What is the optimum number of members for your quiz teams?
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What is the optimum number of members for your quiz teams?

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When setting team numbers for your quiz night, is the prime consideration optimizing your return over the bar or the convenience for the venue or the patrons.

Often I see quiz team numbers set at four or six. It's really an arbitrary number. They tend to be even, maybe so that couples are more easily accommodated. Also not to big as then teams may not be able to get enough people to enter, not too small or you don't have enough people to spend money over the bar.

But why set a number at all? The response is normally based around fairness. A limit is normally set so the quiz is fair. It is fair if all teams have the same number, it is unfair if one team has ten members and another has only three. But a quiz or trivia night doesn't need to be fair, it only has to appear to be fair.

You set the quiz team numbers at two or more. A team of ten shows up. Maybe it's a sports team after midweek training. They can never all agree on an answer and in the end all answers are vetoed by one or two members. Sometimes they even hear the correct answer from one of the other members of their team but overrule for an incorrect answer. Therefore they never, or rarely ever, win a prize and none of the other teams care that there are ten members in the team at all. Although the numbers would suggest that there are too many and it is unfair because they aren't taking all the prizes the other teams don't care, they don't feel it is unfair.

Imagine at the same quiz there is a team of only six members. And this team wins week after week. Nothing kills a quiz quicker than the same team dominating every week. Then as the host you can split the team up. It is a lot easier than you may think. You simply say "Sorry guys I'm going to have to split you up. You're too good and if you keep winning every week no one will come." They understand and feel pleased with themselves. The next day they're bragging to their workmates how they had to be split up because they're too good. Although the team had only an average number of members other teams see it as unfair that they win all the prizes.

I lean towards not setting team numbers or setting them at two and above. If a team turned up with twenty members then of course you can split them up straight away. But if you set the number at four and for some reason one of them is sick and they can't get a replacement then instead of attending your quiz night they may decide to do something else. Or if the team of four has an friend arrive from out of town for example, they can't take him or her to the quiz because that would exceed the team number limit and they may decide to do something else.

You want to make it as easy as possible for teams to enter your trivia night. One way is not to restrict team numbers.

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