I Joined History Bowl: Here’s Why You Should Too!


The illustrious Ben Franklin was said to have remarked: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Wise words, all the more impactful considering the fact that there is no club at Enloe more dedicated to the involvement of students with history than EHB (Enloe History bowl). Ever since I joined it in sophomore year, it has proven itself to be much more than a mere tournament. It is a community. Challenge yourself to open your mind to the truth and possibility inherent to this organization. 

“How does EHB function?” one might ask. A better question would be: “How does EHB nurture itself?” After all, EHB is more akin to a forest than a machine. Philosophical musing aside, the root framework of EHB’s tournament system is a set of questions which are divided into four quarters. In the first quarter, an extended history-based prompt is read out, becoming less and less hard to answer as it gets closer to the end. Here is an example:

This man was one of three sons of the chieftain Mundzuk, who was brother of the kings Octar and Ruga. He inherited the position of his uncles and waged a military campaign against the Eastern Roman Empire, which culminated in the payment of 700 gold kilograms of annual tribute to his kingdom. After an alleged encounter with a bishop, he was nicknamed “The Scourge of God.” For ten points, name this warlord who led the Huns.

ANSWER: Attila the Hun

After the first quarter comes the second quarter, which is the same as the first except for a bonus follow up question. For example, if a team got the above prompt correct, they might be asked this as a bonus: 

This battle, which resulted in the death of Visigoth leader Theodoric, is regarded as Atilla’s first decisive defeat.

ANSWER: Battle of the Catalaunian Plains (Catalaunian Fields or Chalons also acceptable)

In the Third Quarter, things take a sharp turn. Teams are given a choice of three or more categories relating to historical events, nations, people, ect. Each category contains eight short-answer questions. A prompt like “astronomer who was put in house arrest for his support of heliocentrism” might appear under the category of “Scientific Suppression.” If a team gets a question wrong, the other team gets a chance to answer it. 

Last but not least, there are fourth quarter questions. They are like quarter one questions, but you receive extra points for answering earlier. If a team member answered before the judge finished speaking the first two sentences of the Atilla prompt, they would get extra points in quarter four. There you have it: four quarters, lots of fun! Healthy competition is the bedrock of comradery, and this question system is perfect for encouraging it. 

EHB president Chinmay Talikoti is a firm believer in the benefits of his club. “History Bowl is an opportunity to learn a lot about factors that are hugely important in our world. It helps you understand geography and politics, while building friendships at the same time.” he said. Chinmay’s favorite EHB experience was when he went to the national tournament in D.C. “It was really fun to do in a place that has so much history in every footstep.” Even though in-person tournaments like D.C. are probably not possible this year, he is still sure History Bowl will be as enriching as ever. “It is still fun to do online, it can get as intense on the internet as it can in real life. Online, you can still participate in large competitions and have a good time in general.” 

EHB occurs at 2:00 PM on Tuesdays, use the google meet code “enloekshuford” to enter. NO prior experience is required. See you there!