As Schools Match Wits is a high school quiz show, hosted by Chris Rohmann, that airs on PBS member station WGBY in Springfield, Massachusetts, and produced in association with Westfield State College. America's longest-running high school quiz show, As Schools Match Wits is well-known throughout western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.
|Category||Possible Point Values|
|Arts & Entertainment||30, 25, 20, 15|
|Literature||30, 25, 20, 15|
|Math & Science||30, 25, 20, 15|
|General Knowledge||30, 25, 20, 15|
|Social Studies||30, 25, 20, 15|
|World Events||30, 25, 20, 15|
After a team chooses a category and a point value, it is asked a qualifying question on which the team may confer before offering an answer. If the team answers correctly, it is then asked several more questions, each of which has a point value; the team may again confer on each one before answering. In other words, the qualifying question is not worth any points; points are scored by answering the questions that follow it. A qualifying question that is answered incorrectly is turned over to the opposing team. If the opposing team can give the correct answer, it is said to have capitalized on the mistake and is then given a chance to answer the category's questions for the selected points. In general, individual parts of the question are worth 5 or 10 points each, though on occasion, a 30-point question will have parts worth 15 points.
This round continues through several category-and-point-value selections, after which the first Lightning Round is played. The host asks as many questions as he can fit into 90 seconds. Teams buzz in to answer, and may confer briefly. Each correct answer is worth 5 points; each wrong answer costs 5 points.
Following the first Lightning Round, more regular game play takes place. Soon the final Lightning Round takes place; this is identical to the first except that each question is worth +/- 10 points. The final Lightning Round can provide both teams with tremendous amounts of points, and many a game has been decided by this final round.
The show's participants are also interviewed over the course of game play; each student talks for 15 seconds or so, usually about activities in which he or she participates or interests he or she has.
The way to determine the playoff teams is summed up best in the slogan for the show: "It's all about the points!" Only the top eight highest-scoring teams at the end of the season advance to the playoffs. This is different from the original format, where a winning team would return on the next show and needed to win three times to reach the playoffs. The current method means that a team could win their match, yet still fail to make the playoffs if there score was not one of the highest. On the flip side, a losing team could potentially make the playoffs if their score was high enough, although this is highly unlikely. The playoff format itself works in a single elimination format. The winning team receives the "Collamore Cup," named for Leonard Collamore, creator of the show and writer of the program through the 1960s and 1970s.
As Schools Match Wits, which originally aired on WWLP in Springfield, Massachusetts, is a high school quiz competition that bills itself as "America's Longest Running High School Television Quiz Show Since 1961". This high school quiz show includes schools from western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. Its regular timeslot, from at least as far back as the early 1970s until its switch to WGBY, had been Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., although it has aired at other times as well. This was especially true in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when it would sometimes air on Sunday mornings because NBC's NBA basketball telecasts pre-empted its traditional slot.
Phil Shepardson, an English professor at Westfield State College, hosted the show from 1961 to June 1991. John Baran (WWLP's station manager) took over that autumn when the show returned from its annual summer hiatus. Baran hosted from 1991-2006 and Chris Rohmann took over in January 2007, due to the switch to WGBY.
The show's creator, Leonard J. Collamore was the head question writer for 22 years, from 1961 to 1983. This was followed by Phil Shepardson from 1983-1991. Dr. Todd Rovelli has been the question writer from 1991 to the present.
For many years, the show's theme music was Leroy Anderson's "Bugler's Holiday", performed by the Boston Pops under Arthur Fiedler's direction. (This information would occasionally appear in questions used on the show.) At least two different Boston Pops recordings were used on the air: one dating from 1967, and another from 1969 that featured a guest performance by legendary trumpeter Al Hirt. The 1969 recording was dubbed off of a record owned by one of the station's engineers. In September 2000, "Bugler's Holiday" was replaced in favor of a generic-sounding, far less distinctive piece because of escalating music licensing fees. From 2007 onward, the show has retained the original "Bugler's Holiday" excerpt, played against photos of random historical content and past episode clips.
The show had the exact same light-blue-and-white set from 1982 until 2000, with trim and background changes added over the years. The set immediately prior to that one was orange, black and dark green.
The winning team for the 2007 season was Loomis Chaffee. The 2007-2008 began taping in October 2007, and began airing in November 2007.
Through most of the 1970s and 80s a localized version of this series also ran in Dayton, Ohio on WKEF television, which was at the time owned by Springfield Television Corporation in Massachusetts, but this version featured several different hosts during its run, including at one time future conservative talk show host Mike Gallagher.
In September 2006, WWLP cancelled the program after 45 seasons, citing the cost of new FCC regulations requiring all U.S. over-the-air television programming to be closed-captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing. Shortly after the cancellation was announced, however, WWLP, WGBY and Westfield State College announced a solution to keep the program on the air. WWLP has licensed the program to Westfield State College, and it returned for a 46th season in January 2007 as a co-production of Westfield State College and WGBY. The program will continue to air on Saturday evenings, now on WGBY, and with "Bugler's Holiday" as the program's returned theme. It returned to the airwaves at 7:00 p.m. on January 20th, 2007.
The new series began taping in early January 2007. As Schools Match Wits delivers all of the fun of the classic high school quiz-show and introduces a new generation of high-school students to one of the few public competitions that stresses knowledge over physical ability.
When the new season of As Schools Match Wits premiered, the show welcomed radio personality and writer Chris Rohmann as its new host. Rohmann is a writer, teacher, critic and radio personality with a broad background in the arts, journalism and the world of ideas. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School (PVPA) in South Hadley, Massachusetts, has been the theater critic for 88.5 WFCR since 2001 and contributes regularly to the Valley Advocate. A director as well as critic, he has staged plays at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company, PVPA and elsewhere. He is also the grants coordinator for New World Theater, the multicultural theater based at the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center.
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Feb 17, 2011; Greg Allen had on his best game face, but the Natick High School soccer player's foot bounced nervously. Teammate Rebecca Gerdes,...
High school quizzical ; Are you smarter than a high schooler? The glare of television lights turns to elite academic teams as they match wits in WGBH's annual battle of the brightest
Feb 13, 2011; G reg Allen had on his best game face, but the Natick High School soccer player's foot bounced nervously. Teammate Rebecca...