A team of students from Westview High School outsmarted its competitors April 27 to become this year's Academic League county champion.
Academic League is a countywide scholarly competition that San Diego County Office of Education's iTV Cable 16 broadcasts weekly from late February through April.
The team from Westview High beat out Olympian High's team by a score of 450 to 275 in the final match, which aired live on iTV. La Jolla High and Santana High also competed in the semifinals.
Academic League forces students to compete against the clock as well as each other. The timed competition has five members from each team work together, buzzing in to answer questions and collaborating on bonus questions.
During the season leading up to the finals, high school students from throughout the county participated in the Academic League competitions.
iTV Cable 16 has been hosting Academic League since the early 1970s and broadcasting it since the 1980s, when it was known as the Academic Bowl.
Participating high schools put together teams who compete within four regional leagues across the county. Once league winners are selected, the champs of each league face off until the San Diego County Academic League champion team emerges.
Each show has the same format, with teams competing to answer the most questions correctly. Host Clark Anthony, a local TV and radio legend with more than 30 years' experience in broadcast, gives a short introduction and wraps the show up after the competition concludes. A rotating squad of moderators give the questions, which cover everything from science and literature to history, math, and music. Five students play on each team at a time, with substitutions allowed during time outs, buzzing in to answer questions. Many questions are toss-ups, where the first team to ring in and correctly answer earns points and a bonus question. Points are deducted for a wrong answer to a toss-up questions, and the other team then has three seconds to answer the question correctly.
"The matches require a lot of strategy because of the time element and because of the rules prohibiting communication during toss-up questions," said iTV Executive Producer Doug Gilmore.
If you missed the live broadcast of the final match, iTV Cable 16 will reair it May 4 at 7 p.m.