KYVE Apple Bowl

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The KYVE Apple Bowl is a televised single elimination competition between high school students.[1] Over a period of one to three weeks, 20-30 high schools come from all over Central Washington to compete at the Apple Bowl studio, which is located on the Central Washington University[2] campus in Ellensburg, Washington. The first and second place team members receive checks from Washington Apple Education Foundation.[3] Many of the teams also participate in Knowledge Bowl and Quiz Bowl.

The competition is co-produced by Central Washington University and airs on PBS station KYVE Yakima each spring. The program reaches an audience of over 200,000 families in the Central Washington area.[4]


2010 Apple Bowl winners, Ellensburg High School. From L to R: Hannah Charlton, Adviser Del Enders (holding check), Hayley McVay, captain Joelle Smart (holding trophy), Max Zentner, and Arnulfo Ramirez.

Apple Bowl is played between two teams of three members each, with all six individuals using a lockout buzzer system to answer questions. Each team has a captain who is required to answer the questions in some of the rounds. A host reads the questions and determines the correct responses, although off-camera judges are used when an answer is contentious.

The competition consists of three rounds:

  • The Toss-up Round does not involve active teamwork; rather, an individual on either team can buzz in and collect 10 points for his or her team for a correct response. If one member of the team answers incorrectly, no other members of that team can buzz in, although a member of the opposing team can still offer an answer. This round lasts 10 minutes, after which the host takes a short break to "get to know" the contestants Jeopardy! style by asking personal questions that were created by the players before recording.
  • The Lightning Round does not require use of the buzzers and instead provides the teams with four categories of questions from which to answer. The team with the fewer points is allowed to choose the first category it wishes to answer on, with the moderator asking a series of up to 15 questions for the team to answer. During this round, team members are allowed to confer but only the captain can give an answer unless he or she "defers" to a teammate. For each category, the responding team has three minutes to answer as many of the 15 questions they can, with each question worth 5 points. After the first team has either completed its set of questions or run out of time, the other team may choose a question set from the remaining three categories.
  • The Bonus Round integrates the other two rounds by allowing contestants to answer questions individually, as in the Tossup Round, but also requires the team to confer on a set of four bonus questions if the initial answer was correct. These bonus questions are read out by the host successively, with the team members answering all four questions in a row after up to 15 seconds of conference. The bonus sets are not related to the initial question. For example, a tossup question about a species of whales may be followed with four bonus questions on "Obscure World Capitals." The tossup question is worth 10 points while each of the bonuses are 5 points. Like the Lightning Round, only the captain can answer the four bonus questions.


Apple Bowl first began in 1980.[5] The program does not have a regular host, although that position has been filled by community member Pedro Bicchieri from 2007 to present. KNDO news anchor Dave Ettl was the longtime host for a stint ending with the 2003 tournament. The 2004 event also brought about other changes, including the relocation of tapings to Central Washington University (previously they were taped at a studio in Yakima, Washington) and had the team members play standing where previously they sat.

The winning team for the 2012 season was from West Valley High School,[6] the winning school from 2011. Team members received $1500 in personal checks. The runner-up team of Prosser received $500 in checks. Before 2008, first and second place teams received savings bonds from the Washington Apple Education Foundation.


Year Winner Runner-up
2012 West Valley High School Prosser High School
2011 West Valley High School Moses Lake High School
2010 Ellensburg High School Riverside Christian School
2009 Wenatchee High School Riverside Christian School
2008 Wenatchee High School Zillah High School
2007 Riverside Christian School Sunnyside High School
2006 Moses Lake High School Eastmont High School
2005 Riverside Christian School
2004 Sunnyside High School West Valley High School
2003 West Valley High School Sunnyside High School
2002 Wenatchee High School Eisenhower High School
2001 Ellensburg High School Wenatchee High School
2000 Ellensburg High School Prosser High School
1999 Ellensburg High School Westside Christian School
1998 Cle Elum/Roslyn High School Ellensburg High School
1997 Sunnyside High School
1996 Sunnyside High School
1995 Wenatchee High School
1994 Wahluke High School
1993 Toppenish High School
1992 Liberty Bell High School
1991 Wenatchee High School
1990 Sunnyside High School
1989 Grandview High School
1988 Selah High School
1987 Naches High School
1986 Wenatchee High School
1985 Highland High School
1984 Ellensburg High School
1983 Ellensburg High School
1982 A.C. Davis High School