Junior Crusader Bible Quizzing


by Marty Johnson

A. History of Junior Bible Quizzing

Several years ago, Sister Mary Thornton, (wife of Reverend James L. Thornton, a United Pentecostal Church minister) was approached by a young boy who attended their church. He asked Sister Thornton if he could quiz on their Bible Quiz team. She had to explain to him that he was not old enough to meet the required age for quizzing. His reply was, “I’m not old enough to do anything!” By the time he reached the age to participate on the church team it was too late. He had gotten involved in other outside activities, and later left the church. It was this incident that prompted Brother and Sister Thornton to begin a Junior Bible Quizzing Program. The year of 1978 was the first year of its existence. Brother and Sister Thornton sent out letters across our fellowship prompting Junior Bible Quizzing. She compiled and wrote all the material and offered it to any church that would be interested in starting a program in their church.

The first year there were five teams from Kentucky and Tennessee. Then in 1979, teams came from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee. In 1980 teams from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee participated. By 1981 Junior Bible Quizzing was “on the move.” Teams came from several of our states and one team came all the way from California to Trenton, Tennessee to Quiz in the finals.

In 1982 the General Sunday School Division adopted
Junior Bible Quizzing as one of its programs. It was a tremendous success as teams from all across our fellowship came to compete in the First (official) National Junior Crusader Bible Quizzing Tournament which was held at the World Evangelism Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

B. The Purpose of Bible Quizzing

The ten goals that are listed in the Junior Crusaders Bible Quiz Manual sums up the purpose of quizzing.

1. To keep our children by hiding the Word in their  hearts.
2. To build character by teaching them how to win and lose in life’s battles.
3. To teach church involvement at an early age.
4. To provide a worthy outlet for their energies.
5. To provide a time of Christian fellowship.
6. To teach our children to think (especially in relation to understanding the Scriptures).
7. To teach our children the values of discipline, especially self-discipline.
8. To teach the purpose of goal setting.
9. To create a fun learning session that provides a foundation for future quizzing.
10. To bless the entire church by providing a place of involvement for former quizzers as coaches and
quiz masters, by providing study materials that pastors can utilize to teach the whole church, and to strengthen families by in-depth studies of the Word for children.

You will need at least one person to be a coach. This person must be dedicated and willing to work. This person should be one who can spend time with the quizzers and be interested in their studying time. They should know how to write questions and know (or learn) the general rules for Junior Bible Quizzing. Also needed is an assistant coach. This person should be one who will share the responsibilities with the coach and work well with the quizzers. An assistant coach should know how to keep score, keep up with fouls and errors, operated the buzzer and keep time. (If you have more than one assistant coach these responsibilities will be shared.) More than two coaches can be registered with a team; however, during a tournament quiz, a team is only allowed one coach and one assistant coach to be with the team.

During a tournament game it is the coach’s responsibility to call “time out” at the time needed, to put in or take out a quizzer when needed, and to listen to the question asked and the answer given in case of a contest. It is the assistant coach’s responsibility to keep and inform the coach of the score and the fouls and errors of your team and also of the opposing team.

Each church has different methods and uses from one to five (or as many as they find they need) to help when having a quiz study time. You can decide what is best for your team.

Personnel Needed for a Tournament Quiz

1. QUIZ MASTER: The Quiz Master is the person in charge of the proceedings during the tournament competition. He has a tremendous task in conducting an impartial and successful quiz function. The questions for the tournament should be read prior to the actual quizzing to familiarize the Quiz Master with the questions, and prevent hesitation while reading the question in a quiz. The Quiz Master is responsible to meet with the quiz teams prior to the first quiz for a brief orientation session. Questions concerning any rules or regulations can be answered at this time. A drawing should be conducted at this time to determine the order of play. The questions should be read exactly as they are on the sheet. They are to be read slowly, clearly, and loudly enough for all the participants to hear properly. The number of the question, the point value and the type of question (quotation question, multiple question, etc.) must be declared before the reading of the question.

