fairer and more interesting if there's some variation in the topics through the evening. Each match should have a good balance of rounds; I find in my league that there are not that many real sports fans, so I only do two or three rounds of it each season. TV, movies and word games are always popular. However, you should tailor your selections to your players, and try to give them what they want.


It's often fun to select rounds that are topical, and that relate to a particular holiday, time of year, or anniversary. Use a ghost round near Halloween, or an Irish round near St. Patrick's Day, for example. Movie rounds are good around Oscar time, or TV rounds when the Emmys are given out. Use the Nobel Peace Prize round sometime close to when the prizes are announced for the year.

Audio Rounds

Our games always include an audio round, which is usually, but not always, music-based. The format of this round is a little different. A cassette tape is supplied, pre-recorded with sound bites that are approximately thirty seconds long. Our rules make this thirty seconds audio playtime part of the answering time, so that the player and team only have thirty seconds left after the audio track is finished.


Each week I prepare a tape with ten selections on it, separated by five-second gaps. This allows the Quizmaster to pause the tape comfortably between questions, while not starting into the next sound bite by mistake.


The two most common types of audio round are "Name that Tune" and "Name that Singer." The first of these can require some tricky work with the recorder, as very often the name of the song will appear somewhere in the thirty-second extract you want to use. I get around this with a technique I call "seamless editing," which the players love to hate. Using a tape-to-tape recording strategy, I make a final tape that has the offending passage edited out of the song. It sounds funny at first, but the players quickly get used to it, and it is usually pretty obvious where editing has occurred.

Use Themes

Like the standard rounds, I recommend that you try to use themes for your audio rounds; ones that I have used are: "Best of (a particular singer or band)," "Folk singers" (or "Country singers," or whatever strikes your fancy), "Broadway Musicals" (name the show the song comes from) and "The other side of love" -- unhappy love songs for Valentine's Day. Classical music can be used for these rounds, too, but

(continues)

Giving Good Trivia (part 2)

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