Building a Practice
There are four main components most groups use to form their practices:
Practice and training time
Some groups also include things such as games, snacks, team activities and more in their practices. Details and ideas for each component that the majority of groups include are outlined below. Also included on this page are ideas for different ways to arrange the four components and fun games you could play. Please see the Advanced Practices or the Quizzing Tips pages for training ideas.
A devotional or teaching time is important to help youth understand the meaning of the words they are studying. The mission of Bible Quizzing is “to see visible evidence of Christ in the application of each participant’s life”. We want to equip youth to know Biblical truths, not only quote scripture. Commonly, groups will either study the current week’s material, or look forward to the next week’s material. Fifteen minutes may be enough for the devotional as youth should be studying the chapter on their own. Some groups choose to have an hour long devotional and dig deeper; it is your choice. This is a time to study as a group and share insights. Consider asking other coaches or older quizzers to lead a devotional or two throughout the year. Some church leaders, missionaries, worship larders, prayer sponsors or others may even be willing.
Spending time in prayer helps develop spiritual character, provides a time to support each other and builds team unity. Many groups have a public prayer time with each participant sharing any requests they have, then they pray for all the requests and a leader closes once everyone has finished. Some groups record all prayer petitions in a booklet to look back on and see how God has answered prayer throughout the year. Some groups also have prayer sponsors and will send some of the requests on to them.
Each verse the quizzer learns needs to be said on three different weeks. Thus, each week, the quizzer needs to quote three times as many verses as they have learned that week. A significant amount of practice time needs to designated for verse listening. Make sure to have enough helpers and parents trained for Verse Listening.
Sometimes, you may need to set a time limit on each quizzer’s quoting time to ensure that everyone get a turn. Fifteen minutes, even for texters, should be enough time to quote all three weeks’ worth of material if they know it well. Some groups have a treat or candy for quizzers after they have quoted. Some groups have verse listeners come before practice starts and they can listen to quizzers prior to when the actual practice begins. This is a great way to help any quizzers who need extra help with their verses, or listen to a quizzer without taking away from the quizzers’ time doing the other activities during practice.
Competition and Training
Practice is a time to train and correct quizzers in their quizzing, as well as provide them with a chance to practice answering questions, jumping and to review the material they have learned. This includes general training about question types, best practices for each question, rules and challenging. Our Quizzing Tips section has a lot of information geared towards quizzers about the above topics; you can incorporate them into your practices in fun ways to give the quizzers practice. Some things not covered in that section are Ws, Syllable jumping and some info on training for challenging. These topics are covered in the Advanced Practices page. Make sure to include many different learning styles in your practices. Each individual is different and learns in a different way. See the Quizzing Tips for more info.
Perhaps the first thing to teach quizzers is equipment care. Not only do you want them to treat your expensive equipment properly, but they should also be considerate when using other team’s benches at tournaments.
Teach them to always watch out for the cords. Snagging a cord with their foot could send the control box crashing off the table. If needed, place a rug over the cords, or wrap them around table and bench legs to avoid this.
Teach the quizzers to be careful of the benches. The pads and benches should always be carried, set down and set up with the utmost care. Cords should not be tightly wrapped around the pads as this causes the cords to breakdown inside their casing. Quizzers should NEVER bounce on the seats. Teaching proper jumping techniques will also help with this.
When referring to a quizzer getting the right to answer because they made their light go on first, we use the term “jump”. It is not a jump, rather it is slight forward movement, and a little upwards movement. The smallest movement is the fastest, so the less movement in their “jump” the better. On benches, teach them to feel and listen for the click. That is what experienced quizzers do between questions when they are repeatedly jumping. Some rookies see this and think they are just jumping, so they bounce on the benches between questions “because that is what you do”. Never allow this as it harms the sensors. Teach them to sit on the edge of their seat, sit fully down, then slowly rise until they feel or hear the click. When they hear it, they should stop rising and lower themselves down slightly so that their light is off. If needed, they can move upwards again to feel how close they are to jumping, then back down. Then hover right at the spot before the click makes the light go on. It should be a very slow, non-jarring movement of controlled speed on the bench to find ones jump. For more jumping techniques, please see the Quizzing Tips section.
To get practice jumping, actual quizzing on a set of equipment is essential. Quizzes can focus on the most recent material, but should also include a significant amount of questions from older material. The practice and review will help motivate youth to study all material to keep it fresh. Generally, quizzes should be similar to those at tournaments: well mixed in question type and chapter. This is to simulate a tournament quiz. Sometimes focusing on a particular trouble chapter or special questions may be needed for training at practice.
Games, relays and other things can make Quizzing even more fun and exciting. Almost any game can be adapted to help teach some aspect of the material. There are so many ideas!
Relays: run to match verses, keywords, key phrases and more!
Bingo: make grids with a specific question type in each box. Ask them questions and have them cover the question type they just answered correctly. Try using skittles to mark the boxes. Yum!
Janga: they pull a block if they get a question right.
Balloons: put key words in balloons, they pop the balloon and give the words around the unique word.
Word Searches: use keywords.
Crosswords: refer to key words, or verses they know.
Indoor Golf: they get a stroke for every question right.
Kingpin: move towards the king location for every question right.
The head coach might be amazing, but they can’t do everything. Ask quizzers or helpers to plan a game that teaches the verses, keywords or some other part of the material. This helps so that the head coach doesn’t have to.
