What Sets Our Questions Apart
At Olympia, our highest priority is providing the best Quiz Bowl questions possible. Thus, our questions are defined by a number of characteristics
One key characteristic of our tossups is that they are pyramidal. What this means is that they begin with more difficult, yet unambiguous clues which require deep knowledge of a subject in order to answer the question, followed by progressively easier clues until a "giveaway" which most teams can answer. We feel that this method of structuring tossups rewards deep knowledge of a subject, while allowing most teams to score points and have fun. Similarly, our bonuses are designed to have easy, medium, and hard parts so that all teams will have the opportunity to answer questions and more experienced teams will be able to show what they know.
At Olympia, we feel that one's ability to answer a question should be defined purely by one's knowledge, not by one's ability to read the mind of the question writer. As a result, we offer tossups which begin by unambiguously describing the answer. Thus, we will never do something such as describe a book, then ask for the author. Furthermore, our tossups do not contain vague, poorly descriptive clues that do not aid a player in answering a question, such as statements like "The Amazon is an important river." We feel that such statements do not aid a player in answering the question because they fail to specify what the question is asking for and thus create excessive ambiguity.
Our questions are designed to reward knowledge of the academic canon. As a result, our tournament sets offer the highest proportion of academic content (including literature, science, history, and many other subjects) of any major Quiz Bowl question provider at the middle school level. Furthermore, we seek to fill all of our questions with important, non-trivial clues which inspire students to learn more to not only score points, but also gain a deeper appreciation of the world around them. However, we do recognize the value of awareness of modern culture, and thus our tournament sets do include questions on modern music, sports, and other aspects of popular culture.
At Olympia, we understand that much of the joy of Quiz Bowl competition comes from being able to answer questions in subjects one is interested in. As a result, we aspire to write rigorous, yet accessible questions which teams are capable of answering. Thus, a consideration of our target audience is first and foremost in the minds of our writers while they are crafting our questions.