FAQs

We will answer all questions from the competition and from participants via email here.  Please check back for new questions frequently.  We recommend you read through this page if you are thinking about competing or for a refresher.  We are all a part of one team providing the most exceptional experience for our student readers.


We want more titles to be removed from the 2017-2018 competition or a new list to be chosen completely.  How do we go about doing so?

We completely understand any and all concerns of our coaches and parents. Please be aware that the state competition exclusively uses the list of books nominated by the Children's Book Award committee in coordination with the University of Georgia.
This is the only list that is used year after year, and we are at the mercy of the committee and the choices it makes.
When book titles are questioned by coaches and parents, we first ask the state committee to revisit those titles.  If the state refuses to remove the titles, we then put those titles to a committee vote.  A quorum must vote, and the majority vote decides on whether the book will be included in the county competition.
If we remove a title from the county competition, it is the responsibility of the coaches to have their team read the removed books before they advance to the regional level of competition.
Our goal is to encourage reading and give teams a choice without imposing censorship.  We will be providing whatever support we can for coaches in communicating with families on the book topics.  The committee will also carefully write and choose questions for these books in the competition.  We hope this will encourage teams to stay in the competition.

How do we go about removing ourselves from the competition?

We sometimes have teams choose not to participate for many reasons.  We are sad that everyone who wants to compete cannot be with us in January, but we respect the decisions of coaches.  Any team that RSVPs or turns in an application before October 31 can contact us at cobbcountyhrrb@gmail.com and request to be removed.  This will be done immediately.  The committee will decide at its first meeting in August of 2017 what protocol will be put in place for refunding fees.


What is a Reading Bowl?

The Helen Ruffing Reading Bowl was started by educator, Helen Ruffin, as a means to encourage her students to read. Her method caught on and the excitement spread little by little all across the state.

Now, hundreds of schools all over Georgia enjoy matching wits on some of the best books of the year. Teams are formed and they read and practice recalling facts about the books.  Then those teams come together and compete against each other to see who knows the most.  While there can only be a few schools declared winners in the bowl, all students who compete feel the pride and spirit of the games.


What is the email address for the competition?

cobbcountyhrrb@gmail.com


Why do coaches have to attend or view training sessions?

Rules and procedures change after every competition.  We need to make sure you know what those changes are.  New coaches also need to be trained.


Why do we have to provide a volunteer for the competition day?

The competition needs moderators, time keepers, and score keepers to run at both the elementary and middle / high school levels that day.  You are our contacts with the parents and educators in the field, and it is easier for you to bring one person to participate than for us to find 30 plus people.  We also feel it is a great opportunity to learn more about the competition being on the other side of the buzzer.  We encourage coaches to volunteer for the opposite competition at least once so that they can get a real sense of the process.


Why do we have to read a book and provide questions for it?

At the heart of the competition are the questions.  It is an overwhelming job reading 30 or more books and writing over 600 questions for them (which is what it takes to get quality questions).  Firstly, the job is much easier if it is divided and conquered.  Reading a book specifically for question writing also allows our coaches and other adults on the team to understand the importance of questions in training their teams.  Having our adult participants in the field contribute questions ultimately reduces criticism towards the committee and fellow coaches.  The question bank is larger, questions are written in a way that authors are kept anonymous, and the vetting process continues to improve with each competition.


Why do we have to send in our application and payment on time?

All applications and payments are due October 31.  The steering committee begins the final plans for the January competition in November.  We need all applications fully completed because:

  • First thing in November, we set up the competition! We get all of the rounds and their participating teams scheduled first. Knowing the exact number and name of teams is paramount to the most important step in our planning.  Then....
  • We look at the venue and begin assigning rooms for the rounds.  We have to make sure we have enough rooms!  If we feel we do not have enough room, we have time to scramble for a solution between the beginning of November and January.
  • Our committee members begin designing the program.
  • We order trophies!  It is very important to us that we have them ready to give out at the competition!
  • We make plans for ordering pizza and purchasing snacks and water for that day.  If we know the names and numbers of our volunteers, we can make sure they don't get fatigued and make a mistake by keeping their brains fed.

We need your payment because:

  • #1- We use that money to pay for your registration at the state level.  You can't participate with us, win, then go onto the Divisional, Regional, and State competitions without being registered at the state level.  We pay for you- there is less for you to worry about and your bookkeeper is only cutting one check.
  • We have expenses associated with the venue. Even if we use a Cobb County school for our competition, we have to pay for support and janitorial services.
  • We have to purchase trophies!  It's all about the trophies!
  • We are now paying for a domain name for this website.  We have a yearly fee to keep it going, and we are committed to making it available to everyone and keeping it updated.

We have objections to the inclusion of a book?  How do we get it removed from the competition?

While the right of media specialists to make collection development decisions in their local media centers is respected, it is ultimately the responsibility of the team coaches to provide the books to their team members.  The Steering Committee does  not have control over the choice of titles for the Georgia Children's Book Awards nor the inclusion of the titles at the regional, divisional, and state level HRRB competitions.  Coaches can request a review of the titles for the Cobb County competition.  The titles in question will be presented to the Steering Committee, which will have an opportunity to read and review them.  The titles will then be put to a vote by the Steering Committee. They will make the final decision as to whether titles under review will be included in the county competition.   Should a school or group field a team at the county competition, coaches will have to make a decision as to how to handle the titles if it is decided that they stay in the competition.  A team's ability to compete may be ultimately affected by not reading the titles, as this will put them at a disadvantage in the competition rounds.  Coaches are encouraged to give students the choice to read the titles while providing full disclosure of the topics to them and their parents.  The official list will be release April 1 when the application window opens.


Our score was wrong on the final results sheet that was released after the competition?  How do I get this changed?

At the end of each round, a score sheet is completed by the moderator and signed by both coaches for the teams.  It is the coaches responsibility to check what the moderator has recorded on the official score sheet and ask for a correction in the competition room BEFORE the sheets are turned into the Score Room.  After the score sheet is turned into the Score Room, the scores stand as final and official and will not be changed.  Please be diligent and check those scores BEFORE you sign coaches!