Merseyside Quiz Leagues

The World's Largest Independent Quiz Leagues


General Secretary's Report 2020-21 (presented at AGM 18th April 2021)

Since the AGM in 2020 the 2019-20 Merseyside Challenge Cup and Plate Finals have still to be played.  A decision on this will be made this evening.  The 2019-20 Mimir Merseyside Heats were played in December 2020 and the Final with Pat Gibson, Mark Kerr, Karl Whelan and John Wilson will be played next month.  The Presentation Evening for the 2019-20 season that was rescheduled for 26 May has now been cancelled.

In November 2020, after months of uncertainty, the regular 2020-21 season of MQL was cancelled.  The MQL Council, who met monthly throughout the year, took the decision as the restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic made it clear that no face to face quizzing was going to be possible.  Any question sets and membership fees that may have been submitted were to be carried over to the 2021-22 season.

In the late Summer and early Autumn of 2020 three leagues were established for existing MQL teams who were able and wished to quiz online.  Experimental at first, those in S&F and in Ormskirk attracted 10 and 9 teams respectively.  MQLOnline followed in September with 15 teams from Liverpool, Warrington and Wirral.  These were managed by their respective leagues and teams submitted sets as their subscription.  All three leagues have extended into a second or third season of fixtures, plus KO and Handicapped Competitions.  There are currently 39 teams involved.  Sufficient teams have shown interest in a short summer league to run from the end of May to July.  Thank you to Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Cliff Houghton, Derek Moody and Paul Davitt for having organised the Leagues and set, vetted and distributed the questions.

After approaching teams it was decided that the Merseyside Challenge Cup would be replaced for this season by the Merseyside Online Challenge.  
•    It attracted only 14 teams, but is currently being played using the Swiss System and will finish in early May.
•    Many thanks to Dave Tilley for once again setting the questions, and to Bill Thomas and Cliff Houghton for running the competition.

President’s Trophy
•    All five areas were happy to play online and matches took place to the normal schedule.  
•    Ormskirk won the competition for the third successive season and by a 12 point margin from Liverpool.
•    The questions were set in rota by the teams themselves.  
•    Thanks to Dag Griffith for looking after the organisation of the Competition.  

The President’s Shield and Challenge, the Feeny Cup, the Rendon Cup and the Merseyside Pairs were all cancelled.

The Mimir competition was cancelled but the Merseyside Individual Challenge will be held next month.
•    This has attracted interest from 60 players.
•    It will be played online over two Monday evenings when all online league quizzing is completed.
•    It will use a format, not dissimilar to Mimir
•    It is open to all MQL players who were playing when the 2019-20 season was suspended and to anyone who has played in the online leagues
•    Questions have been written by volunteers

Buzzer Tournament
•    The 2020 Buzzer Tournament was first postponed to 13 February 2021 before having to be cancelled.
•    The 2021 Tournament is provisionally scheduled for 9 October

Media Appearances and other Competitions
Several MQL players have made appearances on TV and radio quiz shows.  
•    Daniel Lawson of Shipwrecked, Wirral, captained the Magdalene College, Cambridge team to the final of University Challenge
•    Jon Stitcher of Plasterers Arms, Wirral, and Roy Smith of Hatton Coterie, Warrington, reached the semi-finals of Radio 4’s Brain of Britain where
•    Dag Griffith of Wings, S&F, was extremely unlucky to lose his semi-final
•    The competition was won by Graham Barker of The Cricketer’s, Liverpool 

•    In September Pat Gibson, Colly Wobblers, Ormskirk, became British Quiz Champion for 6th time 

Conclusion
After this most unusual and difficult twelve months in which the League season was cancelled for the first time in over sixty years, the happiest news is that the large majority of the members of the MQL appear to be safe and well.  
Thanks to technology those players who wished to quiz online have been able to do so.  A mention should be made of two members of the MQL, Dave Tilley and Jon Stitcher, who have, in different ways, embraced this technology and have enabled team and individual quizzing to continue and thrive locally, nationally and internationally.  One thing that has become clear during lockdown is that there is still an appetite for competitive quizzing, this is not only evident from the numbers involved online, but also from enquiries I have received about the restart of face to face competition and how much people say they are looking forward to it.  

