This year, as well as every year before it (except last year, but that's a long story) I participated in my school's Knowledge Bowl team.

Here's how Knowledge Bowl works.
Everyone meets in a common room, and then each team takes a written test of 60 questions. There is a lime limit, around 30 to 45 minutes, I think. After that is done, each team breaks our to their designated room for the First Oral Round.
In each room, there are three teams. There are 60 questions, and the teams are in competition for answering them. (Think team Jeopardy, but without Alex Trebek, or the annoying "Please state your answer in the form of a question" line.) After that round, there is a break for refreshments, and the scores are tabulated.
Based on the scores, everyone is assigned to a room for the Second Oral Round. The grouping usualy splits apart the top three teams, placing one in each room. (I 'm not sure why, but this format causes the top three teams to have an even easier time in the Second Oral. Again, 60 questions.
The team with the highest point total after the 3 parts wins. This year, we usually got around 100 points total, a very good score, if I do say so myself.

This year, we started out as a JV team.We did very well , placing in first at all four of our meets. We even outscored the varsity teams every time but once. We did so well that we were offered a chance to compete at the regional meet as a Varsity team. We took the spot, and did very well at Regionals.

In my opinion, it was lack of experience that did us in. We were rather surprised when we got to the first oral round, as the other teams were ringing in (and correctly answering the questions) after only about five words. That was new to us. However, we got out confidence back, and posted a 26 (which was the high score) on both the first and second Orals.

The regional meet was different in that there was a third oral, a championship round, in which the top three teams went head to head. We went in in First Pace, but were nearly blown out of the water. We ended up tied for second, but ther were only two slots at the State meet. We had a tiebreaker, and [dang it] the other team won.

We were all pretty discouraged after that, but hey, at least we tried for State. We could have competed at the JV level, and probably would have won the tournament there, but I think we had more fun this way.