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Blue Crab Bowl Coming to ODU Campus

Bishop Sullivan High School team is shown in 2012 Blue Crab BowlAt ODU in 2012, Bishop Sullivan’s winning team huddles to come up with an answer: (from left) Matt Foley, Walker Olsen, Will Harris and Cameron Forren. Blue Crab Bowl Logo

Teams from Virginia high schools, including perennial favorite Bishop Sullivan High School in Virginia Beach, will compete in the 17th Annual Blue Crab Bowl Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Old Dominion University.

The Blue Crab Bowl is Virginia's regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. It aims to encourage students' understanding and awareness of ocean topics, including oceanography, geology, biology, maritime history and marine policy.

Teams from Bishop Sullivan, coached by science teacher Bill Dunn, have established something of a dynasty as competition winners in recent years.

The event is hosted in alternating years by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and ODU's Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Several dozen ODU faculty, graduate students, and research and support staff have volunteered this year to officiate and manage the event. Victoria Hill of the ODU oceanography faculty is ODU's coordinator for the bowl.

The some 100 participants each year prepare through class work and extracurricular study with their science teachers, who serve as coaches. The preparation involves marine science topics, quick-response drills and the development of team and analytical skills for the quiz bowl setting.

The visiting students will register and participate in a mock bowl at Webb Center on Friday afternoon. The ODU Student Recreation Center will host team challenge events on Friday evening.

Actual competition begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with round-robin rounds, followed at noon by double-elimination rounds.

Competition relocates to the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building for championship rounds at approximately 2:30 p.m. and there will be breaks during which spectators can come and go. An awards ceremony in the Life Sciences Building will immediately follow the final round.

The winning team will qualify to compete in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl finals in Seattle in May.

This year's Blue Crab Bowl is made possible by the sponsorship of national, regional and local sponsors. These include the Office of University Events, Webb Center and Pretlow Planetarium at ODU; Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program; Hampton Inn-Naval Base Norfolk; Nauticus; the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association; and the National Marine Educators Association.