We are all aware that cheap supermarket prices of alcohol didn’t cause all the pubs close down and that the introduction of home video didn’t hasten the decline in the number of cinemas!  I hope that in the same way, online and face to face quizzing will be able to coexist and complement each other in the future.

My thanks, as always, go to fellow Council members and to everyone who contributes to the organisation of the MQL.

The current Vice-Presidents are
Brian Bates    Angela Houghton    Ray Oakes
Brian Cunningham    Cliff Houghton    Bill Thomas
Peter Deakin    Frank McFarlane    Bob Wilkie
Dag Griffiths    Jim McGrath    John Wilson
 


General Secretary's Report 2019-20 (presented at AGM 26th july 2020)

Since the AGM in 2019
•    Victorian Cricketers won the 2019 Challenge Cup and Oxton Cons won the Plate
•    Kluggers won the 2019 Feeny Cup and Abbey Sinners won the Rendon Cup
•    Pat Gibson won the 2019 Mimir Competition, his 7th win
•    Thank you to Wirral for hosting the 2019 Presentation Evening

The Merseyside team of Pat Gibson, Dag Griffiths, Jim Eccleson and Angela Doyle retained the Don Bissett Trophy at the annual Quiz League of London Open Quiz Festival in June 2019, defeating teams from Teesside, Yorkshire and Scotland on the way.  Seven teams from around the country took part.

In Season 2019-20, 107 teams played in the MQL.  This was unchanged from the previous season.

Liverpool 31        Ormskirk 19        Southport and Formby 18
Warrington 12        Wirral 27

All leagues and cup competitions used the 2 attempt format which now seems to be accepted as the normal rule.

Merseyside Challenge Cup
•    Once again only 20 out of 109 teams took part in the Challenge Cup and it was played in 5 groups before the subsequent KO stage.  
•    Questions were all set by Dave Tilley from Warrington so huge thanks to him.  Distribution was predominantly electronic.  
•    Many thanks to Bill Thomas for looking after the organisation of the Competition.  
•    The 2020 finalists are Greyhound and Colly Wobblers and the Plate finalists are Judges and Bishop Eton
•    The teams have been consulted and it has been decided to wait until these matches can be played face to face.

President’s Trophy
•    Again all five areas took part in 2019-20.  Ormskirk won the competition for the second successive season but this year by a 12 point margin from Southport and Formby.
•    The questions were set in rota by the teams themselves.  
•    Many thanks to Dag Griffith for looking after the organisation of the Competition.  

President’s Shield and Challenge
•    Once again teams from Ormskirk, Wirral, Warrington, S&F and 2 from Liverpool took part.
•    After a very close finish the Shield competition was won by Ormskirk beating fellow holders Wirral by just 1 point.
•    The Presidential Challenge was also won by Ormskirk.  
•    Questions were set in rota by the teams with other sets provided by Dag Griffiths.  Many thanks to Frank McFarlane for organising the Competition 

Feeny Cup
•    11 teams representing all 5 leagues took part in the Feeny Competition that was played in 3 groups as a mini league format.  
•    Kluggers won the final with wins over Wings and Colly Wobblers at the Fleetwood Hesketh Club in Southport. 


Rendon Cup
•    Only 5 teams representing 4 leagues (non from S&F) took part in the Rendon Competition which was played in 2 venues using a mini league format in one and a straight semi-final in the other  
•    Abbey Sinners beat Rugby Hounds in the Final on Wednesday 1 May at the Fleetwood Hesketh Club in Southport. Apologies to both teams about the circumstances that made the final venue less than satisfactory.


Although the 2020 Feeny and Rendon competitions were cancelled and in spite of falling participation, it has been decided to retain these two competitions.

Mimir
•    Thanks to League Secs for organising Area heats.  These went off well and produced the 32 players for the MQL heats scheduled for March.  A decision still has to be made about the resolution of this season’s competition.

