Uni Scholastic Bowl wins state tournament despite a disputed round


Uni High Scholastic Bowl continued the season at the Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl on Saturday, March 5th. Despite a controversial qualifying round where the moderator penalized Uni, Uni High advanced on to play against rival IMSA during the championships. Uni High ultimately took home the win.

Bloomington High School hosted the 2022 State Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl which included five qualifying rounds to determine the bracket for the championships. The last round against IMSA included some controversy among the players and coaches.

In the middle of the game, the moderator gave 30 points to IMSA due to a Uni High player wearing a jacket. According to the Illinois Masonic Rule Book, participants may not wear hooded sweatshirts. The Uni player was wearing a hooded jacket that was unzipped. Although the handbook does include a 30 point award to the other team for any clothing violation, it must be done during the beginning of the game. The moderator of the match awarded the points to IMSA after six rounds of questions. 

Kaila Simpson, Uni’s Scholastic Bowl coach, recounted how “everyone’s face dropped… even IMSA’s.” Although initially confused, Uni’s team captain, Lawrence Zhao, remained calm. Zhao did not want the team to get discouraged.

Uni High lost the match by 60 points but continued to the championship with the second seed, since they won all the games prior. Uni competed against IMSA during the championship match, resulting in a win for Uni, where they received $1,500 and an impressive trophy.