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Tie-Breakers

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In the Event of a Tie

Once your Quiz Night is over and all the Trivia Question Rounds and Table Questions have been handed in there can be occasions where there’s a tie. Even after 120 points and 10+ tables – they do happen. What can you do to determine a winner? A tie-breaker is required for your quiz. Here are three detailed ideas as to how to establish a winning table in the case of a tie.

  1. Option A – Most Rounds Won
  2. Option B – Tie-Breaker Question
    • Tie-Breaker Example Questions
  3. Option C – Score Predictors

It’s vital that you establish the tie-breaker rule prior to any questions being asked so teams are completely clear on what will occur. Make sure it announced at the beginning of the event – perhaps during the announcement of the rules. Following this step should encourage less disputes in the case of a tie.

Option A – Most Rounds Won

Throughout the evening each winning table for the rounds are identified. Whichever table received the most points for a particular round is the winner and they are displayed with a coloured square on the current standings presentation (see below). At the end of the night, in the event of a tie, the table with the most coloured squares wins.

Option A means the whole Quiz Night doesn’t rest on one question – often a fairer and simpler way of deciding a winner. Saves the night dragging out too.

As you can see in the image below Cheese & Crackers and Charlie’s Angels have both finished the Quiz Night with the same score. However, Cheese & Crackers are the winners for the night as they had the highest score for three rounds. Compare this to Charlie’s Angels and they only had the highest score for two.

Even after following Option A there are times when there is a tie using that rule. In this case follow-up with option B. Or alternatively use Option B as your first preference.

Option B – Tie-Breaker Question

You may choose to make this your Option A if you would prefer or if there’s ample time at the end of the night. Don’t forget to clearly state at the beginning of the night how you will be finding a winner in the event of a tie.

In the case of a tie even after using Option A (see below for example) then this can be your best bet.

In the case of a tie, get each tied table to send a representative to the stage and participate in a final tie-breaking question. I suggest this question is reasonably obscure with the answer being many possibilities. This leads to a higher/lower – The Price is Right style game. Flip a coin to decide who gets to answer first and then continue alternating until one representative has correctly answered. (This is another good reason to have a prize for more than just first place – allowing a consolation prize.) See below for some great examples:

Tie-Breaker Example Questions

  1. Which is the only barrier yet to have a Melbourne Cup winner? Barrier 18
  1. How tall is the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world)? 829.8
  1. How many minutes is the total running time of the 1997 original theatrical release of Titanic194mins
  1. What is the distance between the Moon from the Earth? 384,400 km
  1. How high is Mt Everest in metres? 8,848 m
  1. In what year was the Great Pyramid of Giza Built? 2560BC
  1. How tall was the tallest recording person in the world? 2.72 m (8ft 11.1in)
  1. What is the length of the Great Barrier Reef in kms? 2,300 kilometres
  1. How many people survived the sinking of RMS Titanic? 706 (214 crew and 492 passengers)
  1. How many letters are there in the word “SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS”? 34 letters
  1. What is the top speed of a hummingbird? 79 km/h
  1. How deep is the Mariana Trench? 10,994 meters (36,070 feet)
  1. In months, what is the gestation period of an elephant? 22
  1. In what year did France conduct its last execution by guillotine? 1977
  1. Jupiter has how many known moons? 79
  1. How many people have allegedly set foot on the moon? 12
  1. The famous Rumble in the Jungle fight went to how many rounds? 8
  1. What was the distance of the Wright Brothers first successful flight? 852 feet (260m)
  1. How high is the Empire State Building (including its antenna)? 1,454 feet (443.2m)
  1. What is the top speed of a hummingbird? 79 km/h

Feel free to comment below with your own favourite Tie-breaker questions.

Option C – Score Predictors

Get each table to write on the top of the first round answer sheet how many answers in total they think they’ll get correct. In the event of a tie, the team that was closest to their actual number of correct answers at the end of the night wins. So, even as both teams answered the same number of questions correctly only one team comes away with the win due to this last ‘correct’ (or most correct) answer.

Once you’ve used one of these suggestions, comment below to let us know how it went? What worked well? Did you make an adjustment? Perhaps you’ve got your own way of determining a winner… let us know!

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