Buzzer Tournament
•    Following the success of the inaugural competition, the second MQL Buzzer Tournament was held in October.  
•    Setting our own questions allowed us to control both the date and the administration of the event.  
•    With a few hiccups that were sorted out on the day, the event was a great success and won by Ormskirk with Liverpool winning the Plate.  Many thanks must again go to Jon Stitcher and his team of setters, compliers and most importantly question persons.  The day sadly marked one of the last appearances of Dave Rainford on Merseyside before his death in February.

So many congratulations to Ormskirk in winning all three inter-league competitions and the Buzzer Tournament in their Golden Jubilee season.

Media Appearances and other Competitions
Several MQL players have made appearances on TV and radio quiz shows.  
•    The late Andrea Jones of Wirral appeared on recordings of 15 to 1 just weeks after her sad death.  
•    Pat Gibson of Ormskirk won ITV’s QuizMaster screened at Christmas 2019 beating a high calibre field of former TV winners.  
•    Gary Grant of Ormskirk reached the semi-final of Radio 4’s Brain of Britain 2019.  Graham Barker, Jon Stitcher and Dag Griffiths are taking part in the current series.
•    Brian Thompson of Liverpool won Radio 4’s Counterpoint.

Pat Gibson just failed to retain his individual title at the 2019 European Quiz Championships in Sofia.  He did however win the Pairs title with Kevin Ashman, their eighth win together.

Question Setting
There seemed less dissatisfaction with the quality of question sets and the anonymisation of sets appears to have had its desired effect to reduce the blind prejudice about sets before they are even played.

Diamond Jubilee
The Diamond Jubilee of the MQL passed a little more quietly than perhaps anticipated. A Charity Table Quiz scheduled for May or June never got off the ground, but a Jubilee Pairs Competition was held in September 2019.  Hosted by Wirral it was attended by 36 players and was won by the team of John Hall of Warrington and Kris Jones of Wirral.  As already mentioned the Buzzer Tournament inaugurated in 2018 to celebrate the Jubilee was held again in 2019.  COVID notwithstanding, both competitions will remain on the calendar as a permanent commemoration of first 60 years of the MQL.


Conclusion
After this most unusual and difficult of years in which the 2019-20 season remains unfinished and the start of the new season is still uncertain, I am most happy to report that as far as I know, members of the MQL are safe and well.  What quizzing will look like in the short and medium term is still very much unknown.  Efforts are being made by the leagues to provide quizzes and competition for those who wish to play, but it is appreciated that for many the primary purpose of the Leagues is to enable sociable evenings, out of the house, with a drink, some friendly and familiar faces and with a competitive quiz thrown in!  These I’m sure will return in time but for now we must be patient and work with players and venues and do what we can.  With the arrival of Sofia Stitcher, I hope that quizzing on the Wirral at least has a promising future!  Congratulations to Jon and his wife Jeni.

My thanks go to outgoing President Angela Houghton for her support and hard work.  Thanks also to fellow Council members and to all who contribute to the organisation of the MQL.

 

NOTES TO LEAGUE AND TEAM SECRETARIES AUGUST 2019

Welcome to the 2019-20 Season. On behalf of the MQL Council, may I mention the following items;

 

Jubilee Pairs Competition

This is hosted by Hoylake Social Club, Wirral at 8pm on Wed 11 Sept.  Contact your League Secretary or the MQL website for full details and register by Wed 4 Sept.  We hope that you might be able to attend.

 

Start Time is 8.45pm!

Almost every team is guilty to some extent!  This is the annual request to try and make every effort to get to our venues for 8.30pm so that we are ready to start punctually at 8.45pm.  Please be considerate of the players who perhaps have to miss half the friendly in order to catch a bus or train or that people’s enjoyment of the evening is curtailed as more and more venues need to close by 10.30pm.

 

Verbal Communication

The MQL agreed hand signal system means that there should be no need for verbal communication between players in a team while a question is in play.  This includes ‘muttering to oneself’ while trying to think of answer.  Much rarer, but there were one or two instances last season, is the situation where teams have been surprised by a QP commenting “you’ll know this” before asking the question.  Again we’re out for a friendly, enjoyable evening but please be careful!

 

Scoresheets

A set can be partly assessed by aggregate scores and by questions that were unanswered.  In our efforts to continue to improve the quality of our sets, please remind your scorers to keep on indicating unanswered questions.

