Buzzing in with BFA’s Scholars’ Bowl

The 2020-21 regular season team standings, as of December 8. Photo credit:

Will Dumont, Contributor

Are you a big trivia fan, looking to expand your knowledge base? Do you enjoy a competitive environment but want opportunities outside of athletics? Have you been looking for a club to participate in remotely? If you answered yes to any of these questions, coaches Nate Archambault and Chris Moore invite you to join BFA’s Scholars’ Bowl team, which practices Tuesdays after school and competes against other Vermont high schools remotely.

According to, due to COVID-19, “All matches will be played online on a conference platform such as Zoom or Google Meets. To allow for differences in internet speed, there will be no buzzing. Instead, teams will be presented alternating questions on the same subject area (for example, if the first question is on American history, the second team will also immediately receive an American history question). Conferring is allowed on all questions.”

Nate Archambault said there are various benefits to the new format this year, namely less pressure or anxiety in trying to buzz in on a question before the other time or coming up with an answer individually.

According to the VT Scholars’ Bowl webpage, BFA’s A team is currently ranked third out of all teams, with a 5-1 record, behind only Essex A and Hanover (N.H.) A. Archambault suspects other teams that have been strong in the past are struggling due to low enrollment. 

“First of all, I think one of the great challenges for a lot of schools was getting kids to the table… [There are] only 13 or 14 teams that are actually competing this year, and oftentimes that’s a lot more just in our own region. Enosburg has been fielding teams, Richford has been fielding teams, MVU’s been fielding teams, Fairfax has been building teams and none of those schools are fielding teams that I know of at this point this year,” Archambault said.

BFA recently competed in the PHAT (Pre-Holiday Academic Tournament) on Dec. 5, with the A team winning five of their seven matches. Kelly Emerson (‘21) placed ninth for individuals, averaging 33.57 points per match.

BFA also competed in a regular-season tournament on Dec. 11, with the A team winning their two matches against Middlebury and St. Johnsbury, and the B team defeating two different teams from CVU, according to

When asked why students should join the Scholars’ Bowl, Archambault cited various reasons. “[There are] academic benefits. Just being around people who care about academics… So it’s a great environment for learning the exposure to all kinds of different random facts… And really, people end up having a lot of fun with it… I think for a lot of people, sometimes folks who have actually been on the quieter side when they’re first starting out ended up becoming a lot more vocal and confident as they continue to move along.”

BFA Scholars’ Bowl competes in two more tournaments before the state playoffs on Jan. 30 and hosts practices virtually on Tuesdays at 3:15 p.m. Students that are interested should contact Nate Archambault at [email protected] or Chris Moore at [email protected].