More Than Just a Number – What Every Quizzer Needs to Know

Bible Quizzing is a game.  More than that, Bible Quizzing is a sport.  And sports have their own radical distinctions:

  • winner and loser
  • starter and backup
  • highly paid star and league minimum role player
  • coach and player
  • player and fan

Many in our age are uncomfortable with distinctions of any kind, but especially the type of distinctions that sports create.  Often when we see these distinctions we attach value to them, a win is good, a loss is bad, starters are good, backups are bad, highly paid players are the best, etc.  But there are always exceptions to the rules, and that is where sports helps us the most, they remind us that we are more than set, predictable, chains of events.  Sports help us to get an unbiased look at ourselves in certain areas by tracking our statistics, but they also prove time and time again that it is possible to rise up from where you have started, and that more games are won or lost before they are played.

In Bible Quiz, as in all sports, there are statistics that help make distinctions.  The team with the most points out of three after twelve minutes is the undisputed winner of that round.  However, what the other two teams do in their battle for second is a stat that, sadly, is ignored by most players.  The will to continue to fight, even when facing certain defeat is a stat that is hard to quantify, but is a part of every great team and player’s makeup.

So after every quiz meet they release the “stat sheet” which shows the rankings of the teams based on bracket points + 1% of total team points.  The “stat sheet” also ranks the individual players from all the teams based solely on the amount of points each player has earned throughout the season.

The most important thing to remember is that none of us as human beings can be boiled down to just numbers.  We are more than random atoms banging against each other, and often bare statistical data is given more importance than it is worth, even by coaches who should know better, and all too often by quizzers who allow their placement on the list dictate their worth as a team member and sometimes as a Christian.

For instance when the stats roll out, it would be compelling for a coach with a full team of seven quizzers to simply pick the top five ranking quizzers as the starters for the team.  However, the stats don’t point out how many questions were asked from a given quizzer’s material during the meet, or if the quizzer was a starter to begin with throughout the meet in question, or if the quizzer was always ready to be thrown into the fray, or how the quizzer dealt with failure, from themselves and from their team mates.  So it goes back to my days on the playground waiting to be picked on someones team to play baseball, football, dodge-ball, basketball, whatever.  I was never the best player, I’ve always been wider than tall, but I would always plead my case from the dwindling picks saying, “how am I ever going to get better, if you never let me play?”

Of course the answer to my question was practice and seizing opportunities as they came, not pouting or giving in to the lie that what we are today is all we will ever be able to be.  And the answer is still the same today.  In the end it doesn’t matter if you think you are good, you have to prove it, and to prove it takes what is called “heart”, it is what distinguishes players from each other more than stats because talent is never enough, and “heart” can’t be measured or weighed, only witnessed and respected.

This short movie is just one true story of how a boy who had “heart” became the legend who had “stats”.


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