 

Home Team:

THE ROVERS RETURN

 

 

 

 

 

Away Team:

THE NAGS HEAD

 

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

Rnd

Tot

 

 

 

 

 

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

Rnd

Tot

1

2

 

X

 

2

 

/

1

 

 

5

Date:

04/09/17

1

/

11

2

 

/

 

X

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Started:

8.45PM

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div/Round:

 

LIV 1

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merseyside Challenge Cup and Mimir

This is the MQL’s major competition and yet only 20% of all teams have taken part in the last three seasons.  It provides the opportunity to meet and get to know teams and players from other leagues.  It requires you to commit to 4 extra quizzes, one Wednesday each month from October to January (more if you are successful).  All MQL competitions now use the 2 attempt format, why not enter this season?

All entries should be with the Gen Sec by 7 Sept 2017.  This is the day before the Sept Council meeting when the draw will take place.  Likewise, the Mimir Individual competition is supported by about only 70 or 80 out of over 400 players in the Leagues.  Why not consider giving it a try in February?

 

I hope that you all have an enjoyable season of quizzing.

 

Brian Thompson, MQL General Secretary


General Secretary's Report 2018-19 (presented at AGM 14th April 2019)

Since the AGM in 2018
•    Colly Wobblers won the 2018 Challenge Cup and Wings won the Plate
•    Unison won the 2018 Feeny Cup and Bookworms won the Rendon Cup
•    Karl Whelan won the 2018 MIMIR Competition, his 3rd win
•    Thank you to Ormskirk for hosting the 2018 Presentation Evening

A team from Merseyside won the Don Bissett Trophy at the annual Quiz League of London Open Quiz Festival in June, defeating teams from Teesside, Yorkshire and Wessex on the way.
[Pat Gibson, Dag Griffiths, Jim Eccleson, Derek Moody, Cliff Houghton, Neil Macaskill and Brian Thompson]

In season 2018-19, 108 teams played in the MQL

Liverpool 31           Ormskirk 19        Southport and Formby 18
Warrington 13        Wirral 27

Merseyside Challenge Cup
•    Only 20 out of 108 teams took part in the Challenge Cup allowing it to be played in 5 groups before the subsequent KO stage.  
•    Question distribution was predominantly electronic.  
•    Many thanks to Bill Thomas for looking after the organisation of the Competition.  
•    The 2019 finalists are Victorian Cricketers and Colly Wobblers and the Plate finalists are Judges and Oxton Conservatives

President’s Trophy
•    All five areas took part this season.  Ormskirk  won the 2018-19 competition with Liverpool a close second
•    The questions were set in rota by the teams themselves.  
•    Many thanks to Dag Griffith for looking after the organisation of the Competition.  

President’s Shield and Challenge
•    Teams from Ormskirk, Wirral, Warrington, S&F and 2 from Liverpool took part.
•    The Shield competition was shared by Wirral and Ormskirk after the two teams could not be separated even after a 9 round play-off match. 
•    The Presidential Challenge was won by Wirral.  
•    Questions were set in rota by the teams with other sets provided by Dag Griffiths.  Thanks to Dave Tilley for setting for the play-off match
•    Many thanks to Frank McFarlane for organising the Competition 

Feeny Cup
•    11 teams representing all 5 leagues took part in the Feeny Competition that was played in 3 groups as a mini league format.  
•    Kluggers, Victorian Cricketers and Colly Wobblers will contest the final on Wednesday 1 May at the Fleetwood Hesketh Club in Southport. 
•    Many thanks to David Hodgson, Madeline Evans and Dag Griffiths for arranging venues and hosting the evenings. 

Rendon Cup
•    5 teams representing 4 leagues took part in the Rendon Competition that was played in 2 venues using a mini league format in one and a straight semi-final in the other  
•    Abbey Sinners and Rugby Hounds will contest the Final on Wednesday 1 May at the Fleetwood Hesketh Club in Southport. 
•    Many thanks to, Derek Moody, Pam Baker, Steve Lomas and Dag Griffiths for arranging the venues and for hosting the evening. 