The quizzer is given the full thirty seconds to answer, unless the response is obviously either correct or incorrect, then the quiz master should announce if the answer is correct or incorrect, or he should refer to the judges table for deliberation, then announce the decision.

The Quiz Master, after the final answer is declared correct or incorrect, is to state, “This Quiz is closed.” After the score is tabulated the Quiz Master then reads the score and proceeds with the next quiz. There are rules given for the Quiz Master in the Junior Crusaders Bible Quiz Manual.

2. JUDGES: The judges are the officials responsible for ruling on questions and procedures. In all official quizzes, there shall be three Judges. One Judge shall be appointed to judge fouls; the other two will he responsible to render opinions on indefinite answers, and to confer with the Quiz Master during the resolution of contest situations. The Foul Judge is responsible to catch for any foul being committed during a quiz. The Quiz Master, as well as the other Judges can call fouls. The foul should not be called while the question is being answered, but rather wait until the quizzer is completed with the answer, then call the foul. (Things a Foul Judge should watch for and Rules for Judges are listed in the Junior Crusaders Bible Quiz Manual.)

3. SCORE KEEPER: The Score Keeper is responsible for official tabulation of the individual and team scores accumulated during the quiz. The point value and results of each question should be tabulated on an individual basis on the official score sheet. The Score Keeper is to notify the Quiz Master as soon as a quizzer has answered six questions correctly, has acquired five fouls or has made three errors; also if a team has exceeded the number of allowable time-outs or denied contest. At the conclusion of the quiz, the Score Keeper will give the score sheet to the Quiz Master who will announce the results of the Quiz. The Score Keeper is responsible for tabulation of individual scores in a tournament to identify high scoring quizzers. It is recommended that the Score Keeper have an assistant Score Keeper. (There are Guidelines for the Score Keeper in the Bible Quiz Manual.)

4. TIME KEEPER: It is the Time Keeper’s responsibility to rule in all matters pertaining to time limits. It is strongly recommended that the Time Keeper use a stop watch to assure accuracy. Time should be called if no one attempts to answer the question in five seconds after the question has been asked. After the Buzzer Operator has identified the Quizzer to answer the question, thirty seconds are allowed to complete the answer. Each time-out is permitted sixty seconds. During a contest situation, sixty seconds are allowed to make the decision whether or not to bring the issue to the Judges and Quiz Master for consideration. (Guidelines in Manual.)

5. BUZZER OPERATOR: The Buzzer Operator is responsible to operate the electronic buzzer system. They must make sure that the buzzer system is in proper working order. When a quizzer responds to a question, the Buzzer Operator will identify the quizzer by calling the team color and the quizzer’s number. (See Guidelines in Manual.)

6. TAPE OPERATOR: In official quizzes, a tape recorder should be used in order to help the Judges and Quiz Master in ruling on difficult answers. No other recording of an official quiz should be permitted. (See Guidelines in Manual.)

D. Eligibility of Participants

1. To be eligible to participate in junior Crusader Bible Quiz program, one must be not more than 11 years of age as of June 1 for the given quiz year.

2. The young person must be in good standing and faithful in attendance to his/her local church. Other qualifications, if any, will be established by the Pastor.

3. If a member of a registered team in a District relocates prior to the District Tournament or the North American Quiz Tournament, he/she will still be eligible to remain a member of the team and compete during that year of competition.

E. Eligibility of Teams

1. All teams competing must be pastored by a licensed minister of the United Pentecostal Church International.

2. It is possible to have teams from the following sources: (a) the local church of any size, (b) any group of churches within the same district, with not more than 350 in total attendance – the total attendance being based upon the previous year’s Sunday School average.

