streak of finishing in the Top 25 in at least one of the overall national tournaments (ACF Nationals or DI ICT), from 2005 to 2013, a feat matched only by Chicago and Illinois. VCU's 12-year streak of ACF Nationals participation from 2005 to 2016 made it the longest-tenured Nationals entrant aside from Chicago. This streak was achieved with three roster turnovers producing four completely distinct player lineups; i.e., the 2005 ACF Nationals team did not have any players in common with the 2008 team, which did not have any players in common with the 2012 team, which did not have any players in common with the 2016 team.
VCU continued its active participation in regional events after 2013. Competitive highlights included bringing four teams to 2015 ACF Fall at Duke, with the A team losing on the last tossup of the finals game, qualifying for and attending the 2016 DII ICT, and seeing team members win the top scorer all-star at the 2015 Virginia Tech novice tournament (Neil Wilcox-Cook) and the 2020 Virginia Tech Delta Burke mirror (Victor Savage). Club presidents since the graduation of Cody Voight have included Najwa Watson, Megh Kumar, Daniel Ogburn, Nathan Nguyen, and Meredith Seaberg.
VCU ran three-hour, five-day-a-week practices in the summer of 2009 in order to learn more things. The team's height of success over the next two years is directly attributable to the culture produced by the summer 2009 push. Regular participants in the practice regimen included Cody Voight, Evan Adams, George Berry, Matt Weiner, Tommy Casalaspi, Saltines Guy, Cameron Orth, and Riley May.
VCU ran a 24-hour practice to conclude the summer 2009 regime, which proved that doing so is a horrible idea.
VCU conducted the VCU team-building exercise prior to departing for ACF Nationals every year from 2010 to 2016.
VCU invented the "stand up and win" technique for mounting comebacks in games and may have been the first tournament host to use the paired cross-bracket prelims tournament format and networked projectors to display tournament information.
VCU has produced two of the most prolific sushi-eating contest contenders in quizbowl history, George Berry and Cody Voight, and was also responsible for demonstrating Maryland team member Jordan Brownstein's competitiveness when he immediately ate a ball of wasabi upon being falsely informed that it was a "bonus ball" in a contest.
Question set production
Over the summer of 2015 the members of the VCU club, under the editorial guidance of alumni, wrote a novice collegiate question set which was mirrored across the Northern Hemisphere in the fall semester of 2015. In preparation for this event, VCU's comprehensive system of planning documents and templates for tournament hosting was developed. In addition to participating in nationwide question-production organizations such as NAQT, HSAPQ, and ACF, various VCU members and alumni have also been involved in writing several other "housewrite" sets including the 2005 J'Accuse college set, collaborative high school tournaments with Vanderbilt in 2011 and Ohio State in 2012, and multiple editions of the VCU Open summer tournament.
VCU is an active tournament host at the high school, collegiate, and open levels. VCU hosts the VCU Fall Tournament, VCU Winter Tournament, and VCU Season Finale Tournament for high schools every year, and has hosted many one-off college mirrors and shorter-tenured high school tournaments as well.
As of May 2022, VCU has hosted 124 quizbowl tournaments.
This table lists tournaments organized by the VCU team, even if they were physically held elsewhere. It excludes tournaments organized by others, such as CaTO/TaCO and CULT, even if they were held at VCU, and tournaments organized by people who were affiliated with the VCU team but acting as individuals in hosting the event.