Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pace Bowl

Today I was at the regional ACE convention at George Fox University all day, where roughly 200 kids in skirts or regulation haircuts as per ACE guidelines crisscrossed campus en route to games and platform events and meals. They sang and acted their hearts out in platform events, rushed from ping-pong to Pace Bowl, and frowned over close games of checkers.

ACE is a Christian school curriculum whose unique feature is that it's all individualized, with students working their way through workbooks called Paces, which makes a small, multi-grade school more feasible.

The convention is for schools in the Northwest who use the curriculum. Students who place first, second, or third in an event advance to the International convention in Kentucky in May.

One of the events I watched today was the Pace Bowl. Teams consisted of four students from each school. Each student could answer questions in only two subjects--math, English, social studies, or science. Sometimes there's an "elective" question that's open to anyone. They play until ten "primary" questions are answered. If you're the first to answer one of these correctly, your team gets a bonus question.

So our school's team, consisting of Ben, Preston, Stephie, and Isaiah, blew away one of the first teams 114 to 5. But as the day progressed the competition got tighter and so did my nerves. Mercy, it was terrible, especially with my fine son the captain of the team.

One team in particular was really good. Fast on the buzzer, sharp with the answers. Neck and neck we and they plowed on, and by the time there was one question left, the other team was ahead and we had only a very slim chance.

Then a young man on the other team raised his hand. "Uh, I answered that last question," he said, "and I'm actually not qualified to answer science questions."

We were stunned. He had obviously been caught up in the heat of the moment when he hit the buzzer and answered. The scorekeepers should have caught it but didn't, and apparently no one else did either.

So they took away the five points for the question he'd answered, and the 10 points for the bonus question they had answered correctly, and five more points for answering out of turn.

And then our team got the next question, and the bonus question, and won the game by one point.

And then Brownsville went on to win the championship.

But the real winner of the day was that honest kid who spoke up and told the truth.


  1. I agree! He will be so glad to not have to stew over that in the nights to come. What a great kid.

  2. It is a lesson he will probably remember for the rest of his life--with great satisfaction! Bravo!

  3. Oh yay for him! I love stories like this, especially in this day and age.... God Bless him!

  4. Yes...He is a winner!