Area teens face off Saturday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. on local quiz show co-produced by the local public television and Westfield State University.
WESTFIELD, MASS. — Local high school teams will match wits next weekend in a quiz show competition broadcast on public television.
The two teams, Lee High School and MacDuffie School, will spar on As Schools Match Wits, airing on WGBY public television Saturday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. (rebroadcast Sunday, Jan. 6 at 10:30 a.m. and available for subsequent online streaming at video.wgby.org/show/as-schools-match-wits).
As Schools Match Wits (ASMW) pits teams of western New England high schoolers against each other in a fun, but competitive game of academic performance. The competition is open to both public and private high schools throughout western New England.
Each season, up to 50 schools go head-to-head in qualifying matches to see which team can earn the greatest number of points. The eight highest-scoring teams of the season then compete in playoff matches to determine the season’s champion, which is then awarded the coveted Collamore Cup, named for the show’s creator.
Quiz shows like ASMW represent an original type of “reality television.” Everyday people play a game testing their everyday knowledge — and viewers love to play along. As Schools Match Wits adds a unique characteristic: local teen contestants from area high schools.
If you ask ASMW host Beth Ward, the value of the show is multifaceted.
“Year after year, these teens never fail to impress me,” Ward says. “We’ve had some dramatic competitions and tough questions. I hear from viewers all the time who remember one school or another. As Schools Match Wits is a local treasure. I’m honored to be starting up a new season.”
RETURNING TO THE SET
ASMW is a collaborative production of WGBY and Westfield State University (WSU). Produced using Westfield State University facilities, students in the Department of Communications serve as the production crew. WGBY supplies the professional producer, broadcast, marketing, and technical support.
Broadcast weekly during the school year on WGBY, questions for As Schools Match Wits are written by longtime ASMWwriter and judge Dr. Todd Rovelli along with WSU faculty and students in accordance with Massachusetts and Connecticut state high school curriculum guidelines. WSU’s Mark St. Jean of the Department of Communication and WGBY’s Tony Dunne serve as executive producers.
For Dunne, the start of the 58th season feels like homecoming.
“After 12 years of co-production with Westfield State University, every fall feels like putting on a comfortable pair of jeans,” Dunne quips. “We’ve built a great team behind the scenes who have been working together for years and are all highly professional and dedicated.”
Dunne and his WSU colleagues have “fired up the ASMW machine” and have already begun prepping new questions, lining up teams from area schools, and setting up the tournament schedule.