How to designing a trivia quiz?
July 30, 2012 12:16 AM   Subscribe

I have to host a trivia quiz for friends in a couple of weeks. What rounds should it have?

A bunch of my friends have decided to take turns to host trivia quizzes at our homes. Turns out that I'd be the first host.

I haven't attended one of these in years, and I am having trouble recalling what sort of rounds these things had, except the obvious multiple-choice round and the rapid fire round. Oh, and one where teams take turns to pick a theme and answer questions on that theme. I would like to have 5-7 rounds with 3-5 questions per team per round.

What else can I do?
posted by vidur to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I went to a pub that had picture rounds every time. Ten pictures, each worth very few points, had to fill in the answer. Clues for each picture were read out exactly once and it was typically pretty hard to get the answer without the clue - I think once it was child pictures of celebrities and once it was names of food brand mascots.
posted by 23 at 12:48 AM on July 30, 2012

Best answer: If you have access to some sort of sound system, my favourite pub quizes always had a musical "Spot the Intro" round, which went down a treat.
posted by kreestar at 1:26 AM on July 30, 2012

My favorite round at my old pub was "High School Knowledge." Anything from algebra (solve for X) to history (year of the Battle of Hastings) to science (9th element on the periodic table).
posted by SNWidget at 1:37 AM on July 30, 2012

I attend a movie trivia quiz, and one question that is really fun is called "6 degrees of separation". It goes like this: the host names 2 actors and we need to find the shortest connection between the 2. For example:

Shortest connection between: Sean Connery and Laura Linney.

Sean Connery was in "The Rock" with Ed Harris, who was in "The Truman Show" with Laura Linney.

Shortest route gets the most points, there is *always* 1 obscure, b-film that is a direct link to get the maximum number of points, but very few of us know it. It usually involves 2-3 hops.
posted by alchemist at 2:27 AM on July 30, 2012

Best answer: At the quiz I go to we have

- picture round
- general knowledge
- specialist subject (this week it was James Bond)
- theme round, like science or soaps or music
- connections - all the questions are on a theme or have somethign in common (eg. if the answers are Pink Friday, Green Green Grass of Home and Kind of Blue, then the theme is colours) and people have to guess the connection on the last round
- anagram - kind of like general knowledge except the first letter of each answer can be rearranged to spell something, the answer of which is the last question
- stick or twist - a set of four questions of progressive difficulty. You can answer as many as you like, but if you get one answer wrong then all points for the round are lost.
posted by mippy at 3:46 AM on July 30, 2012

Also, give a prize for the best team name.
posted by mippy at 3:47 AM on July 30, 2012

Best answer: Birth names of famous people.
Audio round: the last 5 seconds of songs with iconic endings (like the birds chirping at the end of Layla).
posted by thejoshu at 4:01 AM on July 30, 2012

nthing audio and picture rounds, if possible. And things a highschooler/midschooler should know.

If you have multiple rounds, one thing that can help as a jumping off point if you are stuck is to pick some general theme. A current event, holiday, other political/social happening, or even the date of the event could be good. One quick way to do that would be to do things that happened on that date -- if you take August 1 for example, you could do rounds on obscure facts about Colorado, something about "Video Killed the Radio Star" or MTV or music videos, a what year did this happen round, and maybe a round centered on an individual who was born or died that day. This might help you get at most of the categories you'd like to -- depending on which facts you select, you could easily get a sports round, a popular culture round, a politics round, a geography/history round, etc.
posted by likeatoaster at 6:04 AM on July 30, 2012

Best answer: I go to a trivia night where we have a few regular rounds:
- Before & After, like in Wheel of Fortune, where the last word of the first answer is the first word of the second answer. His stock explanation involves the answer "James Brown vs the Board of Education" (where the first question involves James Brown and the second question involves Brown vs the Board of Education). Then we get a five part Before & During & During & During & After, where we have five answers that connect together. These are surprisingly fun to write and answer. Usually if you can get one or two parts of it, the rest of it falls into place.
- Crosswords. We get the first letter of the word, the number of letters, and a brief definition. We have to guess the word. Usually it's a technical or archaic word. Sometimes not.
- Lightning Round: We have 30 seconds to finish filling these out after he's read the last question (not including repeats). Usually involves world capitals, Billboard Top song or #1 movie in America, world leaders, etc.
- This Week in History: He gives us the date and some details surrounding the event that took place.
- Movie Quotes: He reads the quote from a movie and we give the film title and the actor's name (not the character's name). This is often harder than it should be.
- Seagal/Schwarzenegger/Stallone: He will give the name of the character and we have to guess which one of these action stars played that character. Alternate groupings of stereotyped characters could be used, like Meg Ryan/Reese Witherspoon/Sandra Bullock, for instance.
posted by aabbbiee at 6:37 AM on July 30, 2012

Best answer: "What year was that?" questions are always good--usually one question, though, not a whole round. Play one song and list 2 pop culture or big political events, and the correct answer will be the year the song came out and the 2 things happened.

One trivia I used to attend had a ranking round. For example, the hosts would list five major rivers in the world, and we would have to rank them in order of shortest to longest. Or five countries from most to least bank holidays. It can get pretty weird while still being guessable and fun.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:39 AM on July 30, 2012

Best answer: One of my trivia mates recently devised a (rather morbid) matching round: Match the assassin with the head of state/cultural icon he assassinated. It was a ten-question round, and two side-by-side lists were projected on the wall, leaving teams with five minutes to match the number (famous person) with the letter (assassin).
posted by obscurator at 1:29 PM on July 30, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks folks. Great ideas!
posted by vidur at 4:42 PM on July 30, 2012

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