Online Quiz League USA - Rules

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    1. The purpose of the Online Quiz League (OQL) is to organize league and other quiz based competitions to be played using video sharing software by players all around the world.
    2. OQL operates a non-discriminatory policy with respect to age, gender, disability, race or nationality, ethnic origin, creed, color, social status and sexual orientation.
    3. The league is run by the commissioner (Lindsay Sobczak) who has full and final say on all league matters. The commissioner reports to the league owner, Jon Stitcher, and league decisions are subject to ownership approval.
    4. The Commissioners shall have the power to arrange and settle all matters relating to the Leagues.
    5. League matches must be played using video sharing software. Teams in the USA version of OQL will confer to arrange the date and time of their match. Matches can be played any time from 12 noon Eastern on Tuesday until 11:00pm Eastern on Sunday of that game week. If the teams cannot agree a time to play their match then it must be played at 16:00 (4:00pm) Eastern time on the Sunday of that game week.
    6. To initiate any playing season, the Commissioner will set a Final Registration Date, and all teams must by that date submit:
      1. A fully completed Registration Form. Teams may register for multiple seasons at once.
      2. A remittance to cover the main entrance fee.
    7. No player may play for more than one team in each OQL league (OQL USA, OQL UK, OQL USA Regions) any one season without first obtaining the permission of the Commissioner, which will be given only in extreme circumstances ; the player has the right of appeal to the Commissioner of the OQL should the request for a transfer be refused. This rule applies to all competitions played under the auspices of the OQL.
    8. Any player wishing to play in the Cup/Plate competition after the end of the season must have played in at least 3 matches in the league season.
    9. If it is discovered that an ineligible player has played in a cup or league match, that player will have their score for the match changed to zero and the final scores adjusted accordingly. This is expected to happen very rarely.
    10. The Commissioner shall fix a playing season of 11 weeks for the league season plus 6 further weeks for a cup competition. The commissioner may extend or reduce these depending on the number of registered teams.
    11. OQL Commissioner has the discretion to amend the playing rules for competitions in order to best accommodate the number of teams entering.
    1. Sets of questions will be provided by the Commissioner via a writing staff, and only these shall be used in league matches.
    2. Questions will be uploaded to the OQL website on Tuesdays of match weeks.
    3. Each team captain will receive half of the password, accessible through the My Page login at This must be entered to access the questions. The reader will access the questions via the website.
    4. Lineups for a game shall consist of not more than four players; If a team is missing a player then the questions that would have gone to that player go straight to the team but for a bonus point only. Players will take the position of seat 1, 2, 3, or 4 at the commencement of the match and this order is not to change during the match.
    5. The Home Team shall be responsible for ensuring that the roles of Reader and Scorer are provided for each match, however it is expected that should a home team be short of either and the away team is in a position to provide a match official then they should do so. Readers may also be requested via the league Facebook page, but it remains the responsibility of the Home Team to find one. Teams should liaise by email to arrange this. Any arrivals after the start of a match cannot join the team except at the discretion of the reader and opponent.
    6. A match shall consist of 32 Questions to each Team, and the winner shall be the team securing the most points.
    7. If a team begins a game with fewer than four team members due to one or more latecomers, such players may join their team at the end of the round when they have joined the Zoom. Players may only replace empty seats in this way, and may not substitute in for other players.
    8. All matches are to be played using the video sharing application Zoom, if at all possible. It is highly recommended that all teams use Zoom and if any team wish to use a different platform for their home matches, this can only be done with express permission of the commissioner.
    9. During the match, all players and officials are to be visible on the application so that they can be seen by all players. A default position should include the player’s hands in view. No player may go off screen for any reason during a match and if they do they will not be permitted to take any further part in the match unless the opposition expressly permit this. The only exception to this is if the Zoom call needs to be restarted due to time restrictions. If this happens the match shall be restarted as soon as possible and no player is to research anything during this slight delay.
    10. Should a player have technical issues with Zoom AFTER a match has commenced, that player has 60 seconds to fix the issue or they will not be able to play any further part in that round of eight questions. If the opposition agree the player is given further time to reconnect but at any point the opposition can impose a 60 second time limit. If the player has not resolved the issues within those 60 seconds then they are officially timed out of the round and can play no further part in that round. If a player has tech issues on three separate occasions during a match the opposition player have the right to request that that player is no longer permitted to participate at all in the match.
