Chairpersons: Meg Sax and Lisa Wierschke
Dates - See Calendar U of M Bowl Site
Project Bowl Behavioral Contract - Required
The Horse Project Bowl is a knowledge bowl contest between 4-H'ers on two teams. The Regional contests are usually held in March at 4 locations around the state. The State contest is held in April. All project areas, including Dairy, Dog, General Livestock, Horse, Poultry, Rabbit, and Wildlife are held at the same time.
The two age groups are Junior (grades 3 through 8) and Senior (grades 4 through one year past high school). Teams may consist of 3-6 4-H'ers. A typical team is 4 members with 1 or 2 alternates. Three person teams are allowed. Twelve (12) Junior and twelve (12) Senior teams are chosen from the regional contests to compete at the state contest. The top winners from these teams are sent to the following national contests:
- Eastern National 4-H Classic in Louisville, KY (Senior team)
- Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio (2 Senior teams)
- Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, SD (1 Junior team)
The Senior National Trips require that all team members and alternates must be beyond their 14th birthday, but not have reached their 19th birthday on January 1st of the year they qualify for the national contest. This ruling will affect the Senior trip to Louisville and the 2 Senior trips to QH Congress.
Knowledge Bowl contests are a fun way to learn about horses. The 4-H'ers develop other skills such as teamwork, study skills, and confidence in speaking. The questions are taken from a group of reference materials, listed below. Many teams also compete in the Hippology Contest, held during the State Horse Show. The information studied in both contests is very similar. For further information see the Hippology Contest.
Beginning teams start with a group of interested youth and adults, from one or more counties. Most teams meet weekly to practice in the months before the regional contests. Many have developed lists of questions to use in practice. For those just starting, having each team member write questions on 3 x 5 cards each week will develop a data bank of questions for practice, as well as encourage the members to study the materials.
- Have each member take a reference and write a preset number of questions each week from that reference. Write the question on the front of the card and the answer on the back. The name and page number of the reference should be included with the answer. These cards can also be used as flash cards.
- If all members have copies of one reference, work on a particular chapter or topic each week, giving them the page numbers they should study. This way they don't feel so overwhelmed by the amount of material to study.
- Play games to break the monotony of just asking questions. One example: Write the names of breeds on slips of paper. Have each draw out a slip, give the country of origin and a fact about that breed. To make it more interesting, a beach ball can be used with the thrower drawing the slip and the catcher having to give the information. You can use other topics, such as colors, markings, diseases, conformation faults, etc.
- Learn the parts of the horse visually. Put a big picture on tag board and glue on Velcro strips at each part. Have the part names on cards with the other half of the Velcro glued on. Each member attaches his part. This can be used for bones, parts of saddles, bridles, etc. Color photos of horse colors, markings are helpful.
- To encourage teamwork, put the picture of the horse on one sheet of paper with blank lines at the parts. On a second piece of paper list the parts. Have the teams work together to fill in the lines.
- Memorize. Teach the team members to memorize certain information, such as definitions, numbers (such as normal temperature, etc), information for bonus questions (these have multiple answers-the question may ask for 4 parts, for example)
- Have practice sessions. Hold mock contests, even if it is only with the 4 team members. This encourages them to learn the rules of the contest. If you can borrow a buzzer system, do so at least once so the team members become familiar with it. For weekly practice without buzzers, try using the "call bells" available at office supply stores.
- Arrange a practice match with a neighboring county to give members some experience.
- Ask for help. The state Horse Bowl Committee members are willing to help.
You may contact Meg Sax 320-983-2679 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also contact other teams or coaches for advice.
The current reference list is on the state bowl site.