THE EDITOR, Sir:
On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Excelsior High contested a match against Campion College in TVJ's Schools' Challenge Quiz. The results, at the end of the match, after all queries, as announced by the presenter Jean-Paul Menou, was Excelsior 49, Campion 47. (The match was first aired last Friday).
Excelsior deems it necessary to appeal the decision made to change the scores to 47:41 in favour of Campion College. Our appeal is based on the rules governing queries as stipulated. Rule 8, Section (ii) states: "All queries arising in a given match must be made by the quiz coach(es) and will not be accommodated from any other source."
It is our understanding that the query regarding the team answering prior to being acknowledged was not made by any of Campion's coaches. In addition, the presenter, Jean-Paul Menou, indicated that the situation whereby Excelsior High School answered without him calling the school's name was his fault as he was distracted by their singing of the song among themselves while pressing the buzzer and waiting for an inordinately long time to be acknowledged by him.
His very body language was an indication that he meant to acknowledge the team as he was looking in their direction for the answer; acknowledged the answer as correct; and the marks were subsequently awarded to Excelsior.
The second query had to do with the question: "Which element in its radioactive form is used to test for or date the age of trees?" Excelsior answered "carbon-14", which is correct because there are in fact three isotopes or forms of carbon: carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14. Only carbon-14 is radioactive and thus used for the purpose of dating (pg 3, Longman Chemistry for CXC, 2004 edition).
Had they answered carbon, without indicating which form is used for dating trees, they would have been incorrect. The matter was queried by Campion and their query was dismissed, only to be reinstated when the judge in question, Dr Patrick Stephens, was called to an 'off-air' private meeting between him and some unknown persons.
Excelsior has no wish to bring the competition into disrepute. Our sole desire is that justice and fair play be exhibited.