Archive for February, 2009

Additional Rule Modifications and Tips for March 1st Tournament

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

1. The Brain Freeze card scoring will change with the shortened tournament play period. At the end of a preliminary match, the possession of the Brain Freeze card will cost a player two points.

2. We suggest that the player who does not hold the Brain Freeze card at the beginning of the second Brain Freeze round allow the holder of the Brain Freeze to be first to try to name a word to get rid of it. This will prevent a player from wasting a word that could be used later in the Brain Freeze round.

3. Hyphenated words and words with separable parts that appear together as one entry in a dictionary or thesaurus are acceptable. Examples would be “run-on” and “pick up.”

Rule Modifications for the March 1st Verbal Volley Showdown

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

1. There will be no challenge feature in the tournament play. The judge will either award a card or not.

2. If a judge disagrees with a player’s word choice, that player may use the word in context and the target word in the same context once. The judge will then make a final ruling. An example: In the synonym round, the target word is “save.” A student names “except” as a synonym. The judge disagrees. The player says, “I ate all of the cookies except one.  I ate all of the cookies save one.” The judge sees that the usage is correct and awards the card to the player.

3. Each preliminary round will end after 30 minutes of playing time or after the completion of the four basic rounds of the game (synonym, synonym Brain Freeze, antonym, antonym Brain Freeze), or when the card stack is used up, whichever comes first.

4. If neither player wants to offer an antonym or synonym for a target word, the word is set aside and not looked up.

5. The judge will allow a player to hold the Brain Freeze card for up to 20 seconds while attempting to recall a synonym or antonym.

6. For all matches, the tiebreaker will be a sudden death Brain Freeze round with a randomly chosen word from the deck.  A coin toss by the judge will decide whether antonyms or synonyms will be used.

7. The three finalists will play a round robin format. Each final match will consist of only two rounds and will use either synonyms or antonyms. The judge will toss a coin to decide which one.

Maryville University Food Service Closed March 1st

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Students will need to bring enough food to sustain them throughout the tournament on Sunday. It is spring break at Maryville University, and the Campus Food Service and Kaldi’s are closed. Mindfull Corporation will provide some refreshments in the registration area, but there are no meals available on campus March 1st.

Important Scholarship Tournament Registration Requirement

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Students who are competing in our March 1st tournament must register with one parent or guardian present. Please contact Kristin Edmonds at 314-324-8686 as soon as possible if you have difficulty with this requirement.

Registration Time for Sunday March 1st Verbal Volley Showdown

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Please note that registration for our Verbal Volley Showdown Scholarship Tournament has been moved to 11:30 am in the Auditorium Atrium. Play will begin at 12:00 pm at various locations on campus, so be sure to check-in before 11:45 to allow time to find your room.

Tips for Tournament Play

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Thank you to all of the players who showed up for our tournament practice on Feb. 14th. Your comments were very helpful to our planning process. We would like to make some suggestions for players to keep in mind while preparing for the March 1st tournament.

  1. Remember that the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus is the text the judges will reference only when they deem it necessary. The judges will have studied the tournament words from the thesaurus ahead of time. That being said, the judges are free to admit any word as correct if they have had real-life experiences which support the correctness of the word choice. This is because words are arbitrary symbols which gain meaning through their use.
  2. Keep in mind that a true synonym or antonym for a word must be the same part of speech as the word in question. It must function in place of that word in a sentence. If the word in play is a verb, the synonym or antonym must be a verb with the same tense as the target word. Some words are used as more than one part of speech. For example, the word “love” may be used as a noun or a verb. One player may say “abhor” and another may say “hatred” when naming antonyms for “love”, and both players would be correct.
  3. Yes, you may add or subtract prefixes and suffixes to create antonyms! If your word is “appropriate,” you may use “inappropriate” as an antonym.
  4. Our judges are very well-educated people who love words. That being said, they are from a different generation than yours.  In this tournament, it is probably best to avoid using slang words which are not used frequently by your parents and grandparents. Slang tends to be age-group specific. Even if you correctly use a slang word, if your judge hasn’t heard it, you will not get credit. We encourage you to play our game using slang words with your peers after the tournament.
  5. Some people find that an easy way to name multiple antonyms for one word is to think of one antonym for the word and then name synonyms for that antonym. Find out which retrieval technique your brain uses best for antonyms.

March 1st Scholarship Tournament Application Deadline Extended

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

As we have been made aware of slow mail delivery within some school districts, we have extended our  March 1st Verbal Volley Showdown tournament application deadline to February 20th, 2009. Please RSVP to if you would like to attend our optional practice session on February 14th, 2009. We will now accept application forms at the practice session. Applications are processed in the order received. is a Washington University Olin Cup finalist

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 participated in the 2008 Olin Cup Competition for entrepreneurs at Washington University’s Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The competition began in February of 2008 and had 40 entrants. After several competition rounds from September through November 2008, the field of competing business startups was narrowed to five. is proud to have been chosen as a finalist.

Scholarship Tournament Applications Being Accepted

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Thank you to the students who have sent in applications for the Verbal Volley Showdown Scholarship Tournament. Application forms were mailed to all high school scholarship counselors in the Saint Louis area, so they should be available in most local guidance counselors’ offices. There are still tournament slots available.  Applications can be obtained by emailing requests to  The tournament check-in and tournament start times are being reset for later on the same day, March 1st.  Please revisit our website for updates.

Practice for the March 1st Verbal Volley Showdown Scholarship Tournament

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

A Verbal Volley Showdown Scholarship Tournament practice session will be held from 12 to 2 pm Saturday, February 14th 2009 in room 107 of the Donius Center on the Maryville University Campus. The practice session is optional for scholarship tournament entrants. It is an opportunity to learn the method of play for the game used in the tournament and to drill SAT/ACT words. Students, parents and teachers are welcome. Please RSVP to