The 2017 UK Pub Quiz Championships, organised by Redtooth, took place this past weekend at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Although I haven't been attending as many organised quizzes as I would have liked this year, I made damn sure I was able to attend this event as the debut edition was my favourite quiz of last year and it is safe to say that the event has been the highlight of my quizzing year once again...
There was a slight format change this year, meaning rather than being spread over the weekend with bits of entertainment and Poker/Darts events going on, both the Team and Individual quizzes took place over one day.
The Individual quiz kicked off proceedings, and I was happy to see that the format had changed little. Rather than being an exam style quiz with written questions, each 30 question round was presented in traditional pub quiz style (i.e. a question master with a mic!). The only minor change was reducing the number of rounds from 10 down to 8. I think this worked in my favour as some of my weaker rounds from last year were combined. (Rounds included....TV and Film, Sport, Pictures, Music, History/Politics, 2017, The World, Art and Literature).
The changes to the rounds coupled with the fact I put a little but of work in to ensure a better placing meant I was able to improve from 28th last year up to 14th this year which I was very pleased with. I only really had one terrible round (Music) but managed to recover by keeping steady in the others. The Sport, Music and TV/Film rounds were presented in a similar manner to last year, questions 1 beginning this time in the 1950s and ending with the present day. This gives a great overview and creates a more level playing field.
The main work I had put in the week prior was just to recap for the 2017 round. Last year the winner scored 100%, so I wasn't aiming for a round win but knew I could make up some points at least with just a few hours revision. Hence, the last ten questions of the round being on Winners of 2017 worked in my favour (although I still didn't manage to get the Mercury Music Prize winner.)
Last year I picked up a small prize in the Picture Round and knew I had chance to make up some points there too. I ended up 1 point away from being involved in a tiebreak for second in that round, which was partly down to putting Dylan instead of Aidan (Turner) when the picture of Poldark came up. Still, more than happy with that!
Congratulations to Nic Paul who retained his title, with Clive Dunning 2nd and Egghead Steve Cooke 3rd. When I returned to the bar after a quick break, I was over the moon to notice I had managed 14th, beating people I don't tend to beat, and the 5 players who had travelled down from the North East had all managed to be in the top 15.
Onto the team quiz.....
Last year, a team we cobbled together on Facebook, (Myself, Tom Mead, Sam Roberts and Colin Daffern) managed 2nd place, beating some very good teams on the way. So, hopes were high of another good finish. The format of the team quiz was 12 rounds in total. The first half was 6 rounds, after which the teams would split, the top half would go into the final and play for the main prizes, the bottom half would compete for a £100 plate prize.
The first half went well, and we actually ended up in second place with a strong score. A connection round on wrestling, Colin bossing the music round and some solid team play all round left us with a good placing ready for the second half.
This year a Wipeout round had been introduced (think the TV show Wipeout) in which we were presented with a grid of twenty answers.....10 were right, 10 were wrong....you could answer as many or as few as you liked but if one was wrong you scored 0 for the round. The first half ended with Colin rattling off 8 answers of people on the list who were aged 85 or over and we made it through to the final.
The second half, quite rightly so, was much trickier and after dropping a couple per round we dropped down to 4th place overall. Which, considering the calibre of opposition, is a good showing. Despite Colin getting one of the most impressive connections I seen (after 3 clues he instantly knew what was being asked for was things mentioned in the lyrics to Cool for Cats!) we had a bad picture round and couldn't make the ground up. The wipeout this time was based on towns and cities of England with populations over 100,000, which proved a tad controversial, but didn't effect us as we played it safe with 5 right answers, hoping some teams to be wiped out. But alas, I haven't played in a more fun team quiz all year!
Congrats to Paul Sinha, Oliver Levy, Chris James and Marianne Fairthorne who were crowned champions for the second year in a row.
Overall, the UK Pub Quiz Championships has again been the highlight of the quizzing year. Great questions, great venue and great company. I hope it will return next year!