Fundamental rules of Quizzing!!

on September 16, 2008

I had a really bad quizzing experience on the 15th of September. I am not going to disclose the exact details because I don't want to start any controversies. Also, I don't want to wash dirty linen in public - no hard feelings towards the organisers at all. Lastly, I don't want this post of mine to be taken as a case of sour grapes. So, please keep these in mind before reading further.

Here, I would like to re-iterate some fundamental rules of quizzing that the organisers seemed to overlook, which I think, was a blatant error.

1. If you organise the contest in two rounds (the first being a written round for screening and the second being an audio-visual one), you don't make the top qualifier from the first round sit on the first table in the second round directly. That way, you are punishing it for standing first in the qualifying stage because most rounds are going to begin with that team. There must be a lottery system to introduce the element of luck, the quintessential feature of such contests.

2. You just don't begin all the rounds with the team that is sitting first. It's an alternate thing between the first and the last teams. You are not placing all the teams on the same pedestal because the first team will always be the first one to be in the line of fire. Ouch! It still hurts!

3. You have got to keep in mind that the questions in any one round, carrying the same weightage must be of the same difficulty level. For example, in a cricket-crazy nation like ours, you cannot ask the following two questions in the same round for the same number of points.

  • What is the length of a cricket pitch? (even your kid brother knows that! Doesn't he?)
  • What is the SI unit of thermal conductivity? (You have to agree that this is tough for mortals! I had to actually check out Wikipedia for this!)
4. You just don't ask the same question twice in the contest, and there's no way in hell you ask that to the same team, both times. That's egregious!

5. It's really good that you think of new ideas like a bid round in the end where in you have to place a bid in terms of points on the question that's going to be hurled at you, before hearing the question. If you get it right, you add that much to your score otherwise you lose that much. Two such questions will be there for each team. This is talked about as "The Make-or-Break Round". The idea - very nice indeed! The execution left a lot to be desired. As I have elaborated above, the first team had to face the music first. But the disappointing thing was that both the questions to a team were asked at one go, not one round of questions and then the other. That means, effectively the first team was playing blind. On the two questions, it just had to bid for points equal to or more than the deficit with respect to the leader to win. But the leader had its chance later. So, they could always come back. Therefore, you are minimizing the chances of the highly unfortunate team winning.

The post has already become very long...but I just couldn't control myself. I am waiting to go the Tata Crucible Corporate Quiz in Indore as a spectator. Hope to see some good quizzing there!

Readers, pour in with your comments