Mimir
•    Thanks to League Secs for organising Area heats.  These went off well and produced the 32 players for the MQL heats in March.  Only 1 player failed to take up their place and was replaced on the night
•    Pat Gibson, Jim Eccleson, Karl Whelan and John Wilson will contest the Final next month.  
•    Many thanks to Unison and Madeline Evans for providing the venue and for hosting this year’s event.

Media Appearances
Several MQL players have made successful appearances on TV quiz shows.  Jon Stitcher and Helen Belcham on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Bill Gerrard and James MacGregor on The Chase.

Pat Gibson became British Quiz Champion for the 5th time in September and retained his individual title at the European Quiz Championships in Venice in November.  He was also runner-up with Kevin Ashman in the Pairs Competition.

Question Setting
With most areas putting increased effort into the setting, vetting and trialling of quizzes, there have been fewer instances of extremes of sets that have spoiled players’ evenings.  There does however seem to be more grumblings about balance than there used to be, could this be that we are all just getting older, more demanding and less tolerant?!  Opinions vary as to how to define the ideal set, I would like to think that it is accepted that if setters and vetters have done their very best to produce what they consider to be a good quiz, then that is enough.  Assessing whether a set is “balanced”, “difficult” or “easy” remains completely subjective.  The only really reliable way of judging is to have the set played by a significant number of teams and then analysing scores. 

Social Media
This appears to have been a quieter year with fewer instances of the ill-considered comments we’ve seen in previous seasons.

Diamond Jubilee
The MQL are 60 years old in 2019 and a small number of events have been planned to celebrate the occasion.  Last September we held the first MQL Buzzer Tournament.  Instigated by Jim Eccleson and Jon Stitcher and organised by Jon, the occasion attracted 17 teams from all over the country for a day’s intensive quizzing.  It was run in conjunction with the QLL, staged on the same day as their competition and used their questions.  Many thanks to the QPs, administrators and the staff of the Bradbury Centre in West Derby for making it a successful day.  Congratulations to the team from Liverpool who happily gave us a home win in this inaugural event.
Two further Jubilee events are planned; a Pairs Competition and a Table Quiz.  Both are scheduled for the Autumn, dates and venues are to be announced.

Buzzer Quiz
Following the success of the first Buzzer Tournament we wish to repeat the event this coming Autumn.  During a well-attended meeting last month it was decided to amend the competition slightly but most importantly to create our own questions rather than buying them from QLL.  This is a major undertaking but has the significant advantage that the event can be held on a different date to the London tournament, so increasing the likelihood of attracting the maximum number of 20 teams. Many thanks again to Jon Stitcher and to all who’ve volunteered to help set and compile the quizzes and bring the tournament together.

Recruitment
It is a pleasure to report that 2 new teams joined the Leagues, one in Liverpool and one in Wirral.  I hope that they enjoyed their first season.  As last year I continue to urge each team and each player to be doing all they can to promote and encourage interest in team quizzing.  This could be anything from asking your hosts to allow you to advertise in your own venue, to inviting friends, family and colleagues to come along and see a match.  And if we are visited by new or potential players to ensure that they receive a warm welcome and see and experience an enjoyable evening.

My thanks again go to fellow Council members and to all who contribute to the organisation of the MQL and the constituent Leagues.
 


General Secretary's Report 2017-18 (presented at AGM 15th April 2018)

Since the last AGM in April 2017

Collywobblers won the 2017 Challenge Cup and Woodlands won the Plate

Collywobblers also won the 2017 Feeny Cup and Plasterers Arms won the Rendon Cup

Karl Whelan won the 2017 MIMIR Competition

 

Thank you to Warrington for hosting the event

 

In season 2017-18, 108 teams played in the MQL

Liverpool 31

Ormskirk 19

Southport and Formby 18

Warrington 14

Wirral 26

All leagues and cup competitions used the 2 attempt format

 

Merseyside Challenge Cup

  • Only 17 out of 108 teams took part in the Challenge Cup allowing it to be played in 5 groups before the subsequent KO stage. 
  • Question distribution was predominantly electronic. 
  • Many thanks to Bill Thomas for looking after the organisation of the Competition. 
  • The 2018 finalists are Unison and Collywobblers and the Plate finalists are Wings and Exiles

 

President’s Trophy

  • With Wirral making a return after a number of years, all five areas took part this season.  Using a new fixture format where 2 matches are played in each of the 5 home venues, the number of playing evenings was reduced.  The change suited Liverpool who won the 2017-18 competition with 2 games still to spare.
  • The questions were set in rota by the teams themselves. 
  • Many thanks to Dag Griffith for looking after the organisation of the Competition. 

