Have you ever heard of or been part of a friendly bet where the stakes are such that the fan of the losing team has to wear the rival team’s apparel at a specific time and place?
That’s what was on the line Monday night when Indian Creek boys basketball coach Joe Piekarz’s troops battled Somonauk coach Curt Alsvig’s team in a virtual trivia contest through Google Meet, with the losers having to wear the school colors of the winning team to their next on-the-court meeting – whenever that may be.
“We would rather be competing on the court, obviously, but this was something to get us together and have some fun.”
— Indian Creek boys basketball coach Joe Piekarz
In a back-and-forth battle that took place using Kahoot! – an online game-based learning platform – Somonauk’s Bobcats edged the Timberwolves, 25,729 points to 25,450.
“Here at Indian Creek, we have been trying to do things to keep us together as much as possible,” Piekarz said. “We did a watch party of last year’s Marseilles Holiday Tournament championship game right before the New Year, and we have done trivia nights just within our own team, but we’ve been talking about wanting to get someone else involved.
“We would rather be competing on the court, obviously, but this was something to get us together and have some fun. Curt had talked back in the fall about finding a way to have a competition or contest with not being able to have it in an actual game scenario. We talked a little more during Christmas break and came up with this idea with some stakes on it.”
Kahoot! is commonly used in schools and other educational institutions. Its learning games, “kahoots,” are user-generated, multiple-choice quizzes that can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot! app.
“I had three or four of my kids tell me today after Zoom classes about how much fun they had and asking when we can do it again. It was great to see them excited about something, it seems like it’s been a while since I’ve seen that from them.”
— Somonauk boys basketball coach Curt Alsvig
The question is revealed for a few seconds, followed by multiple-choice answers. The points the player gets are calculated based on how long it takes the player to answer. The sooner the player answers, the more points he or she gets – if the player answers correctly.
Points then show up on the leaderboard after each question. The player also can get a streak, meaning he or she answered more questions in sequence. The better the streak, the more points awarded when answering a question correctly.
“This was such a great idea,” said Alsvig, who said he also has enjoyed some good-hearted trash talking back on forth on Twitter over the past week between the teams’ accounts. “I had three or four of my kids tell me today after Zoom classes about how much fun they had and asking when we can do it again. It was great to see them excited about something, it seems like it’s been a while since I’ve seen that from them.
“It’s been a real challenge to keep the kids in a positive frame of mind throughout this school year, but I know for myself and the players it was a really fun time.”
The original format was to include six questions each on the Little Ten Conference and both school’s basketball history, followed by seven questions pertaining to the NBA. Unfortunately, just over halfway through, a glitch forced a cancellation of the final questions, and the sides agreed to add the top four point-getters on each side up to that point.
However, even with the shortened contest, both coaches said their players were quick to ask when the next matchup would be.
“I talked to most of my players afterward, and the first thing they all said was, ‘When can we do that again? We want to play them in something else. What can we do next?’ So I think when we are able to get back in the gym, we’ll figure out something with maybe a shooting contest that we can do virtually as well,” said Piekarz.
“I think what we will probably do is the day of the game against Somonauk, we’ll have the players wear Blue and Gold to school, and at the game I’ll wear a blue shirt and gold tie. We are just going to have a little fun with it.”
The top individuals were IC’s Michael Lampson, placing first overall with 7,835 points, while Somonauk’s Alex Krejci was second with 7,314. Also adding to the Bobcats’ winning total were Parker Sexton (7,167), Brock Zimmerman (5,723) and Julio Salgado (5,525), while the T-Wolves rounded out their team score with Cameron Russell (7,257), Drew Gaston (5,783) and Grant Schlorff (4,575).
“I will have to remind Joe, ever so gently now and then, that I can’t wait to see the ‘Blue Man Group’ when we are able to get together on the court,” said Alsvig.
“Hopefully that will be sooner than later.”
Piekarz passed along the following link to the test if anyone would like to take on the challenge:
I worked for 25 years as a CNC operator and in 2005 answered an ad in The Times for a freelance sports writer position. I became a full-time sports writer/columnist for The Times in February of 2016.
I enjoy researching high school athletics history, and in my spare time like to do the same, but also play video games and watch Twitch.