Merseyside Quiz Leagues

The World's Largest Independent Quiz Leagues

All matches played under the auspices of the MQL must conform to the following rules:

1. Organisation & Registration

  1. The purpose of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues (MQL) is to organise league and other quiz based competitions to be played in public premises on Merseyside and the immediate surrounding area.
  2. MQL operates a non-discriminatory policy with respect to age, gender, disability, race or nationality, ethnic origin, creed, colour, social status and sexual orientation.
  3. A Council shall be appointed annually consisting of the following members: Chairman, Deputy Chairman, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and Treasurer, together with one Council member from each constituent league plus a further member for each of ten teams within the constituent league.
  4. The Council shall have the power to arrange and settle all matters relating to the Leagues.
  5. The Council may at any time fill any vacancies that may occur among the Officers or Council.
  6. Council meetings shall be held as necessary and at least once every four months. The Council shall also call an Annual General Meeting at the end of each season, which will consider all amendments to Rules and other matters.
  7. Proposals for the AGM must be submitted to the General Secretary no later than 28 days before the advertised date of the AGM. The AGM agenda will be circulated to constituent leagues no later than 14 days before the meeting.
  8. All meetings to start at 8.00 p.m. (and no later than 8.30 p.m.) and should last no more than ninety minutes.
  9. League matches must be played on a Monday or a Tuesday and teams must select their Home Match night on the Registration Form.
  10. To initiate the playing season, the Council have set June 15th or any prior date decided by the local council or committee in any season as a Final Registration Date, and all teams must by that date submit:
  1. A fully completed Registration Form 
  2. A remittance to cover the main entrance fee as set by the Annual General Meeting of the MQL and a local fee appropriate to the individual league.  
  3. At least one set of questions (from all teams other than those in their first season).  
  • Local Councils or Committees are empowered to refuse registration to teams not fulfilling the above conditions by the Registration Date.
  1. No player may play for more than one team in any one season without first obtaining the permission of the Council or committee of the constituent league or leagues directly concerned; the player has the right of appeal to the Council of the MQL should the request for a transfer be refused.  This rule applies to all competitions played under the auspices of the MQL.
  2. The MQL Council shall fix a playing season of 26 weeks, during which leagues will be able to play league games to questions provided by the MQL. Leagues wishing to play games outside these weeks will be responsible for providing extra question sets.
  3. Each League is required to forward question sets on the supplied MQL template to the distributors by dates as instructed by the Council. Questions for matches will not be sent to Leagues who fail to meet the deadlines until the commitment has been met, and League Secretaries will be notified in writing immediately after the above dates.
  4. Costs of handbooks to be borne by the local leagues.
  5. MQL Council has the discretion to amend the playing rules for competitions in order to best accommodate the number of teams entering.
  6. A quorum for a meeting of the MQL Council must be at least 5 persons. This must include 2 officers and 3 out of the 5 areas must be represented.
  7. A quorum at an AGM must be at least three officers plus representatives of at least five teams representing a minimum of 3 different areas.