 

President’s Shield and Challenge

  • Teams from Wirral, Warrington, S&F and 2 from Liverpool were joined by a team from Ormskirk. 
  • The Shield competition ran in the modified format introduced the previous season and was won by Warrington
  • Emphasising their dominance, the Presidential Challenge was also won by Warrington. 
  • Questions were set in rota by the teams with other sets provided by Dag Griffiths.
  • Many thanks to Frank McFarlane for organising the Competition

 

Feeny Cup

  • There was thankfully only one withdrawal from this competition.
  • 11 teams representing all 5 leagues took part in the Feeny Competition that was played in 3 groups as a mini league format. 
  • Unison, Rainhill Victoria and Oxton Cons will contest the final on Wednesday 25 April at the Thingwall Rec Centre.
  • Many thanks to Derek Moody, David Hodgson, Steve Lomas, Jon Stitcher and Jim Eccleson for arranging venues and hosting the evenings.

 

Rendon Cup

  • 7 teams representing 4 leagues took part in the Rendon Competition that was played in 2 venues using a mini league format. 
  • Abbey Saints and Bookworms will contest the Final on Wednesday 25 April at Thingwall Rec Centre.
  • Many thanks to Barbara Flaherty, Jon Stitcher and Steve Lomas for arranging the Abbey and Stork hotels and for hosting the evening.

 

Mimir

  • Thanks to League Secs for organising Area heats that went off well and were this year completed over only 2 evenings
  • 87 players in total took part in the area heats out of a potential 400!
  • 32 players qualified for the MQL heats in March and only 1 player was unable to take up their place he was replaced by a random draw on the night
  • Mark Kerr, Jim Eccleson, Karl Whelan and John Hall will contest the Final next month. 
  • Many thanks to St Joseph’s Parish Centre and Derek Moody for providing an excellent venue at short notice and to Angela and Cliff Houghton for hosting this year’s event.

 

Social Media

This year there have been fewer instances of the sorts of activity on social media that we felt last year was not reflecting well on the leagues.  There are still some however, who are too willing to make thoughtless and unconsidered comments for all the community to see.

 

Rules

A small group have reviewed and revised the MQL rules.  There is a proposal that these be adopted at this evening’s AGM for next season.  The Guidance to Setters and to QPs will be adjusted in line with these new rules.

 

External Setters

The Council and the Distributors have experimented with buying in sets from external setters.  On 4 occasions (2 Mondays and 2 Tuesdays) in the last season these were played in place of the scheduled set.  From the mixed reception of these sets it is clear that they are subject to the same problems of severity, spread and accessibility that existing MQL sets are said to have.  We have fed back to these setters and will give them a chance to set again in the future. 

If we can find setters who will produce quizzes at the required standard, then it would be the intention of the Leagues to buy in a number of sets so as to reduce the amount that each individual League is asked to produce.  We have also asked League Secretaries to find out if more experienced players within their leagues would be prepared to write extra sets.

 

EQD

While this is clearly a method that will be used in the future, progress is slow. There are few technical issues regarding reliability to iron out, but the main obstacles still remain players and QPs unfamiliarity with hardware and software and an inability or sometimes an unwillingness on the part of some teams to give it a try.  Warrington have used EQD to send out a weekly friendly which not only gets teams used to the process but is a way of trialling and vetting sets.

 

Diamond Jubilee

Discussions about how best to celebrate the 60 years since the formation of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues have already begun.  Ideas for events, competitions, etc. would welcome from any member of the league.

 

Recruitment

Although numbers have held over the past year, diminishing membership of the Leagues remains a problem.  Each league have reported events and promotions that have had moderate to minimal success.  I would urge each team and each player to be doing all they can to promote and encourage interest in team quizzing.  This could be anything from asking your hosts to allow you to advertise in your own venue, to inviting friends, family and colleagues to come along and see a match.  And if we are visited by new or potential players to ensure that they receive a warm welcome and see and experience an enjoyable evening.

