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A friendlier Stupor Bowl

Trivia contest to have new, more inclusive format, organizers says

Published: Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/
Team D.E.A. (Dixon Education Association), the 2011 defending champs, buzz in answers at last year's Stupor Bowl. This year, organizers are trying a new format that they hope people will find less intimidating, so more will participate.

DIXON – Hey, all you trivia titans, and all you trivia timids: The Stupor Bowl is changing its format, in hopes of attracting more participants.

The annual team competition, a fundraiser for Dixon Public Schools Foundation that has featured fast-paced buzzer trivia for the past 13 years, will be putting away the buzzers in the morning for a round of what organizer Tom Wadsworth calls “bar trivia.”

The fundraiser will be held Feb. 2 (as always, the day before the Super Bowl) in the Reagan Middle School’s cafeteria.

In years past, it has raised anywhere from $8,500 to $15,000, money the foundation uses to buy educational items. Since 2000, in fact, it has bought more than $175,000 in computer equipment, educational software and books for Dixon schools.

The new format will allow each team of up to six members to participate all at once by answering questions as a unit on a score sheet, rather than having three members per team play head to head, buzzing in to answer.

Those who love the old format need not worry, Wadsworth said – the top four teams from the morning round will compete in the afternoon in a buzzer format for the championship.

Wadsworth believes this change will be a positive one. More players will be involved, more teamwork will be displayed, the pressure of a speedy response that sometimes scares people away will be eliminated – and it cuts in half the amount of questions he has to write.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the area of what’s called bar trivia,” Wadsworth said. “From our perspective, it has plenty of potential advantages. Mostly, I think it’s going to make for a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.”

Questions in rounds 1 through 4 will be tougher than usual, since each team has the advantage of using its collective brains and about 30 seconds of time. As always, trivia categories will be about movies, TV, sports, current events, history, music, geography and Dixon.

The team entry fee depends on the type of organization. Nonprofits and family teams pay $150 per team, while corporate/business teams pay $300. This year, there will be no distinction between large and small businesses. The deadline to enter is Jan. 25.

Each team may have up to six members. At least three must be verifiable employees of the business or members of the organization, a spouse of an employee/member or a retiree who is at least 55 and who was with the organization for more than 5 years.

Pizza and refreshments will be available.

“We’re excited about the changes,” Wadsworth said. “Hopefully, people with more guaranteed playing time will have more fun and there’ll be more participation.”

To participate

Call Tom Wadsworth, 815-285-3861, or go to for entry forms, rules and more information on the 2013 Dixon Stupor Bowl.

The deadline to enter is Jan. 25.

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