An article in The Telegraph about pub quizzes being ruined by smartphone cheating got me thinking.
I set and host a lot of quizzes so why isn’t this an issue in mine?
It’s purely down to the weakness of the quizmaster, nothing else.
Before every quiz I host, I make the following announcement -
"Ladies and gentlemen, in the interests of fairness for everyone, no mobile phones. I don’t want to see anyone using a mobile phone for any reason while the round is active. I don’t care if you’re making a call, receiving a text, taking a photograph or using the phone to scratch yourself intimately… if I see you using it at all, I will deduct you points and not even tell you.
Each round of the quiz only lasts 10 minutes. If you are unable to manage without your mobile for that length of time, I respectfully offer you these two pieces of advice. One - find another quiz. Two - get a life.
Does everyone understand my rules about mobile phones? Not that I could even come close to caring, but does anyone disagree with my rules about mobile phones?”
There are no exceptions, irrespective of the age of those at the table.
These days, people will cheat if the opportunity is presented to them. Alright, I have some authority in the area of quizzes so don’t accept arguing with my answers and have no problem disqualifying teams with abusive members.
However, all too often, the so called quizmaster has spent 5 minutes downloading a quiz from the internet with as much knowledge about what’s in it as the players when he or she begins asking the questions.
This is a prime example of unprofessional laziness and the main reason I’ve virtually given up going to pub quizzes. I personally spend 5 hours writing each of my quizzes. Over the years I’ve hosted hundreds of the things but only ever had two mistakes. If you can’t be bothered to put in the work, don’t expect any appreciation from your paying customers.
It is up to the quizmaster to set the rules and if he or she lacks the common sense or strength of character to do so, that is utterly unfair and disrespectful towards those who are taking part.
Cheating continues because those who have the responsibility to stop it lack the guts to do so. Try it in one of my quizzes and you’ll be named publicly and certainly won’t be winning any prizes!