Invariably, when I mention the League to a stranger, they say, "Oh, you mean that electronic game that you see in bars?" Emphatically not! They are referring to the Buzztime trivia network, found all over North America, and becoming known in Europe.
The biggest difference between that sort of trivia game and the experience of trivia league play is the social aspect. With Buzztime, a person sits with a machine called a "playmaker" and answers questions given on a TV screen. It is primarily a solo experience (although to be fair, one machine is often surrounded by a cooperative group of players), and relatively limited social interaction. Team trivia, on the other hand, offers ten other people with whom you interact.
Imagine a bar or restaurant anywhere. It is Monday night, 8:00 pm; time for the regular trivia league match. At a group of reserved tables, eleven eggheads with laptop computers and photographic memories gather to face each other across the table ...
Now scratch the egghead image!
Trivia leagues by and large are populated with average people off the street, who gather for a social evening with ten like-minded people. The server has placed the beers in front of everyone, and the Quizmaster has loaded the portable stereo. The first round in our league is an audio round (usually music, but not necessarily) with ten 30-second sound bites. Immediately, witticisms start to fly, generously sprinkled with epithets and insults heaped upon the head of the person who created the questions.
Eventually half time arrives, and the server lays out some munchies and finger food. After the players get settled again, we get underway with the current events round. Some of the other Toronto leagues use major events, but I like to find bizarre, off-beat items, and the players know this and keep their eyes peeled to spot them in the news over the week.
The Toronto Trivia League was created by Peter Mathieson in 1992. Peter resigned in 2005 and Alex McDonald took control. Alex resigned in 2018 and Phil Rock took control. Most of this website was created by Peter.