Archived radio high school quiz programs

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Format and Rules



FIRST ROUND The program open welcomes teams and gives the rules for Round One.

The “Initial Round” will consist of ten questions on a variety of subjects, but each of the answers will begin with the same initial.  The initial will be announced before the questions are asked.  The team winning a coin toss before the game will have the option of answering first in the first two rounds or following the other team.  The captain of the team going first will select five numbers from 1 to 10, ensuring random allocation of the ten questions.  Ten points will be awarded for each correct answer, except for one “plus points” question valued at 20 points.


“The Letter A”

It’s the name of the capital of Greece, and also that of the city that is home to Ohio University.  What is it?  ANS: Athens;

Who wrote “Little Women”?  ANS: Louisa Mae Alcott;

One of the great gods of Greek mythology, he had a twin sister named Artemis. ANS: Apollo

What ancient device was used in China and other Asian countries to perform arithmetic problems”? ANS: abacus

What is the capital of New York state? ANS: Albany;

Whose wanderings are described in an epic poem by Virgil? ANS: Aeneas.


SECOND ROUND  The score and other announcements including reading of rules for Round Two. The Current Events Round is scored the same as the first round.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS:  (from 2015 programs)

1. Brisk sales of tech stocks brought the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 indices to record levels in recent days. In reference to the latter index, what do the letters S&P stand for? Ans: Standard & Poors

2.The first major figure in the GOP Presidential race was Ted Cruz, a senator from what state? Ans: TEXAS

3. Responding to the historic drought, what governor of California recently ordered mandatory restrictions hoping to cut water use by 25%?  Ans: Jerry BROWN

4. Coincidentally in its 100th anniversary year, the Cleveland Play House was honored in late April with what prestigious award from a New York organization? Ans: The TONY Award for Regional Theatre 2015


THIRD ROUND  This is the Theme round, consists of 10 questions in which the questions or answers are related in some way which the moderator will explain.  It is the first round to use buzzers.  The team to buzz in first will have the first opportunity to answer any given question.  Correct answers score 10 points, except for one 20-point “plus points” question.  An incorrect answer by the first team gives the other team a chance to answer.



What state was 14th in the Union? ANS: Vermont

Hoover Dam is in what state? ANS: Nevada;


Boris Pasternak wrote what famous novel about a doctor? ANS: “Dr. Zhivago”;

Who was the first to develop an effective polio vaccine? ANS: Dr. Jonas Salk

What doctor treated the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth? ANS: Samuel Mudd


What city is home to Yale University? ANS: New Haven

What American Library Association medal honors an author of a children’s book? ANS: Newberry Medal

What subtitle is given to Dvorak’s 9th Symphony? ANS: New World

What is the capital of India? ANS: New Delhi;


Who was the second U.S. astronaut into space? ANS: Gus Grissom

Who was the second African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court? ANS: Clarence Thomas.

AFTER ROUND THREE.   Student Presentations

follow an announcement of the score and at this point.

For Presentations, each of the teams will speak for about two minutes.  The team which won the coin toss will go first.  The talks shall include all three team members of each team, each of them speaking for about forty seconds.  The presentations begin with the show moderator introducing the team captain by name.  Possible structure:  The team captain will speak about each member of the team, then introduce the second  member who will give a description of the school.  The second member of the team will then introduce the third who will give additional information about the school, focusing on winning teams, community activities, or other items of interest.

Advisory to participants: Programs are sometimes recorded up to several weeks before broadcast.  Be sure you are not promoting events which will have already happened by air time.

After the presentations:

ROUND FOUR   Five people, events, places or things to be identified from with clues of decreasing difficulty. A correct answer after each first clue will be worth 50 points; after the second clue it will be worth forty points, and so forth until a final 10-point clue.