2. Match Rules

  1. Sets of questions will be provided by the Council and only these shall be used in league matches, unless the two captains agree otherwise.
  2. Questions will be issued to the Home Team in sealed envelopes, the sealing to consist of sellotape covering over both end flaps and the official stamp on centre join, properly sealed. These envelopes must be opened by the Question Person in the presence of the two captains before the match begins. There is also the facility to use encrypted electronic distribution in competitions where teams are prepared to use this system.
  3. Teams shall consist of not more than four players; any missing players' questions will be for team bonus points. Players must remain in the same position for the duration of the match. The Home Team shall be responsible for ensuring that the roles of Question Person, Timekeeper and Scorer are provided for each match, except where other arrangements exist in any local League. Any arrivals after the start of a match cannot join the team.
  4. A match shall consist of 32 Questions to each Team, and the winner shall be the team securing the most points.
  5. All league matches should start at 8.45 pm with an allowance of 15 minutes. Each constituent League has the discretion to advance this start time by 15 minutes with the same allowance. Should matches be delayed more than the allowance then the non-offending team has the right to claim the match.
  6. Where league fixtures provide for teams to play each other both home and away the visiting team has the option of answering first or second. In matches organized by MQL, the home captain will toss a coin and ask the visiting captain to call to decide the order of answering. In local competitions where teams play each other only once the local committee may also rule whether the order of play should be decided by the toss of a coin. In all matches the order of answering shall change after round four.
  7. Each constituent League shall be permitted to decide which match rules apply to League matches and internal Cup competitions, even to the extent of different rules applying to different divisions within the League. MQL match rules shall apply to all matches between teams from different constituent Leagues. The Question Person will adjudicate strictly in accordance with the "Notes for the Guidance of Question Persons".
  8. Answering;
  • a) A player should commence to answer their own question within 10 seconds of the completion of the question. They may be allowed to continue after 10 seconds to complete an answer, but if obviously taking too long, may be told to finish by the QP at the QP's discretion. If the answer is correct, TWO points are awarded. If a wrong answer is given, or the question is unanswered, the question is passed to a member of their own team who has five seconds to answer. If the second attempt is correct ONE point is awarded. If still incorrect or unanswered within the time limit, the question is passed to the opposition who has five seconds to answer correctly for ONE bonus point. If clarification is requested by any player, the clock should be stopped and restarted after such has been given.
  • b) One point should be given for a correct answer given after ten seconds, but before fifteen seconds, by the original answerer. Should two or more players answer, the QP will allot points (or otherwise) on the first answer heard.
  • c) If no points are awarded to the original person asked, the question must be passed, despite the original reply being close to the correct answer. The QP should refrain from comment such as "a little more" or "go on", when remarks can indicate that the answer, although incorrect or sufficient, is quite close. Silence on the part of the QP should indicate to the answerer that the answer should be developed.
  1. Should any member of a team be found guilty of prompting in any shape or form, the Question Person shall treat any answer received as incorrect and then proceed to pass the question to the non-offending team.
  2. If any member of the audience should prompt a person answering a question, the Question  Person shall cancel and ask a supplementary question.
  3. It is the duty of each captain to ensure that his or her team's supporters do not in any way prompt any member of the competing team.
  4. In most leagues two league points are awarded to the winning team and one point to each team in the event of a draw. Other points system can be arranged by a local league and agreed at its AGM.
  5. The score sheet must bear the names of all eight players in capitals and be countersigned by both Captains and the Question Person within 10 minutes of the completion of the game. The home captain is responsible for the score sheet or full electronic copy being in the hands of the appropriate league official within three days, or such period as the local league determines, of the date of play. Local councils or committees may impose a fine or appropriate penalty on teams who fail to comply with this rule.
  6. Disputes;
  • a) If either team feels that an answer in the question set, or the Question Person's ruling, is incorrect so that points were wrongly awarded, they must say so immediately or at least before the start of the next round. The Question Person must then invite the two captains to agree how points should be awarded if possible. Captains who know that a mistake has been made should concede the point(s) there and then. If teams cannot agree, the Question Person must note a possible protest.
  • b) If, at the end of the game, the result turns out to depend on the disputed point(s) and it is decided to proceed with the protest, the captain of the protesting team must write the word PROTEST on the front of the score sheet and on the reverse side give brief details of the matter concerned. As a first step the two captains should consult a reliable internet source on the night, if available, then reference books to confirm their opinions, try to agree to concede or withdraw the protest. If they cannot agree, then a written protest must be made by email within 7 days of the game to the appropriate Secretary, with a copy to the other team.
  • c) Protests arising from local League matches will be heard by the League concerned whose decisions shall be FINAL. Protests arising from all other competitions will be heard by a Committee appointed by the MQL Council. Both teams involved should be given 3 days' notice of the hearing and shall have the right to attend.
  1. Any tie at the end of each season for the first or second place in a League shall be settled by any method decided by the local league.
  2. In all knockout competitions, ONE extra round shall be played if the game results in a tie after 8 rounds. If the game is still tied after 9 rounds, then a 10th round shall be played. If the game is still tied after 10 rounds a Tie Break question shall be asked. The questions in these rounds shall be of a general nature. The order of answering will change after Round 8 and again after Round 9.
  3. Teams who enter the Challenge Cup or the MQL Plate and fail to fulfil a fixture without, in the opinion of the MQL Council, good reason, will be subject to a fine, the amount to be determined by MQL Council.
  4. Committees of local leagues are required to:
  • a) have in place procedures for adequate vetting of questions submitted by its teams in respect of accuracy, correct wording, balance and general interest – ideally all sets should be played out in full before final submission.
  • b) accept responsibility for those questions submitted by its teams
  • c) set dates for receipt of questions from the teams in its league. These dates must be sufficiently far in advance of the closing date for registration as to allow time for vetting.
  1. Either Captain has the right to be told the score before a question is asked during the last round.
  2. Teams who fail to turn up for League games will suffer such penalty as the local league deems fit.

3. General

  1. Any published matters, including press, radio, and social media, concerning quiz teams and individual members must not contain any comment or statement capable of causing offence or embarrassment. Questions must not be discussed on social media until at least four weeks after they are played. MQL has the right to impose appropriate sanctions on teams or individuals who contravene these rules.
  2. Teams failing to pay fines imposed upon them within 14 days of the date of the notice of fining shall have their registration suspended until such time as the fine is paid, with games due to be played during this period being forfeited and points awarded to their opponents; or be liable to such sanctions as the local league committee or Council thinks fit to impose.
  3. Teams finishing, first, second or third in the first division of a constituent league of the MQL shall be entitled to compete in that season's Feeny Cup. Teams finishing first or second in any other division of a constituent league of the MQL shall be entitled to compete in that season's Rendon Cup. Any team which, having entered the Feeny Cup or the Rendon Cup then fails to fulfil any fixture without, in the opinion of the MQL Council, good reason, shall be subject to a fine, the amount to be determined by MQL Council.
  4. An honorary President shall be elected by the AGM to serve for a three-year term of office; a person may serve more than one term of office as President, although at no point shall a person serve consecutive terms in the office.
  5. The AGM shall elect as honorary Vice-Presidents any persons whom the meeting feel to be worthy of such election; a Vice-President shall hold office for three years, but may be re-confirmed in office for further terms, which may be consecutive.
  6. Local league competitions should be completed 14 days before the commencement of the Feeny and Rendon competitions, so that the Competition Secretary can be informed of the teams that have qualified and who are willing to take part.
  7. MQL shall publish detailed guidance on question setting,
  8. The MQL Council will publish competition rules for all competitions promoted directly by the MQL
  9. In all cases, MQL matches will take precedence over quiz matches organised by constituent leagues.

Adopted April 2018