On the evening of August 20, the Detroit Catholic Central quiz bowl team competed in the first Chinese Academic Games Exhibition among a select 20 top-notch U.S. high school teams. The Shamrocks, represented by Joel Jaskolski ‘22, Patrick Szendro-Arceo ’22, Jude Laskey ‘22, and Matt Abraham ‘22, competed head-to-head with five teams from China and ended with a perfect 5-0 record.
Catholic Central Quiz Bowl represented Michigan as the only school invited to compete. While this exhibition was not a National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT) qualifying competition, it did offer students the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete with students internationally, enabling them to sharpen their quiz bowl skills.
“I never imagined reaching a point where our competition would evolve into something international,” said Patrick Szendro-Arceo, senior at Catholic Central. “As a quiz bowl player in general, I am happy with the development of quiz bowl outside the United States, and that it is slowly but surely becoming a more integrated thing. Most of our competition is based in the U.S., but having teams from abroad play against us not only gives us more competition, but also broadens our scope on what fields we must improve in. It’s very exciting.”
Catholic Central was selected to participate in the invite-only event because of the team’s long-standing history. Catholic Central Quiz Bowl has won 25 Michigan State Championships and four national championships, making it one of the top-performing quiz bowl high school teams in the country.
The opportunity to compete with China was made possible thanks to the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT), in partnership with SKT Education Group. In 2020, the NAQT and SKT Education Group partnered to bring middle and high school quiz bowls to a wider audience in China.
“We never turn down an opportunity to compete,” said Christopher Gismondi, English teacher and Academic Games coach at Catholic Central. “We hope this experience will instill a tenacious mindset. On top of that, exposure and experience to new information, cultures, and ideas is at the center of the quiz bowl game. Being able to have an actual first-hand experience against a school from a different country, I hope, will leave our students with a lasting memory and impression.”
Learn more about Catholic Central Quiz Bowl here.