In View From Saturday, is the place where they're drawing the questions in a building like a studio and the opponents are on the opposite table? I'm confused - sorry...

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The building where the Academic Bowl is held is described as being windowless and "big enough...to have its own zip code".  It would indeed be similar to a studio or a large gymnasium.  Facing the audience, there is a lectern or podium at which the master of ceremonies, who happens to be the "commissioner of education of the state of New York", stands.  On either side of him are two long tables, one for each team.  The team members all sit on one side their respective tables, facing the audience like the commissioner (Chapter 1).  The set-up would be similar to that seen in the game show "Jeopardy", referred to by Mr. Singh in Chapter 9. 

The commissioner has at his lectern a "large clear glass bowl", probably similar to a fishbowl.  The bowl is filled with small, folded pieces of paper, with questions for the contest written on them.  The opening at the top of the bowl is large enough for the commissioner to insert his whole hand when reaching in to draw out the questions. (Chapter 1).