Covid brings changes to Knowledge Bowl but can’t diminish camaraderie


Courtesy of Matt Dooley

Knowledge Bowl members rest their brains after a grueling practice.

Despite changes due to COVID, Knowledge Bowl still managed to cash in on a successful season. The team adapted to new rules which prohibited in-person competition while taking on a new class of students with lots of potential.

Instead of gathering in person and doing meets live, the Minnesota State High School League ran competitions over discord, an online communication platform, and a website called ‘’. While non-traditional and new, students recognized some benefits to the new format. “Even though there were some issues such as latency that had to be dealt with because we were operating through the internet, I was glad to be able to do meets from home because it meant that I didn’t have to drive to a school like Prior Lake or Eden Prairie and stay there for upwards of four hours,” senior captain Riley Carlson said.

Carlson also added that competing from home didn’t prevent the team from socializing and having a good time, albeit online. “The senior team had a lot of fun, especially because we were able to hang out and talk in our zoom room between questions and rounds…Our season was pretty successful as we were able to win our last regular-season meet, but we ended up coming half a point short of our goal of qualifying for state,” Carslon said.

Fellow captain Ryan Kraemer is optimistic about the program’s future. “We have a lot of knowledgeable younger members. I think if we keep replacement rate or better team growth we’ll continue to do great,” Kraemer said.

Among changes this year was a new program advisor: Mr. Matt Dooley. Dooley was excited to join and become a part of the team, and saw it as a great opportunity to integrate into BSM during his first year. “I wanted to join because I had never been part of knowledge bowl before and thought it would be a good way to get to know students at BSM in my first year here,” Dooley said.

Dooley reciprocates Carlson and Kraemer’s hopefulness, and is grateful for the leadership the captains contributed this year: “All the students were great, but our captains were especially awesome. My hopes for next year is that the team continues to build on their success this year–it’s a great community of students and I encourage all Red Knights to give it a try!”

With things likely to return to normal next year, Knowledge Bowl has a bright future, and many interesting topics for students to look forward to. “[My] favorite moment was culture bowl, which is a quiz bowl meet all about pop culture. It’s different from what we usually do and a fun way to compete,” Kraemer said.