I’ve Got a GREAT Feeling about This!

I’ve Got a GREAT Feeling about This!

Solo came out this week, and it got me thinking about how classic Star Wars characters might fare at a Quizzoholics trivia night. Here’s how you might classify your favorite heroes, pub-quiz style.

  1. Obi Wan is your wisest friend. His knowledge is well-rounded and broad, and he’s definitely more of a jack of all trades than a master of none. He’ll be useful throughout the game.
  2. Luke is your flight expert. He knows all there is to know about aircraft, and probably the engineering behind it. He may have been a whiner in his formative years, but he probably knows a fair amount about flight and the math and science needed to figure it out.
  3. Han is street smart, yes, but he’s deceptively intelligent when it comes to other stuff, too. A modern-day Han might be classic pop culture savvy on top of knowing a little something about history or sports.
  4. You can’t go wrong with having a Leia-like player on your team. Her sharp, take-no-shit personality combined with an adeptness in strategy would be an asset to any team. 
  5. A senator and queen, Padme is your go-to government/royalty expert. If you have a policy wonk friend – she’s it. Added bonus: she’s quick with a gun, so she could probably answer some weapon-related questions, too.

Quizzing Around the World: World Quizzing Championships

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Quizzoholics has all of your New Jersey (and, most recently, Philadelphia) pub quiz needs covered, but should you find yourself overseas in a few weeks, you might want to check out the 16th annual World Quizzing Championships, set for June 2. Nearly 3,000 competitors from over 45 countries take part in the competition (including a number of venues stateside), sponsored by the International Quizzing Association.

The WQC differs from standard pub quiz in that it’s a strictly written test, though many are still held in pubs and bars. On quiz day, participants are handed two packets each of four “papers,” containing 240 questions in total spanning eight genres: culture, entertainment, history, lifestyle, media, sciences, sport and games, and world. Each genre contains subcategories like fashion, ballet, hobbies, human geography, philosophy and more. Contestants have one hour to answer each pack. Spelling doesn’t matter, and answers are checked by fellow players. 

Because the tournament happens simultaneously in so many countries, the IQA has staffers in charge of coordinating accurate translations. Languages include Bulgarian, Finnish, French, Japanese, and Latvian. Over the last 16 years, the competition has grown substantially, and it’s become known as a fun, challenging event for quiz enthusiasts across the globe.

Preparing for Pub Quiz!

By now, you probably know what kinds of rounds and questions a Quizzoholics trivia event consists of. The next step is thinking about how to prepare for pub quiz. Here are our tips!

  1. Read up on the week’s current events. Some rounds might be themed around the week’s headlines or events, like awards season or the Super Bowl. They could be questions about the Oscars or simply movie-related     queries. Keep current events in mind when you come to pub quiz.
  2. Know what you’re good at. If you’re a science expert, music fanatic, or big-time sports fan, use that to your advantage! Listen up for rounds, questions and categories that fit in with your expertise, and tell your teammates when something you’re confident in pops up. You know what you know.
  3. Think about what you’re bad at. By the same token, you also know what you DON’T know. It never hurts to glance at a map of state capitals if geography isn’t your thing, or to listen to a playlist of #1 songs throughout the decades. We’re not talking Jeopardy-levels of studying here – but brushing up on subjects you might not be an expert in can never hurt.
  4. Use all sides of your brain. Sure, at Quizzoholics, we’re testing your knowledge on a variety of subjects. And sometimes that also involves thinking outside the box, solving anagrams or deciphering puns and plays on words. You might have to get creative, but that’s all part of the fun.

What to Expect at Quizzoholics

Playing bar trivia at a Quizzoholics event is always unique, but we do follow a few guidelines when it comes to writing quizzes. Here’s what you can expect at New Jersey’s best pub quiz.

  1. Visual round. Teams are given a handout with eight images. Your job is to identify what each image is. The pictures always follow a theme, like college mascots, words that start with the letter “c,” or badly drawn movies. This round is timed, so work quickly!
  2. Standard rounds. These rounds range in difficulty but are usually based on some sort of theme. You can expect the standard rounds to cover anything from arts and literature to chemistry – history, geography, pop culture, the sciences. It’s all accounted for.
  3. Audio rounds. Quizzoholics trivia also features two audio rounds. In the first, you’ll have to identify the song title and artist by a short snippet that your host plays. Most nights, you’ll be given a clue – songs that have a color in the title, ‘90s hits – and these categories often cover multiple genres. The second audio round is generally focused on pop culture, like identifying TV show theme songs or Bill Murray movies.
  4. Multiple answers. In this round, teams answer questions that have multiple answers, like identifying the NATO Phonetic Alphabet codewords that are also men’s names. All the questions in this round are themed.
  5. All or nothing. You’ll want to bring your best for this round. Random knowledge questions comprise the last round, and they’re often the hardest questions you’ll face all night. Each correct answer is worth two points, but get one wrong, and you’ll earn zero points for the round. Choose wisely, and go with your gut – or not.

Quiz Team – Assemble! 

Avengers: Infinity War was released last week, and it’s already a box office smash (no spoilers, PLEASE!). In honor of our favorite good guys, here are your pub quiz teammates as Avengers characters.

