Pub Quiz Night Rules and Pitfalls to avoid

Published: 15th June 2007
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So you've set up a pub quiz. You've got the venue, questions and advertising all sorted - You've built and it and "they" will come. But have you thought about how it REALLY works when it's time to play? Are they going to have a fun filled night and be gagging for another quiz next week? Or will it be argumentative, confused, have "technical problems" and basically be a one quiz wonder flop? So, how to ensure success?

You need a formula to follow to ensure the quiz runs smoothly and that you (hopefully) and the players (absolutely essentially!) have a good time and want more.

First things first then - You need a quiz question master and he or she needs tools

****Who for Quizmaster?****

? Someone who won't be fazed by public speaking.

? Who can confidently and clearly read out the questions.

? Who won't get led of track by banter or phased (hopefully not) by a heckler or argumentative know it all quiz geek.

****Where will the quizmaster sit to "work"?****

? Make sure space is kept for them.

? One that can't be overlooked by team spies!

? This is critical - The quizmaster must been seen as objective and above reproach. Accusations of spying on him or her can ruin the whole evening and even lead to the quiz being called off. Not good!

****How will they be heard?****

? Unless it's a really small venue, you will need a P.A system capable of being heard above general pub conversation ? not everyone will be taking part in the quiz.

? Most pubs will have something - but check they do and if so can you use it and does it work OK? (Test it!)?

? If not see if they can hire one or check out your local Yellow Pages on or offline and look for disco or PA hire suppliers.

? A simple system will be pretty cheap but be sure to practice with it first so you don't get embarrassing sound losses or ear bashing feedback.

****Who will mark the questions?****

? Most question masters can mark up to 10 teams' answers between rounds, but they may need a helper.

? Alternatively in a more "friendly" quiz you may let teams swap papers and mark each others' quizzes between rounds then hand in marked answers for you to keep score.

****On The Night:****

? The quizmaster announces that the quiz will start in x minutes.

? Collect team names and entry fees.

? Record the name of the team on your scoresheet.

? Give each team some answer sheets for each round - One per team and a couple of spares ? Have a stock of pens for them if needed.

****Start the quiz!****

Start by reading out team names (giving everyone a name check) and begin the quiz.

1. Each question should be read out once.

2. A short break then repeated.

3. At the end of the round, quickly recap all questions.

****At the end of the round:****

1. Collect sheets from teams for marking (perhaps announcing that if they're not handed in within a minute, the team gets 0 points)

2. Or get teams to swap papers then read out each question then its answer.

3. At the end of each round read out the cumulative scores.

****Remember the golden rule ? the quizmaster is always right and the idea of the quiz is to get the answer on his or her answer sheet.

****At the end of the quiz:****

1. Give the final scores with the top 3 in reverse order.

2. Have a tiebreak question or 2 ready (usually a number answer with the first correct answer or closest answer as the winner).

3. Run your cash jackpot if applicable, give out the prizes.

Then finally, announce the date and time of the next quiz and start preparing!

****A Note on Team answersheets and Quizmaster score-sheets:

? Team answer sheets ? Basically a grid lined A4 type sheet with answer write in numbered boxes and a line on top for the team name.

? Make sure you have lots of them, one per team per round ? so if you have 10 teams and 6 rounds you'll need 60 (and take some spares!)

? Quizmaster score sheets ? Where you have a line per team name and boxes per round so you can record the scores per round and easily total up at the end.

? You can do them easily on a PC in Excel or find free ones to download online

Above all - GOOD LUCK and have fun too!
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Nick is originally from London but now lives in Sweden with fiancé Œena, 2 step daughters & Border Terrier Gunnar. He runs his own business that includes ebay & consulting for UK quiz site Offerx.co.uk. He runs Quiz-winner.com which is all about quizzes & features online quiz reviews, a quiz shop, free pub quiz posters and score sheets & 10,000 free trivia quiz questions and answers for download.


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