Friday, 6 January 2012

Rugby Club New Year Quiz

Well, I know what you’re all dying to know, but have just been too polite to ask me – what happened in the New Year quiz in the rugby club last night ? Well . . .

Just in case you’re not au fait with this, let me give you a bit of background. I’ve been attending the Thursday night quiz in the Aberavon Rugby Club since 1995. In all that time Brian has always used the first quiz in January to do a quiz about the events of the previous year. A special feature of the New Year quiz is the 4 part gamble at the end of each round. It works like this. There are always 4 parts to the last question. You can attempt one, two or three parts to it, and you’ll get points for each part you answer correctly. If you attempt all 4, though, you have to get all 4 parts right. If you get any one part of it wrong, you get no points for the question at all. If you get all 4 parts right, then you get 8 points rather than 4.

In the past, my team mate Anne and I have both said that if we could only win one quiz in the club a year, this would be the one. To be fair we were extremely successful too – winning about 12 times in 13 years or so. Anne, unfortunately, has been unable to come to the quiz for quite a long time now. Last year, though, two teams ruined the quiz by using phones. They gambled successfully in each of the first three rounds, by which time they had made the quiz a two horse race. I know they cheated because I saw them do it, and Brian also confirmed that they were doing it when I had a chat with him at the end of the quiz. By the third time in succession that they both gambled I actually shouted out “Cheats!” when both their scores were announced, and they stopped gambling from then on, but the damage was done. I ended up breaking my carry over New Year’s resolution through this.

There was another little bit of follow up cheating in the weeks that followed. So much so that I actually stared out a member of another team who was doing it, and mouthed the word cheat at her until she put her phone away. I made a point of making an announcement to everyone next time I did a quiz that using phones is cheating, and if I see anyone using their phones in one of my quizzes then I will cancel all of their points for that round. Also a member of one of those teams who cheated in the New Year’s quiz was having a chat with Brian and me after another quiz, and he made the mistake of saying that all teams cheat on their phones from time to time. That comment – red rag. Me – bull. I went off on one about it, informing him that we never use our phones, neither do Lemurs, the other good team. I also pointed out that his team and the other cheats had made a mockery of last year’s New Year’s quiz.

Well, that’s the rather long winded background to last night’s quiz. I hoped that it would all be kosher – but I didn’t expect it to be. Without further ado . . . it was kosher ! I’d be prepared to put hand on heart and say that it was all fair and above board. So we won, did we ? Well, actually, no ! We were stuffed in the end. Rob and Terry and the Lemurs , who had a full team out, were superb, and beat us by 11 points on the questions and a couple more on the pictures. Although we finished comfortably in second they outscored us in almost every round. We were the first team to gamble successfully on round one, which kept us in the lead for a couple of rounds. Going into round 6 out of 7 we were two points behind, and they gambled successfully. It was a decisive moment. Even though we both gambled successfully on round 7, they finished the questions 11 points ahead. Which was just as well. There was a 4 parter on middle east/ North African leaders, and I put down three, wasn’t quite 100% certain enough to gamble, but would have put the right answer down it I had. There was a sport gamble as well where I could have done so correctly. But even if we had done so this would only have brought another 10 points. Thank heaven for that – I don’t like losing, but I’d rather lose because I didn’t know the answers, than lose because I haven’t had the bottle to trust my own answers. So well done Lemurs – fantastic performance. Well done Brian for a great quiz. And well done every other team in the quiz for avoiding the temptation to google – it did a lot to restore my faith in human nature. And I haven’t broken any of my quiz resolutions yet.


DanielFullard said...

Had one instance late last year....not really "cheating" as such. The regular winners of a local saw two young lads playing alone, they were half watching the match on tv half playing the quiz.

One of the winning regulars kept giving the lads hints and least 15 times over a 60 question quiz. The lads scored 47 points, took second place. annoyed me as we are usually top 3 and in the prizes but missed out

Londinius said...

Hi Daniel

That's annoying , isn't it ? There are some places where you can go where that cross fertilisation of answers is pretty much the done thing - and I used to go to a place in Bridgend a good few years ago when people used to get really sirty if you refused to trade answers with them. In fact the landlady even had a quiet word with me about it.

My rough rules of thumb are : -

Never volunteer answers which might be wrong. Even if you stress that you're guessing, you won't be thanked if they turn out wrong.

Never volunteer answers unless you're asked for them, and even then think twice.

Never give anyone else answers unless they are comfortably behind and it can't rebound on you later one.

What the winning regulars did in your case was I suppose forgiveable as a one off - but it would be out of order if they started to do it on a regular basis. If there's prizes on offer, then you do need to keep things above board.