Are you a store of useless knowledge? So is the Thelion Society, also known as UR’s quiz bowl club.

“The Thelion Society emerged from a broader interest in many types of quiz bowl competitions,” adviser and coordinator of the Thelion Society Brenda Myrthil said.

Quiz bowl is a competition where teams compete to see who has a grasp of the most trivia. The Thelion Society was founded in spring of 2001 by then-senior Ben Hines and other members of the College Bowl team, including current president and junior Michael Adelman. The name comes from Hines’ vanity license plate, which reads “THE LION” for his nickname. When questioned why his plates read “Thelion,” the name of the club was born.

“I had suggested to students that they change their name to a more descriptive name, but they decided to stick with the original name,” Myrthil said.

Last year, the club competed at several tournaments at schools such as Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan, winning one and performing well at the others. This earned them the ranking of the 21st best team in the country in an independent poll last year.

The club has continued to expand with 20 current members. In the Big Red Royal Rumble at Cornell, the A team of graduate student Fred Bush, sophomore Micha Elsner and Adelman won first place against the University of Maryland’s A team.

At the Academic Competition Federation held at Case Western Reserve University on Nov. 2, the team of Bush, graduate student Zak Talarek, Elsner, freshman Sid Parameswaran and Adelman finished in a tie for third place. Future tournaments will be held at University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Case Western.

UR will be hosting its second pop culture trivia intramural tournament, UR Trash, on Feb. 1. The UR Trash will be open to anyone who wants to play.

Competitions are run with two teams of four facing off, and each team has a buzzer. There is an initial toss-up question of 10 points and the team that answers it correctly has a chance to answer a bonus question usually worth about 30 points. There are two seven minute halves.

However, the Thelion Society does not only compete in tournaments. In fact, they encourage players to come and participate in the weekly practices and have fun with them.

“The Thelion Society was designed so that people who wanted to play quiz bowl would not have to wait for the campus intramural tournament every year to take part,” Adelman said.

“It’s all the useless stuff they told you in school finally coming back and being useful,” freshman member of the Thelion Society Andrew Boardman said.

“I enjoyed Mastermind during high school and I’m glad to have the opportunity to participate still with the College Bowl,” sophomore Kaeti Stoss said.

The club meets every Thursday in Lovejoy 117 from 7 to 9 p.m., and players of every skill level are encouraged to participate.

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