Another big difference between the “Double Down” competition and others that CCS participates in is that it is televised, Iversen said.
“It is kind of fun for me to see how students respond when they get on camera,” he said. “Sometimes they get pretty nervous. Some of them anyway.”
For example, Iversen revealed that one of the players missed a first-round question that he would not have otherwise missed if he was not on camera.
Students eventually get past the butterflies from being on camera, according to Iversen.
Iversen added that having no buzzer can be a good or a bad thing.
“Most of our preparations for competitions we go to are buzzer-based. We have to think very differently for this game,” he said.
There is a whole possibility to double points at the end like on Jeopardy that can be a real challenge, according to Iversen.
“You have to have different strategies in games that are constructed differently,” he said.
Members of the quiz team meet every Monday for 45 minutes to an hour before school. Different tactics are used from week-to-week to prepare for competitions, Iversen said. He said sometimes they pull out the buzzers and play one another, other times they get in a line and answer questions and move right or left based on if the question is answered correctly or not or once in a while he just asks students individual questions.
The “Double Down” competition returned to a single elimination format this year. The seventh season featured a twist in the first round: Teams still competed head-to-head, but with the goal of scoring as many points as possible. The 16 teams with the highest first-round scores advanced to the second round.
Iversen said he actually much prefers the single elimination format even though it is “a little tighter in the moment.“