Steamboat Springs This high school team must know everything from ornithology to poetry, calculate mathematical equations within seconds and often give answers before hearing the entire question.
Ten Steamboat Springs High School students participate in Knowledge Bowl, a competition that tests their scholastic skill and ability to think quickly.
Those who participate in the activity compare it to "Jeopardy!" in that it requires them to know a myriad of information.
"It's random knowledge," junior John Brassell said.
Brassell and his teammates competed Saturday in a Knowledge Bowl tournament hosted by Steamboat Springs High School.
The Steamboat A team placed second after the Clear Creek A team.
The Moffat County A team finished third.
The Sailors will travel to Granby Friday for a regional tournament.
First- and second-place finishers will go to the state Knowledge Bowl tournament in Alamosa, where winning teams receive scholarships.
Junior Christian Hogrefe and senior Joe Cutler participated in Knowledge Bowl last year, and both competed at the state tournament.
It was the first time Steamboat qualified for the state tournament in several years, Cutler said.
If he and his teammates qualify next week, they will face tough competition, he said.
The Sailors practice Tuesdays and Thursdays during their lunch hour.
The students pore over old questions from old competitions and hope they find similar ones in competition.
The material gives them a chance to improve their familiarity with a wide range of subjects, sophomore Lia Kozatch said.
Many of their peers have not heard of Knowledge Bowl, Kozatch said.
But the wealth of information they gather from their experience in the activity helps them in the classroom, she said.
Three teams of four students compete against each other in a 50-minute round. Students hold buzzers to press when they think they know the answer.
"If you think of a possible answer, you buzz in really quickly," Brassell said.
Often, students will buzz in without hearing the full question, he said, to prevent the other team from answering first.
Fifty questions, covering categories such as scientific measurement, parodies, Europe and trigonometric functions, are read in each of the three rounds.
The Steamboat A team earned 108 points Saturday, only two points behind Clear Creek.