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Article: by Bill Turnbull

The Pub Quiz

First and foremost it must be remembered that a pub quiz is meant to be an entertainment, not an exam. It is also meant to help fill the coffers of the landlord or indeed to help keep the pub a viable proposition so that we can all continue to enjoy what goes on in its environs.
If you are going just for a night out and a few laughs pick three like minded friends or indeed another couple but if you are serious and want to win pick three friends with different interests, one may be interested in all forms of sport another, a TV and film addict and so on.

Setting the Quiz

This is most important no-one likes to go to a quiz and remain mute for the rest of the evening and come away thinking that they are ignorant or at worse thick.
So a good mix of questions is very important not too much of any one subject, it is ok that you know that Nottingham Pork Butchers beat Grantham Thursday on Ash Wednesday but no-one else will so keep away from the esoteric and obscure knowledge.

Try and make it so sixty percent are fairly easy, then twenty percent that can be guessed at and the remainder slightly more difficult with possibly the last ten percent a bit special.
I usually stick to forty questions so that leaves room for a half time, so that the nicotine addicts can run out into the cold wet evening for their fix, those with weakfish bladders can empty them and the rest can replenish their glasses to the great enjoyment of the landlord, it also spins the quiz out so the participants will spend longer in the pub hopefully imbibing which is of course the object of the exercise.

The quizmaster is a very important part of the quiz and he should be someone with a modicum of grey matter as he may have to be an adjudicator when the answer is not what is exactly on the answer sheet but pretty close he may decide to award the point or award a half.

Keep the questions short as there will always be the people who were not listening or scraping their chairs along the floor and want them repeated, stick to one repeat or you will still be there in the morning some quiz goers need to hear them three or four times, make it known at the beginning that you will repeat the questions only once. And always have a supply of spare pens it always amazes me to see people turn up for a quiz and don't think to bring anything to write with. Someone will always come up with how am I expected to know that I wasn't born then, my stock answer to that was what happened in 1066, they usually know or they should not have been at a quiz in the first place, so I tell them they look well for their age.

If this is an ongoing weekly quiz there are various ways that you can keep the participants interested, set a quiz in which all the answers begin with the same letter, introduce named subject rounds of five questions each ask the participants to pick one of the rounds and play their joker which means they will get double points for that particular round. There are other ploys that can be used you will be able to see some ideas on the Quiz for Free website. And most important always have a tie-break question up your sleeve. For those who don't understand tie breaks (and I have been to quizzes where the quizmaster didn't) the answer should be a number and the team that gets the nearest to it wins.

I hope this has been helpful. Bill.






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