    11. Players are not to use any resources to try and answer questions, including but not limited to; internet search engines, reference books, members of their household. Any player caught attempting to cheat in any way will be immediately banned from the league and their team will forfeit that match.
    12. A real or virtual coin will be flipped at the beginning of each match. Heads will mean the home team goes first in the first half, tails will mean the away team goes first in the first half.
    13. The winning team will receive 4 league table points, in the event of a draw each team shall receive 2 points. The losing team will receive 0 points, unless they lose the match by 4 points or fewer and then they shall receive 1 point.
    14. Answering (See Reader Guidance for further clarifications and additional rules affecting the Reader).
      1. A player should commence to answer their own question or pass it to their team within 15 seconds of the completion of the question. They may be allowed to continue after 15 seconds to complete an answer, but if obviously taking too long, may be told to finish by the Reader at the Reader’s discretion.
      2. If the answer is correct, TWO points are awarded.
      3. If teams are playing using the 'free guess rule' (played in all divisions except Division 1) then, if a wrong answer is given, or the question is unanswered, the question is passed to a different 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. A player has a further five seconds to answer correctly for ONE bonus point. A player cannot have a second guess at their own question, however, if they fail to give any answer within 15 seconds they are permitted to answer in the following 5 seconds but for ONE point only.
      4. If the original answerer does not answer within 15 seconds, or defer to the captain. The captain may designate any teammate (including the original player) to answer and if correct, that player will be awarded ONE point. This is the captain’s main functional role.
      5. If clarification is requested by any player, the clock should be paused and resumed after such has been given. The Reader needs to be considerate of any clear connectivity problems and use their discretion to allow longer to answer or repeat a question if a player has clearly been unable to hear the question.
      6. One point should be given for a correct answer given after fifteen seconds, but before twenty seconds, by the original answerer. Should two or more players answer, the Reader will allot points (or otherwise) on the first answer heard.
      7. If no points are awarded to the original person asked, the question must be passed, even if the original reply being close to the correct answer. If the initial answer is partially correct the Reader should use the word 'prompt' to inform the player that further information is to be given.
    15. When deciding whether a player should answer or not they should be aware of signaling by their team mates. This can be done in one of two ways. The preferred method is clear hand signals to demonstrate the degree of certainty a player has. Players can also communicate by vocalizing how sure they are, e.g. 'I am 80% sure of this answer'. The team captain may nominate a player to answer by clearly stating that player's name.
    16. Should any member of a team be found guilty of prompting in any shape or form, the Reader shall treat any answer received as incorrect and then proceed to pass the question to the non-offending team.
    17. If any member of the audience should prompt a person answering a question, the Reader shall cancel and ask a spare question.
    18. 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. If this happens it is a serious rules violation.
    19. The score sheet must bear the names of all eight players. Except in extremely rare cases, the league Scorer at will be used for all scoresheets.
    20. OQL will endeavor to provide a friendly match to be used in all game weeks, which may be played between scheduled opponents or with others.
    21. Disputes
      1. If either team feels that an answer in the question set, or the reader's ruling, is incorrect so that points were wrongly awarded, they are encouraged to say so immediately and must do so before the start of the next round. The Reader 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 Reader must note a possible protest. A bit more about protest adjudication is available in the Guidance.
      2. If, at the end of the game, the game 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 should notify the Commissioner. As a first step the two captains should consult a reliable internet source promptly to confirm their opinions, try to agree to concede or withdraw the protest. If they cannot agree, then a full protest must be made via the website within 24 hours of the game to the commissioner. If a protest is made both teams will receive details of the protest and its attendant issues.
      3. Protests will be heard by the League Commissioner and her team whose decisions shall be final.
    22. Any tie at the end of each season for the first or second place in a League shall be settled by total points scored, followed by total points difference, followed by the result in the match between the two teams. If there is still no separating the teams then the team with the most 2 point answers across the season shall be the deciding factor followed by the toss of a coin.
    23. 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, a Tiebreaker question will be asked. This is a “closest to the pin” estimator question and will be asked to each captain, who will submit an answer at the same time via the Chat function.
    24. Any Player has the right to be told the score before a question is asked during the last round.
    25. Teams who fail to turn up for League games will immediately forfeit the match. A team who misses two matches in one season without a good reason may not be permitted to return for the following season.
    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 the end of the match week. OQL has the right to impose appropriate sanctions on teams or individuals who contravene these rules.
    2. The OQL Commissioner will publish competition rules for all competitions promoted directly by the OQL.