Monthly review challenges, quoting competitions, prizes and more can also help keep Quizzing fun, see the Advanced Practice page for more. Think of creative ways to help youth stay engaged and learning. Contact other coaches for more ideas.
Running practice is huge responsibility and the head coach can’t do it themselves. (Did we already say that?)
As well as proper papers, make sure that adults are properly trained. The way they perform their jobs will train quizzers, so make sure they are performing them in accordance with the Rulebook, so that the quizzers won’t get any surprizes at the tournament while quizzing under different table staff. It is also important that adults are properly trained for their positions so they can fill in during a tournament if needed.
The time to train adults is during each weekly practice, not during tournaments. Please see the Rulebook, the Scorekeeper’s pages, the Answer Judges page and the Quiz Master’s page for detailed information on each position. Handy information on questions and rulings can also be found on the Acceptable Answers page and the All About Questions page. There is also a page for coaches on this website. Information for Verse Listening is below.
Verse Listening: probably the easiest of the positions to train. Simply explaining how verse listening works and the requirements should be enough. Each time the verse is said, it has a different standard, building in strictness. The District Committee’s recommendations are below.
The first time a verse is said, a significant amount of help is allowed. The quizzer will have only learned the verse that week after all. The Verse Listener can help the quizzer with the reference, individual words, small phrases and more. As much as the Verse Listener can help the quizzer, ensure that the quizzer still knows the majority of the verse. If not, it should not be signed off; let them come back next week to try saying it. The quizzer must quote the verse perfectly through one complete time without help, before it can be signed off.
The second time the verse is said, some help is also allowed. Make sure to give less help than during the first time as they should know the verse better.
The third time a verse is said, the quizzer should know the verse perfectly, without help. the Verse Listener may need to help them connect the reference. Some tag lines can be really tricky to remember or they may have substituted some words for other similes, the Verse Listener can help the quizzer with very few such words if needed.
Make sure the Verse Listener understands how to sign off the tracking sheets and the different standards for each time the verse is quoted.
There are several ways of arranging a practice, and it is impossible to detail each one. Only the most common arrangements will be explained.
Some groups use a welcome game to build a buffer zone of time at the start of the evening. Once everyone has arrived, they move into a devotional time, led by coaches, mature quizzers or special guests, such as pastors, parents and others. The game and devo take up about the first half hour of the two-hour practice. The group generally splits the quizzers into two groups. Depending on what the practice focus is, the groups may be guys vs girls, seniors vs rookies, club texters vs non-texters, or two other groups. The idea to split up the groups so that each quizzer can quiz at an attainable level within the smaller group. One group will quiz competitively on benches (possible doing some training exercises such as W jumping, syllable jumping or error control) while the other group heads to “the review room”. In the review room they may play games, answer question in a non-competitive circle, do relays, write questions and more. The idea is to review older material in a non-competitive format. As soon as the groups split, a few quizzers will go with a verse listener to quote their verses for the evening. Once the quizzer has finished, they go back to their group and get the next quizzer to cycle through quoting. This way everyone can quote, without setting any time aside for it. Each group generally gets 45 minutes doing each activity before switching to do the other activity. In the fifteen minutes at the end, the groups come back together for prayer time and announcements. The practice is two hours long.
Larger groups tend to be a little be more “team focused” and break into their teams for tournaments at each practice to accomplish their quizzing. One group takes their first half hour of practice to set their rooms up, insure everyone has arrived and do anything else that needs doing. If Verse Listeners are available and quizzers are ready, they can quote during this time. For the next half hour, they break the larger town-based group into the teams they quiz in for tournaments. Each individual coach manages the time and facilitates training and learning. Generally, they quote, have a prayer time, work on questions, quizzing word puzzle or other activities. This “team time” is followed by a full group devotional on the chapter(s) studied that week. The devo is 30 minutes long and followed by a short announcement time. Next, the quizzers are broken into two groups and spend 30 minutes in two of the three following rooms.
The Bench room where they focus on jumping on benches with quizzes that include all material to date.
The pads rooms where things are a little more relaxed and they may play quizzing games such as kingpin, while still learning all material.
The study room where they may play games, review verses or more.
Again, it is about a two-hour practice.
Please don’t feel like you need to follow a set format for making your practice. You can arrange it in any way you feel will work best with your team. Many groups do things differently and practices can be customized in many ways.
Some groups have quizzers who want to push themselves a little harder come about 45 minutes before the other quizzers arrive. They help set everything up, then spend time practicing with an experienced coach. They may practice advanced techniques such as W control, syllable jumping, error control, refined jumping speed and more. To get better at it, they might also spend time quoting or just working a specific question type.
Some groups have an extra practice the week before a tournament. They may play games, have snacks, talk about the upcoming tournament, practice on benches or any number of things at this special practice.
Some groups have a snack or “quote treat” at the end of each practice. This is fun and can encourage youth to stay up-to-date on their quoting, if used as a reward for completing their weekly requirement. Create a sign-up sheet to have quizzers or different people from the church take turns bringing a snack.
Customise your practice to whatever fits your abilities and the needs of the quizzing families.
Practices are vital to keeping youth engaged, adults feeling inspired, and for accomplishing the mission of Quizzing: “to see visible evidence of Christ in each participant’s life.” Practices are the foundation for a good group, successful tournaments and spiritual growth. Make sure that your practices are fun, fair, challenging and uplifting.