IHS Brain Team



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The Brain Team is Ithaca High School’s nationally-ranked Quizbowl team, a diverse group of young men and women that compete in academic quiz competitions locally, regionally, and nationally. Questions can be on all topics: science, literature, history, fine arts, philosophy, mythology, social sciences, current events, and even pop culture (affectionately referred to as “trash”). Teams from Ithaca regularly rank very high at tournaments and have appeared at national competitions every year since the team’s founding in 2002.

Team News

  • 5/27/19 – Ithaca heads to Atlanta, GA to play at the NAQT High School National Academic Championship Tournament. They break the team record by going 8-2 in the preliminary matches, being one of only a handful of teams to qualify for the playoffs in only their first seven Saturday rounds. On Sunday, they make it all the way to the quarterfinals before finally finishing their run with a 13-4 record and a 5th place trophy.
  • 5/22/19 – Ithaca is ranked 17th in the nation (2nd in New York) in the official HSQBRank Pre-Nationals rankings, in addition to being ranked 11th in Groger Ranks’ HSNCT rankings
  • 4/28/19 – Ithaca spends the weekend in Arlington, VA to play at the National History Bowl national championship tournament, besting their initial ranking of 26th out of 144 teams to finish 15th, setting a new team record for this tournament!
  • 2/23/19 – In an unofficial appearance, the Ithaca A team takes 2nd place at MIT’s Spring Tournament, losing in a forced game three of an advantaged final. On the same day, updated Morlan Rankings place Ithaca as 11th team in the nation.

At the 2018 NAQT High School National Academic Tournament, the team of three juniors and one sophomore made it to the Sunday playoffs with a 6-4 record. They won their first match but then lost their second, finishing officially tied for 51st. At previous appearances at HSNCT, the team finished tied for 5th in 2017116th in 2015, tied for 53rd in 2014, and 100th in 2013. At the 2018 PACE National Scholastic Championship, the team made it into the top playoff bracket, but unfortunately went winless from there and finished ranked 28th out of 96 teams. The team’s accomplishments over the entire 2017/2018 season led them to be statistically ranked 68th in the entire nation, and third in New York.

If you’re unfamiliar with Quizbowl and would like to know more about it, please check out our What is Quizbowl? page. For updates on the 2018/2019 season, please visit our Tournament Recaps page. For resources for current (or new/interested!) players, check out our Player Resources page. For a list of upcoming tournaments we are scheduled to or are considering attending, check the calendar below or the Upcoming Tournaments page. For live updates at tournaments and to get a taste for what these talented students know,  follow our Twitter feed @IHSBrainTeam and the Quizbowl Fact of the Day (#QBFOD)