Saturday, 29 August 2015

How easy is easy enough?

Been a while since I posted something which isn’t about a quiz show, hasn’t it? It’s not because I haven’t been quizzing either, but, well, I’m conscious that I do end up repeating myself a lot, and so without anything that new to say about quizzing I’ve tended not to say anything.

It all goes back to last Sunday. Now, I’ve thought long and hard about whether I should actually bring this up on the blog or not, but enough vacillating, and here we go. After all the unpleasantness at the Twelve Knights a few months ago John and I haven’t been back to it, and have only gone to the other Sunday night quiz once a fortnight. We never take the prize if we win, but even so by only going once a fortnight it means that other teams can win at least every other quiz. As it happens the people in the quiz we go to are absolutely lovely, and I’ve an awful lot of time for them – but nonetheless we’ve had enough experiences in the past where we’ve seen the other teams’ attitudes towards us start benignly and eventually go sour over a period of time that I don’t want to risk it happening through overkill.

Time was, maybe 20 odd years ago, when you could pick and choose between pubs which had a home made quiz on a Sunday evening. I don’t know what it’s like round your way, but in my part of South Wales when you find one now you want to cherish it. What I do find, though, is that when I find one, sooner or later I’ll get asked if I’ll make a quiz for one of the Sundays. Not that I mind this at all. However, a couple of months ago I was asked in this Sunday quiz if I could produce one, and so I did. I wrote it to the standard of the easiest kind of quiz I ever do for Aberavon Rugby club. Nobody was at all nasty about it when I asked the questions in the pub, but in all honesty looking at the scores it proved to be too hard for that pub. Surprisingly they asked if I’d so another one a few weeks later, and so I did. This one I made even easier. It was still too hard. Then again I was asked if I’d do last Sunday’s quiz for them. I went out of my way to include the easiest questions I could this side of an insult to the intelligence. The scores were still lower than they usually are in pretty much any other quiz in the pub.

Now I want to stress this next point. It has nothing to do with the intelligence of the teams who play there. Just chat with them for a few minutes and you’ll soon see that. For another thing, they do better on every other quiz I play in in the pub as well, which I don’t tend to think are any easier than the one I produced on Sunday. For example, the winning team on Sunday scored 26 out of a possible 37. OK, not so bad, but it is when you think they are normally at about 30 out of 35. All I can think of is that I just haven’t clicked with what sort of thing I need to be asking. Maybe.

Does it matter? Well, everyone who’s played in one of the 3 quizzes has been perfectly nice and kind about it, but it matters to me. You see my philosophy about setting a pub quiz is that you’re not trying to beat the teams – you’re not trying to find out what they don’t know, they’re trying to find out what they do know. I don’t want people coming up after the quiz saying ‘I’ve never heard of t etc. etc.’ I want people saying ‘ I was really pleased with myself for getting that one right’. Well, it’s just something I have to work on. As for this week, well it will be my turn on Thursday to be question master at the rugby club. Now, if I get that one wrong, then I really will be unhappy. Watch this space. 

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