Friday, November 21, 2008

Trivia Contest

This weekend is the Community Caring Hands Trivia Bowl. It is one of the more fun charity events to support the local CCH group. For those who aren't familiar with CCH, they are a non-profit which does services for the elderly and poor in the community such as window repair and handicapped ramps and ... Basically home improvements and repair for those who can't do them without help.

The Trivia Bowl was started by a faculty group from the local community college many moons ago. It grew from a game they played over the lunch hour that is much akin to a team version of Trivial Pursuit. The way the local version works is that you get together a 4-6 person team, enter, and have fun.  Each team is assigned a table in the Elks Ballroom. A local retired faculty member and author of many trivia books is the Moderator. The normal flow is:

  • Moderator asks a question
  • Moderator starts the 60 second clock
  • Your team writes its answer on a slip of paper
  • Clock expires and the slips of paper are collected by the runners
  • Runners give the slips to the panel of judges
  • Your team is awarded a point for each correct answer

The winner is the team with the most points after all 6-8 categories of human knowledge have been exhausted.
What makes the event fun is that every one is heckling everyone else between questions and there is food and drink for all teams. Not to mention the audience in the galleries is hooting and hollering, especially when the judges announce a particularly inane answer to the crowd. You score crowd points but no game points by making up a Rube Goldberg style answer to any question you have no clue about.

Needless to say, it is a couple of hours of fun. Teams spend a lot of time visiting and talking between rounds, so it is a social event as well as a trivia contest. Teams seem to persist for years as a team. The team I am on has been competing for some years now with changes in personnel when schedules prevent some of us from participating. Our leader is an old high school classmate and former CPA. He is a bit obsessive, to the point of analyzing any question we missed in the previous year, etc. Another of our team is local lawyer who was also a high school classmate. Finally, to round out the core of our team, we have a youngster (he might be 27 by now) so that we can cover the youth trend questions. Some years we add a local surgeon or doctor or teacher or movie writer or ... It all depends on who we can recruit.

We usually get a rousing round of boos at the start of the contest as the teams are announced - both because I am the mayor and because we have been the champions 3 out of the last 4 years. (We were sub-par one year and lost to the local community college faculty team. *gasp*) Most years there are 120 questions divided into 6 categories. We usually end up getting 110-115 correct. Second place is usually around 105-110 correct and then there always seems to be a gap before a cluster of other teams. But the real fun is the ones where you have no clue and so can go for the crowd points.

So think of me tomorrow night as I trivialize my way down the road ... I'll try to remember a few good questions and put them up here after the contest.


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