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Program Committee Announces 2012 Sputum Bowl Plans

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March 14, 2012

Whether you attended AARC Congress 2011 or not, you’re likely to have heard there were lots of rumors floating around regarding the future of the AARC Sputum Bowl. We acknowledge that you probably have some unanswered questions and we feel it our responsibility to answer them to provide you clarification. We thought the best way to communicate this information to you would be through a simple Q&A format. Hopefully we’ll address most, if not all of your questions.

Q: Rumors circulated that 2011 would be the last year for the Sputum Bowl competition. Will there be a Sputum Bowl in 2012?

A: Yes. During the 2011 Sputum Bowl Finals in Tampa, FL, President Stewart announced there would be a Sputum Bowl competition in 2012.

Q: President Stewart announced there would be some changes to the 2012 Sputum Bowl—that it would be back “bigger and better than ever”. What exactly does that mean?

A: The AARC wants to make the Sputum Bowl into a more contemporary competition; one that still challenges the knowledge of our competitors, but also one that is engaging to the audience. Members tell us that they like to test their own knowledge but they’re unable to do so in the current format. The 2012 Sputum Bowl Committee has been charged to modify the competition that will allow for more audience participation.

While the 2012 Sputum Bowl Committee will ultimately determine what changes will be implemented, here are a few definitive ones that we know will take place:

  1. This year teams will be assuming significant risk if they buzz in early and answer the question incorrectly. These changes will allow the audience to hear more of the question and play along to test their own knowledge.
  2. We’ll be doing away with our old, outdated, analog scoreboard.  It will be replaced with a virtual scoreboard with a sleek new look and design.
  3. We’re already using audience response technology in some of our educational sessions at Congress. The 2012 Sputum Bowl Committee is exploring ways in which we can incorporate this same technology into the Sputum Bowl. How will we do that you might ask? The answer may be no further away than your smartphone.

Q: Will these new changes still allow for student and practitioner teams to compete?

A: Absolutely! Nothing has changed in this regard.

Q: How will these rule changes impact our state Sputum Bowl competition?

A: They won’t impact your state competition at all. Each state runs their own competition a bit different…some with their own set of rules. Any rule changes on the national level will have no impact on the state affiliates. Whether your state chooses to adopt any new rule changes is completely up to your state leadership.

Q: Should we expect more Sputum Bowl changes in the future?

A: We’ve asked the Sputum Bowl committee to routinely evaluate needed changes to the competition. So yes…it is likely the National Sputum Bowl Competition will continue to evolve in coming years. Any changes would be designed to enhance the competition, but also to increase the engagement, entertainment value, and participation with the audience.

Q:  I'm interested in keeping up with Sputum Bowl activities. How can I do that?
A:  We've created a community on AARConnect where you can meet up with others interested in Sputum Bowl. We invite you to ask questions, share favorite memories, get information about plans as they are developed, and help share in the development of ideas. Click the Join button on the AARC Sputum Bowl community and you're in!

We hope that this information has been helpful.  As new information becomes available, the AARC will communicate it to you through our website, email lists or by publication in the AARC Times. Should you have further questions that are not answered in this document, I would recommend that you reach out the Sputum Bowl Coordinator in your state.

Thank you so much for your support of this competition—one that is rich with tradition for the AARC and respiratory therapists everywhere! We hope you join us for our “new and improved” Sputum Bowl this year at AARC Congress 2012 in New Orleans, LA.

Cheryl Hoerr MBA, RRT, FAARC
Chair; AARC Program Committee