 

My thanks again go to fellow Council members and to all who contribute to the organisation of the MQL.


NOTES TO LEAGUE AND TEAM SECRETARIES AUGUST 2017

As we prepare for and start the 2017-18 Season I have been asked by the MQL Council to give some information and send reminders on their behalf.

Summary

Details

Start Time Rule 24 states that all MQL matches start at 8.45pm. In the event of a delay the non-offending team (and this is not always the home team!) may claim the game at 9pm. This is very rarely done because teams don’t wish to spoil the evening. However, in asking the opposition to wait for tardy players, teams often don’t consider the player who has to miss half the friendly in order to catch a bus or train. Or perhaps that people’s enjoyment of the evening is curtailed because venues have to close at 10.30pm. Late starts are prevalent across the leagues. At best, many teams aim to arrive for 8.45pm so that by the time they’ve got their drinks and move to the tables it is after 9pm. Almost every team is guilty to some extent. Please let us all make an effort to get to the venue for 8.30pm so that we are ready to start at 8.45pm.

Verbal Communication We have an agreed hand signal system which means that there should be no need for verbal communication between players in a team while a question is in play. This is regarded as prompting and contravenes Rule 27. It very much includes ‘muttering to oneself’ while trying to think of answer and the “are you sure?” type question that is sometimes asked. Only the captain should speak and that should only be to nominate a player to answer. Please do not put your QP in the position of having to declare prompting and pass the question over.

Mimir In 2017 we had the unprecedented situation where the Area heats of the Mimir Competition were played over a period of about 3 weeks. This had the potential to seriously compromise the security of the Questions. In 2018 the date for the Local Area Mimir Heats is Wed 7 February, and when the season starts, that date is still over 6 months away. The date should not be changed from that week and the Gen Sec should be informed of the qualifiers by Mon 12 February.

Comments and Complaints It seemed that the 2016-17 season saw a great deal of social media comment about the quality of questions. If you have an issue about a set or sets then this should be raised with your League Secretary and supported with some evidence of your complaint. All quizzes are set in good faith; they do not aim to ruin your night out. Spur of the moment texting or posting can at best be dispiriting and at worst, cause great offence or bring the Leagues into disrepute.

Scoresheets A way to monitor and improve the quality of setting is to analyse the scoring on a quiz across the Leagues. To analyse balance we need to know who went in first but this is so often not filled in. Captains please ensure that the scoresheet is complete before signing it off.

The severity of a quiz can be partly assessed by aggregate scores and by questions that were unanswered. So in this coming season please ask your teams to show unanswered questions as follows

 

Home Team:

THE ROVERS RETURN

 

 

 

 

 

Away Team:

THE NAGS HEAD

 

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

Rnd

Tot

 

 

 

 

 

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

Rnd

Tot

1

2

 

X

 

2

 

/

1

 

 

5

Date:

04/09/17

1

/

11

2

 

/

 

X

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Started:

8.45PM

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div/Round:

 

LIV 1

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So when a / is inserted when a person doesn’t get their own question, it is converted into a X if the question is ultimately unanswered.

Council Membership Rule 2 states that in addition to the elected officers the Council should also consist of a number of members from each League. Attendance at all Council meetings would be welcome but is not essential. Each League should currently be providing ONE member from each League plus ONE member from each League for every 10 teams in that league.

The current Council should therefore have its elected officers plus

4 from Liverpool

2 from Ormskirk

2 from Southport & Formby

2 from Warrington

3 from Wirral

Please can I ask League Secretaries to forward names to me at your earliest convenience?

Question Set Distribution Scheduling distribution is a complicated process and aims to minimise the number of sets needed from each League. In 2017-18 it is likely that this number will rise. Distribution is undertaken by Bob Wilkie and Cliff Houghton, please include their contact details in your handbooks and/or on your website.