50 POINTS–Born 5/2/1820, she was named for the city in which she was born.

40 POINTS– She was the first woman to receive the British Order of Merit.

30 POINTS– Soldiers in the Crimean War gave her a famous nickname.

20 POINTS– The nickname was “The Lady With the Lamp”.

10 POINTS– She founded the nursing profession as we know it today.

ANS: Florence Nightingale


50 POINTS–This land was discovered in 1741 by Vitus Bering.

40 POINTS– It became a U. S. territory on 8/29/1912.

30 POINTS– It had first become a part of the United States when purchased in 1867 for $7,200,000.

20 POINTS– The seller in 1867 was Czar Alexander III.

10 POINTS– Copper mining, tourism and salmon are its biggest industries.

ANS: Alaska


50 POINTS–The ancient Greeks knew of a form of it.  J. Priestly wrote a book about it in 1767.

40 POINTS– Priestly’s “inverse square law” was confirmed by Cavendish and Coulomb.

30 POINTS– G. S. Ohm published additional research in 1826.

20 POINTS– The common nature of all of its manifestations was demonstrated in 1826 by Michael Farraday, who originated the concept of its “field lines”.

10 POINTS– It’s the phenomenon of charged particles with a force field, a form of energy generated by friction, induction, or chemical change.

ANS: electricity.

FIFTH ROUND  After an Announcement of the score and a station break, pairs of general knowledge questions will be asked for a 9½-minute time period.  The first of each question pair will be answered first by the team to buzz first.  A correct answer will add 10 points for that team.  An incorrect answer will bring about a 10-point score reduction for that team and a chance for the other team to answer the same question. The other team may then buzz to gain or lose 10 points. After it is answered correctly, the team giving the correct answer will hear the second of the pair of questions.  That second question answered correctly will score 20 points, but an incorrect response will not reduce the score.


Q1: The fraction three one-hundredths is one percent of what number? ANS: 3….BONUS QUESTION: The number 54 is what percent of 200? ANS: 27

Q1: In poetry, “heptameter” signifies how many metrical feet? ANS: 7…BONUS: “Hexameter” is a line of how many metrical feet? ANS: 6

Q1: What public official was known as the “Great Compromiser”? ANS: Henry Clay…BONUS: What U.S. political leader was known as the “Great Commoner”? ANS: William Jennings Bryan

Q1: What element used in alloys has the symbol “Si”? ANS: Silicon…BONUS:  What is the main ore of aluminum, consisting of hydrated aluminum oxide? ANS: Bauxite

Q1: Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” takes place during which war? ANS: Spanish Civil War…BONUS: In Crane’s “The Red Badge of Courage”, the hero fought for which side? ANS: The North.

6. The program closes with sponsor messages and announcements of the final score and awards.

GENERAL RULES:  After a question is asked, an answer spoken by any team member is considered official.  Only a team’s first answer is considered.  Only if judges rule that two answers were given simultaneously will the team captain be asked to select an answer.  Before answering (but not after buzzing in), team members may confer softly with one another.  Once a judge rules that an answer has been given, a team may not claim it was only “conferring”.  When answers are slow in coming, the moderator will decide when time has expired.  In rounds when a buzzer is heard, it will mean an answer is ready:  the moderator will stop reading, even in mid-sentence.  When a team gives no answer after buzzing, the lack of an answer will be ruled the same as an incorrect answer and any remaining part of the question will be read for the other team.  When audio excerpts from music, literature, or the news are interrupted by a buzzer, they may be played through but the accompanying question will not be asked.  Appeals must be from the team’s advisor during breaks between rounds.  Judges decisions are final.  Ties will be broken by the first team to answer a question correctly in overtime.


Every effort will be made to accommodate the scheduling challenges of schools and teams.  Any request to cancel or reschedule must be made in time to notify others planning to attend, specifically the other school and program production staff, but keeping in mind that people are invited to be in the audience.  When such a cancellation occurs, the offending school will be disqualified for competition the remainder of the school year.  Such forfeiture, however, will not affect the requirement of another team to participate in competition.