This year’s Knowledge Bowl program kicked off last month, with a number of local teams qualifying for the coming state tournament.

Knowledge Bowl is an interdisciplinary academic contest, and competitions are held in the nine Educational Service districts across the state. The Educational Service District 105 Regional Knowledge Bowl competition held Feb. 20 at Toppenish High School was open to local Class 2B, 1A and 2A schools.

Questions come from a variety of academic subjects, including literature, forms of speech, advanced math, history, world geography, science and recent news.

During competition, teams begin with a written round, which requires students to huddle around a table and answer a sheet of multiple choice questions. That round is followed by several oral rounds. A teacher is in charge of reading each question, and the first team to tap an electronic buzzer can answer the question. Another team can attempt to answer the question if the first team gives an incorrect answer.

In the regional competition at Toppenish, teams from four area schools qualified for the 30th annual Knowledge Bowl State Tournament on March 9 at Arlington High School.

West Valley won first place in the 2A division with 112 total points, getting 49 in the written portion and 63 in the three oral rounds. This is the 10th consecutive year that West Valley’s Knowledge Bowl teams have qualified for state. The school placed for the first time last year.

Also qualifying for state was Ellensburg, which took second place in the 2A division with 77 total points, 35 in the written portion and 42 in the three oral rounds. The 2B division winner was Riverside Christian with 64 total points, 30 in the written portion and 34 in the three oral rounds. Riverside Christian’s Knowledge Bowl teams have not only qualified for state for each of the 10 years that the program has been offered to schools in south central Washington, the school has also placed at state each time.

The 1A division regional champ was Highland with 53 total points, 29 in the written portion and 24 in the three oral rounds.

The winning teams from each division received individual medals and a group trophy. Every student in the competition received event pins.

Other 1A class division teams at the ESD 105 regional were White Swan with 48 total points (27 written and 21 oral) and Cle Elum-Roslyn with 46 points (29 written and 17 oral).

The other 2A division participants were Selah with 64 points (36 written and 28 oral), Grandview with 57 points (30 written and 27 oral), Wapato with 33 points (22 written and 11 oral) and Toppenish with 21 points (16 written and 5 oral).

On Feb. 27, Davis and Eisenhower high schools had a chance to advance to state as they competed in a seven-team 4A “super regional” meet at Wenatchee High School. The top three teams advanced, but Davis came in fourth (93 points) and Eisenhower came in fifth (54 points). This was the first year Eisenhower participated in the local Knowledge Bowl program.

Sunnyside participated in a combined regional for 3A schools on Feb. 28 in Kennewick, but did not qualify for state.

• Audrey Navarro is a senior at Toppenish High School and a member of the Yakima Herald-Republic’s Unleashed journalism program for high school students.