Merseyside Challenge Cup This is the MQL’s major competition and yet only 16 out of over 100 teams have taken part in the last three seasons. It provides the opportunity to meet and get know teams and players from other leagues. It requires you to commit to 4 extra quizzes one Wednesday each month from October to January (more if you are successful). So if you’ve not played in the MCC before or for a number of years then why not consider playing this season? All MQL competitions now use the 2 attempt format.

All entries should be with the Gen Sec by 9 Sept 2017. This is the day before the Sept Council meeting when the draw will take place.

I hope that you all have an enjoyable season of quizzing

Brian Thompson

General Secretary

 


General Secretary's Report 2016-17 (presented at AGM 23rd April 2017)

Since AGM 2016

  • Rainhill Victoria won the challenge Cup and WSC Woodworms won the Plate
  • Unison won the Feeny and Hoylake LTC won the Rendon
  • Dag Griffith won the MIMIR in a very close match with Karl Whelan
  • Thank you to S&F for hosting the event

 

In season 2016-17, 106 teams played in the MQL

Liverpool 30

Ormskirk 20

Southport and Formby 16

Warrington 14

Wirral 26

Most leagues and cup competitions used the 2 attempt format and from next season it will be used throughout the MQL

 

Merseyside Challenge Cup

  • Only 16 out of 106 teams took part in the Challenge Cup allowing to be played in 4 groups before the subsequent KO stage. 
  • Question distribution was predominantly electronic. 
  • Many thanks to Bill Thomas for looking after the organisation of the Competition. 
  • The finalists are Rainhill Victoria and Collywobblers and the Plate finalists are Woodlands and Yarboroughs

 

President’s Trophy

  • Liverpool, Ormskirk, Southport and Formby and Warrington took part with S&F ending Ormskirk’s 6 year run in what is becoming an increasingly closer competition. 
  • The questions were set in rota by the teams themselves and some electronic distribution was used. 
  • I understand that we will be welcoming Wirral back into the competition next season.
  • Many thanks to Dag Griffith for looking after the organisation of the Competition. 

 

President’s Shield and Challenge

  • Teams from Warrington, S&F and 2 from Liverpool were joined by a team from Wirral. 
  • The Shield competition ran in a slightly modified format and was won by Liverpool 2b.
  • The Presidential Challenge was won by Wirral. 
  • Questions were set in rota by the teams and by sets provided by Dag Griffiths.
  • Many thanks to Frank McFarlane for organising the Competition and to Cliff for the refreshments on Challenge night

 

Feeny Cup

  • Unlike 2016 there were thankfully few withdrawals from these competitions and none were last minute.
  • 10 teams representing all 5 leagues took part in the Feeny Competition that was played in 3 groups in either a round robin or KO format. 
  • Unison, Collywobblers and Oxton Cons will contest the final on Wednesday at the Greyhound.
  • Many thanks to Madeline Evans, Derek Moody, David Hodgson and Jim Eccleson for arranging venues and hosting the evenings.

 

Rendon Cup

  • 8 teams representing 4 leagues took part in the Rendon Competition that was played in 2 venues using a KO format. 
  • Nematodes and Plasters Arms will contest the Final on Wednesday at APH.
  • Many thanks to Jon Stitcher for arranging Thingwall Rec and hosting the evening.

Mimir

  • Thanks to League Secs for organising Area heats that went off well in spite of the fact that they were played over a 3 week period. 
  • I am uncertain as to how many players in total took part in the area heats but if Liverpool was typical we had 16 out of a potential 120!
  • 32 players qualified for the MQL heats in March and only 1 player was unable to take up their place.
  • Charles Johnson, Tom Farley, Karl Whelan and Rod Moore will contest the Final next month. 
  • Many thanks to New Brighton CC and Rod Watkins for providing what is a really pleasant venue and to Jim Eccleson for hosting this year’s event.

 

Rule 50

In the use of the website and EQD we are slowly trying to embrace new technology in the MQL.  There have been some instances this year of some thoughtless comments being made on Facebook and elsewhere and we thank Mark Kerr and Chris Quinn for continuing to moderate what could and should be a valuable tool in promoting and preserving the MQL

 

Final Thank You

  • to Chris Quinn for his webmastering
  • to all League secretaries for their continued hard work.
  • and most of all to Bob Wilkie and Cliff Houghton in the vital role as Question Distribution.