3. Any church will be allowed to have more than one team, if desired.

4. Quizzers on a team cannot be altered after the June lst registration deadline.

5. A team must have at least two quizzers and not more than five registered for any tournament.

F. District Competition

1. All teams desiring to compete in District Competition must register with the District officials by June 1. To register, a team must pay the registration fee, as designated by the District, and submit the names of all quizzers and coaches on the team.

2. Competition on the District level will be arranged by the District Sunday School Director and the District Quiz Officials.

3. The District Competition must take place between June 1 and July 31.

4. The Sunday School Division will provide official questions for use in the District Competition. These questions shall be made available to the first and second place teams in the District, following the District Tournament, for use in study purposes. Under no circumstances are these questions to be passed on to any other team. To do so would automatically disqualify both teams involved from participation in further quizzing activities during the remainder of the quizzing year.

5. No team shall be eliminated by a single loss. A double-elimination arrangement is mandatory for all levels of quizzing competition.

6. Should there be only one qualified team desiring to compete in a District, that team shall automatically represent its District at the North American Bible Quiz Tournament.

7. District tournaments shall be structured in a way to avoid concurrent competition.

8. It is strongly recommended that the District Sunday School Division provide financial assistance to the first place team participating in the Junior Crusader North American Bible Quiz Tournament at  Hazelwood, Missouri.

G. North American Competition (National Finals)

1. The Junior Crusader North American Bible Quiz Tournament shall be held each August with the dates and places selected by the General Sunday School Division.

2. The General Sunday School Director and the Quiz Director shall appoint, annually, a Quiz Master to
be responsible for officiating at the Bible Quiz Tournament

3. The Tournament shall be arranged for double-elimination play. All teams shall play at least twice.

4. The Quiz Director and the Quiz Masters shall select qualified officials for the Junior Crusader Bible
Quiz Tournament.

5. The Tournament shall be structured so that concurrent competition shall occur.

6. All teams eligible to compete in the Junior Crusader North American Bible Quiz Tournament shall register with the General Sunday School Division by the first Monday in August. To register, a team must pay a registration fee in the amount of $50.00 and submit the names of all quizzers and coaches on the team. It is the responsibility of the team to see that the registration form is properly filled out and sent in to the General Sunday School Division (form is included in the back of the Junior Crusader Bible Quiz Manual). Forms must be signed by the District Sunday School Director or District Quiz Master.

7. All expenses incurred by team participating in the Junior Crusader North American Tournament will be the responsibility of the individual teams, or the District they represent.

8. Both the first and second place teams on the District level are eligible to compete at the National Quiz
in Hazelwood, Missouri.

9. One team shall be named the Bible Quiz Champions at the North American Bible Quiz Tournament.

10. Sunday School Division shall also provide awards for the first, second, third, and fourth place teams in the North American Tournament. The General Sunday School Division shall also provide awards for the first and second highest individual scorers in the Tournament. The first and second highest individual scorers must come from the top four teams, with the average scores being computed on the basis of the number of quizzes in which their respective teams participated.

11. An “All-Tournament Team” shall be named, with awards being presented to each member. The team shall be comprised of the top five scoring individuals in the North American Bible Quiz Tournament. The third, fourth, and fifth highest scoring individuals must come from teams with at least two wins in the Tournament.

H. How to Start and Keep a Team Interested

The first step in starting a quiz team in your church is to present the idea to the children who are eligible to participate. This must be done in such a way as to create excitement and interest in the children. Let them know it is going to take a great deal of time and studying, but also let them know it is the best way to meet other friends, take trips, have fun, and receive trophies and awards if they win. (Children love competition.) Once they decide to participate, regular meetings should be set up where the team can meet and study the required material.

Starting a quiz team is not hard, but keeping them interested requires careful planning.

There are four basic things that are needed to keep a team going:

1. A Pastor who is interested,
2. A Coach who is interested,
3. Parents who are interested,
4. A Church that will get involved.

Following are ways those interested can help:

Pastor: By occasionally coming to a practice session and also a pat on the head of a child and the words, “You are doing great!” can give a big boost of interest.