  1. The One Who Knows Nothing Current: Thor. He’s trying. But he’s not the most up-to-date. The good news is this player is a massive help in those mythology rounds.
  2. The Science Buff: Shuri. The princess of Wakanda is genius, and some say she’s even smarter than Iron Man himself. Keep the science buffs around for all of your chemistry, biology, and engineering needs. 
  3. The History Geek: Captain America.  No trivia team is complete without a history fan, and Steve Rogers is the perfect hero to fill that slot. He’s in his 90s, so he knows a lot of old stuff. Plus, he literally fought in World War II! Can’t go wrong with Cap.
  4. The Guy Who Thinks He Knows Everything: Iron Man. Tony Stark is a genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist, so of course he thinks he has all the answers. Honestly, he probably does. And even if he doesn’t, he sure believes he does. Know when to trust this trivia junkie and when to just let him ramble.
  5. The Guy Who Actually Knows Everything: Hulk. Like his red-and-yellow-suited peer, Bruce Banner is a genius. But he’s a modest genius. This is useful. Hang on to this player.

Quizzing Around the World: India

You may not know about the Indian capital Chennai (formerly Madras), but if you like bar trivia, you might owe a debt of thanks to the town.

In the early ‘80s, a professor named Shankar Balakrishnan who worked for Anna University in then-Madras invented a new type of quizzing called Infinite Bounce. The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras picked up on it, and it became popular in Asian and European trivia circles soon after. 

In an Infinite Bounce quiz, also known as Infinite Rebounds or Bouncer, questions “bounce” from team to team until they’re answered. According to the Boat Club Quiz Club out of the College of Engineering, Pune in Pune, Maharashtra, India, the quiz host starts with the team ranked immediately behind the team that answered the last question correctly. If they can’t answer, the question is passed to the team behind them, and so on.

If no team can answer the question, the host goes back to the same team that started the sequence. On the other hand, if each team correctly answers a question, the order is reversed, similar to the way a snake draft works. In some formats, if a team doesn’t know the answer to a question, they can decide who to pass it to, rather than stick to the order, which introduces an element of strategy to the generally fair, equal premise of Infinite Bounce.

It sounds more complicated than it is (though the Pune quiz club did come up with an algorithm to define Infinite Bounce mathematically).

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Over the last few years, pub quiz in Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific nations has become more and more popular. A trivia night was even the focus of the Big Little Lies book, which is set in Australia. It’s so popular, in fact, that a new international quiz competition starts this month. Two bar trivia companies, TriviaWorks and Quizzing Australia, launched the Australasian Pub Quiz Championships, set to begin April 28. Venues in Sydney, Canberra, and Wellington will host games.

The Australian pub quiz community is tight-knit, and the continent is home to a number of quiz-centric businesses and organizations. Several companies promoting fun, competitive trivia nights have popped up in the country within the last decade, ranging from TriviaWorks, an alliance of independent quiz companies across the continent, and Quizzing Australia, which bills itself as an organization for serious trivia enthusiasts.

Australians often excel at geography questions because they’re well-traveled, says Mark Donehue, an education lecturer at Deakin University in Victoria who also runs his own trivia company. Donehue was profiled by Deakin last year and discussed bar trivia’s growing popularity, specifically in Melbourne. He also says, despite the competition, pub quiz can be a relaxing, unique social outing. Plus, as technology advances, so do trivia games.

“In this world of go-go-go, it is worth the time to enjoy ourselves and have a great time – trivia does this,” Donehue said.

Pub Quiz around the World: Belgium

We’ll take you on a bar trivia world tour to find out how they do quizzo outside of New Jersey.

First stop: Belgium!

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest pub quiz happened in Belgium in 2010. Nearly 2,300 participants gathered at the Flanders Expo Halls in Ghent for the “Quiz for Life.” If that sounds surprising, it shouldn’t be – the country actually has its own brand of bar trivia, known as Quizzing in Belgium, or Belgian-style quizzing. 

Between 20 and 50 teams of four to six people each participate in a typical Belgian-style quiz. Some games can run up to a total of 180 questions – that’s almost three time's the size of a Quizzoholics quiz. What’s known as a “plain” round includes questions that cover a number of topics in a single round – similar to what we call a general knowledge round. They also do themed rounds and rounds where each answer is linked to another.

Belgian quizzes utilize “ABC” rounds, where 26 questions are asked and each response starts with a different letter of the alphabet. They also have acrostic rounds, where the first or last letters of each correct answer form an acrostic (you might remember writing one of these as a poem about your mom in elementary school). The trivia nights generally end with “super” rounds, which are harder than the rest of the quiz and offer up questions with different point values.

Rounds can be long and intense, so it’s no wonder that Belgian-style quizzing has developed a reputation for being among the toughest in the world. Belgians routinely occupy one or more top-five slot at the World Quizzing Championships, held annually in Europe since 2003.

Quizzoholics: A History

What started as a part-time gig at a bar in Bordentown six years ago has turned into a full-fledged business for Quizzoholics owner Matt Sorrentino. The company started with pub quiz every Wednesday at Bordentown’s Dubh Linn Square, and now, we host weekly trivia nights three days a week all across the state, from Jersey City to Manahawkin. 

