Woburn CI

From QBWiki
(Redirected from Woburn)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Woburn Collegiate Institue
Scarborough, ON
Coaches Douglas Langdon
State Championships 2006
National Championships Reach for the Top: 2006
Program Status Active
School Size 1071
NAQT Page link

Woburn Collegiate Institute, also known as East Scarborough, is a public secondary school in Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario. In 2006, the team won their first national Reach for the Top title. They compete in the Scarborough Schoolreach League


Reach for the Top

First reaching prominence in the 1990s, Woburn's Reach for the Top team's most notable early result was placing runners-up in the 1990 Ontario Provincials, a harbinger of the success they would achieve in later years. As of 2015, Woburn has won their local schoolreach league 20 years consecutively, an span of glory that can only be termed as dynastic.

In recent years, the team has had success on both the provincial and national levels. Their 2006 team, led by captain Sinan Ulusoy, the team won both the provincial championships and the national championships. Woburn consistently placed in the top 10s in the Ontario Provincial since then, reaching or breaking the threshold every year since 2012.

The only serious threat to Woburn's reign over their regional league occurred towards the end of the 2015 season. In a haphazard and ill conceived attempt to prevent a dominant and almost undefeated Woburn from entering the provincial tournament, the organizer for the regional league (not-so-coincidentally also the coach of a competing and habitually unsuccessful school, Sir. John A. MacDonald CI) changed the one-day final for the Scarborough championship (and subsequently qualification into the Provincial level) from the usual last-day knockout format between school teams with a winning round-robin record in previous league matches done every year prior to 2015, to a series of 3 matches where combined aggregate scoring would determine the champion and eventual qualifying school (disregarding win/loss entirely). This action was done without the consent of the other schools participating in the league and no prior notice (an incredible feat as universal widespread access to telecommunications existed in the year 2015) was given indicating that there would be a change in formats for the finals. It became clear that the format was rigged against Woburn as not only did Woburn face the second seeded Agincourt first, but as the highest seeded winning school of each of their games Woburn would face the stronger winning school of another match, while highly seeded schools that lost against Woburn where allowed to face lowly seeded losing schools in their next match, thus ensuring Woburn would be hindered in the points accumulation process while rival schools were given an favourable advantage to proceed, despite losing their matches to Woburn.

Despite this farce, Woburn prevailed and accumulated 100 points over their closest competitors to claim their 20th Scarborough title in a row. What would have been joy and celebration towards an unprecedented feat was overshadowed by the undercurrents of acrimony felt within the team, driven from the fact that they were almost denied their spot in the Provincials championship not because they were bested, but because of the whims of the organizer of the tournament.


Woburn is one of few teams in Ontario to have competed in quizbowl competition. In the 2006 season, they competed in the inaugural Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament. In 2010, they competed at the 2010 NAQT Ontario Provincials, finishing third after Lisgar came from behind from 265 points down to defeat Woburn in a round match.

The next year at 2011 NAQT Ontario Provincials, Woburn A came in 5th.

Woburn came to Lisgar to play in it's mirror of 2011 ACF Novice and came in second. Woburn sent a team to the 2012 HSNCT that placed 117th out of 240 schools with a 5-5 record.

Renaissance (2015-present)

Due to various factors, among them disorganization, logistical insufficiency, costs, the provincial teacher's strike that occurred in the 2012-2013 school year, restrictive school policies and disinterest, Woburn was inactive and did not participate in any Quizbowl tournaments or even practice Quizbowl from the end of 2012 to the start of 2015. Although Woburn was still achieving success in reach at a local and provincial level, there was a perception of despair at the failure to firmly plant a foundation towards quizbowl in the trivia club and envy at the ability and strength of the Quizbowl teams of the Ottawa circuit.

In February 2015 senior members of the school team decided to take matters into their own hands and attended their first ever Quizbowl tournament at McMaster University as the new Woburn team, under the honorific "East Scarborough", achieving a result of second place. This reignited club interest in Quizbowl, and Woburn began to once again see Quizbowl as the prestige academic competitive format, re-establishing Quizbowl practice and youth indoctrination. The following season, despite their relative inexperience, the new-look Woburn achieved their first victories at tournaments hosted by McMaster (October 2015) and Toronto (December 2015). Not only did doing Quizbowl again work, but it lead some to regard Woburn as a serious contender for the 2016 NAQT Ontario Provincial Championship.

Unfortunately, due to some absences from two first team players Woburn settled for fourth, and a mere 30 points separated them from a victory against Merivale in their final game, which would have triggered a playoff for second-place; which was an exemplary feat considering Woburn played shorthanded with 3 players and substituted two of their quizbowl regular squad players for an inexperienced novice was only playing her second tournament. The first Woburn match versus Lisgar was considered the game of the tournament, with both teams sharing the lead or tying at multiple points throughout the game, no tossups went dead. Jacky Li finished the tournament as top scorer by an untouchable margin and delivered perhaps what was the single finest NAQT Ontario Provincials performance ever.

Then 22/40 happened.





Reach for the Top Champion
Preceded by
Succeeded by
London Central