Coach: You must sacrifice time and let the quizzers know they are important to you, and you are not doing it because you have to, but because you love them and are interested in them. Regardless how they fare in competition, stay with them and encourage them – let them know they are still Winners with Jesus.

Parents: A parent’s interest is a very vital part of quizzing. Spending study time with a child will help both parent and child (quizzer). Go with the team when they have quiz matches with other churches. Seeing Mom and Dad in the audience is a tremendous boost for a quizzer.

Church: The entire church can become involved with
their team. Be an encouragement to the quizzer and the coach by letting them know you are behind them. Be willing to assist when asked by the coach or pastor. Attend quiz matches. If the quizzers see that you are interested and proud of them, they will do all they can to give you something to be proud of.

Other means of keeping interest is to:

1. Have a Quizzer of the Week Award. This is to be awarded to the quizzer who does the best during practice sessions for that week; or maybe improved the most over the previous week. The award can be a picture of them on the bulletin board letting the church know they were the “Quizzer of the Week.”

2. Have quizzes in your church between the Junior and the Senior teams or between the parents and the quizzers or the Pastor and Sunday School teacher or Board members against the quizzers. This will really create excitement.

3. Have quizzers quote verses before the entire congregation.

4. Have a Quote-A-Thon. This is when the quizzers get persons or businesses to sponsor them so much
a verse that they quote. Money can be used to purchase quiz related items or pay expenses to tournaments.

You will soon learn what works best for your team. Just keep them interested and they will learn the material.

I. RULES – Importance of Rules

1. Official Rules

A. All levels of Bible Quizzing shall be conducted according to the General Bible Quiz Policy, the Official Tournament Rules, and the Guidelines for Tournament Officials as found in the Bible Quiz Manual.

B. Any changes in the General Bible Quiz Policy, the Official Tournament Rules, or the Guidelines for Tournament Officials shall be made by the General Sunday School Committee of the United Pentecostal Church International.
C. The Scriptural material to be studied during each year’s program is to be selected by the Executive Sunday School Committee and the Quiz Director, and ratified by the General Sunday School Committee.

2. Tournament Rules

In Junior Bible Quizzing there are rules concerning: Team Arrangement, Answering, Contesting, Error,
Fouls, Interruption, Elimination, Time-outs, Substitutions, Point of Order, Forfeit Contest, Game Tie, Scoring, Point Value of Questions, and Types of Questions.

The reasons for these rules are to insure fairness, consistency, and also to teach the Quizzers discipline by obeying rules. These rules in detail are listed in the Junior Crusader Bible Quizzing Manual under Official Tournament Rules. Learning these rules and teaching the Quizzer to obey them is a must for a successful Quiz Team.

J. Results of Junior Bible Quizzing

It would be impossible to really know all the results of and the full impact that Junior Bible Quizzing has had on lives. However, in the short time of its existence, all that has been heard is of good report. One Pastor reported, “ALL the members of our Junior Quiz team received the Holy Ghost this past summer, and I believe studying the Word of God through Quizzing was one of the biggest reasons why.” Another Pastor reported that a young boy from their quiz team came to him the other day while they were alone and asked, “Pastor, what did it feel like when Jesus first called you to be a preacher?” God was so marvelously working with this young boy’s life. The top scorer in the Nation Finals last year was the top scorer in her state this year in Senior Quizzing. Her testimony was, “I thank God for the privilege of studying His Word and hiding His Word in my heart.”

When you see the children with their legs too short to touch the floor, sitting on pillows to reach the buzzer and quoting the Word of God; when you see those young quizzers praying around the altars in our Churches and Junior Youth Camps, receiving the Holy Ghost and then praying with others, it lets you know Junior Bible Quizzing is more than a contest between two teams. It is the best way to get the precious Word of God into a young heart, and only eternity will really reveal the results of Junior Bible Quizzing.