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Our quizmasters aim to strike a good balance between humor and a fun, challenging game of bar trivia – unsurprising, considering Sorrentino himself spent eight years on the comedy circuit. After a few years living in Florida and Los Angeles, he moved back home to Pemberton and ended up falling into a trivia hosting job at the former Dubh Linn Square. It took off, and weekly trivia nights were added to the bar’s Cherry Hill location. Teams from the Dubh Linn days are still regulars at local events.

The company’s growth has been due in large part to trial and error, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. The balance between a quiz that’s challenging and one that’s too tough to enjoy can be hard to come by, but it’s exactly what you’ll find at one of our events. There’s pop culture, music, sports, history, science, geography – each trivia night has a little something for everybody, and our hosts work hard to make sure that’s always the case.

Now, you can find Quizzoholics trivia nights at 13 different bars spread out over 10 different towns statewide three nights a week. There’s a full list of events on our Schedule page, where you’ll definitely find a bar near you.

The Do's and Don'ts of Pub Quiz

So you want to play bar trivia? Here are some tips to make your Quizzoholics experience the best it can be.

DO assemble a well-rounded team. Our quizzo rounds cover sports, pop culture, music, television, history, movies, geography, literature, and more. Do you have a friend who knows every World Series champion by heart? How about someone who can list every president and vice president and the years they were in office starting with Washington? Or someone who knows everything about country music? Bring them along!

DO go with your gut. If you’re unsure about an answer, or have an idea about something but don’t know where that random factoid of knowledge came from, go with your first instinct.

DO eat. And drink. You’re at a table for two hours! It's no secret how our business model works. Our job is to bring people into the restaurant or bar to spend money.  In return we provide a kick ass quizzo event that you and your friends totally enjoy.  Also... tip your server well.(See final don't for more info)

DON’T use your cell phone. Cheating bad! Playing fair good! Yes, we all have tiny computers capable of finding literally any fact ever committed to memory in our pockets, but that doesn’t mean you should use them during trivia.

DON’T shout out answers. If it’s right, you’re a dick. If it’s wrong, you’re a stupid dick. Which brings me to my final point…

DON’T be a dick. Just don’t! Remember, this is a game. At the end of the day, you’re here to play trivia in a bar and drink beers with your friends. Try to keep your voice down when your host is reading questions, especially during the audio rounds. Don’t be a jerk to your fellow competitors. Make it an enjoyable experience for yourself (and everyone else in the bar).

The origins of pub quiz, from Britain and beyond!

Sure, you love pub quiz, but do you know where it originated?

Like many great things – The Beatles, Queen Elizabeth II, THE INTERNET – it comes from England. Sharon Burns and Tom Porter, known together as Burns and Porter, founded what we now know as the first bar trivia leagues in 1976. The pair wanted to come up with a way to up pub traffic on quiet nights, and it worked – what started out as a 32-team outing turned into a 10,000-squad effort by the ‘80s.

Original Pub Quiz

In its original form, Burns and Porter provided participating pubs with sealed envelopes containing that evening’s questions. At the end of the week, the duo collected each team’s results and updated the league’s standings. 

Now, obviously, the format is much looser, and with new technology comes an increasing number of way to play quizzo. Audio rounds, visual rounds, social media clues – they’re all part of a new wave of quizzes (and you can find all that and more at any of our weekly events). Even adding in a computer to add up scores in real time has changed the way we play pub quiz. 

Today, some studies have tallied over 25,000 weekly trivia events in the US and UK combined, though that number is constantly growing. Forty years after the first iteration of pub quiz, it’s evolved into one of the most popular (but still low-key) bar activities out there. We hope to see you out at one (or all) of our NJ trivia nights.

What makes the perfect bar trivia team name?

What’s in a name? Thinking up the perfect team name at trivia night is one of the best parts of coming out to the bar for quizzo – brainstorming with your friends to figure out what’s funny and what isn’t is always good for a few laughs, and so is listening to names other teams come up with. But what makes a great team name?

A good pub quiz team name combines current events and humor– but try to keep it unique. If the president made a particularly goofy tweet (remember covfefe?), chances are other teams will reference it in their names. If you want yours to be a nod that day’s big headlines, make it creative. We don’t want a repeat of the week multiple teams went with “Hangin’ with Aaron Hernandez.”

It can also be a funny observation, like this month’s “I Don’t Wash My Hands After I Pee,” or “She Likes My Dad’s Penis.” Then, there are old favorites, like the many variations of “Quiz in My Pants,” “Better Late Than Pregnant,” “Our Couch Pulls Out, But We Don’t.” They’re all classics, but get creative! You’re already smart enough to come out to the best quizzo night in New Jersey. We know you’re clever enough to put your own spin on a typical team name.

The most important rule to follow, though, is to just have fun! Your team name doesn’t have to crack up the whole bar. Make it an inside joke, or a 50-year-old reference that nobody else will understand. It’s up to you. Now use your sense of humor and get to work.

Trivia Night Old Town Pub Bordentown New Jersey