Connections Online Quiz League - Rules

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See Also: Disciplinary Committee

Playing matches

Matches are hosted by dedicated hosts who are paid for their time. The hosts have been briefed on each question; they know which answers they can and cannot accept, and when they need to prompt teams to provide more information. Gameplay will run like the TV show Only Connect; we have tried to recreate the Only Connect experience as best we can and the major difference between the show and Connections Online Quiz League is that both teams will play the same grid.

Gameplay & Scoring

  1. The gameplay will take place using a Zoom room and a separate gameplay website.
  2. The host will organise the Zoom room and, when players enter the room to play a match, will provide them with the gameplay website address for players to visit.
  3. A coin toss will take place. The winning team will decide if they go first or second. The team going first will go first in Rounds 1 and 2 and will go second in Round 3.
  4. There are six questions in both Round 1 and Round 2, with each question hidden behind an emoji. Teams will take it in turns to pick an emoji to uncover a question.

Round One

  1. In Round 1, called “What's the Link”, the teams have 60 seconds to correctly identify what connects four clues. Teams will get 5 points for answering correctly after seeing only 1 clue, 3 points for a correct answer after 2 clues, 2 points for a correct answer after 3 clues, and 1 point if all 4 clues are needed.
  2. The team captain should indicate to the host when they wish to see a new clue by stating, “Next, please”. To avoid confusion, teams should ensure this instruction to the host is clearly distinct from general discussion amongst themselves.
  3. When a team wishes to offer an answer, one member of the team should press the buzzer and wait for the host to request the team’s answer. An answer should be given within a few seconds of buzzing, otherwise the host will deem this to be an incorrect answer. The host may, at his or her discretion, afford a team a little more time if it is apparent that team is close to an answer. If the host asks a team for an answer, that team must answer immediately, or the question will be passed over to the opposition.
  4. If an answer is deemed close to being correct, but not close enough, the host may ask a team to give further information or to reframe an answer. The host will then decide if the subsequent answer is acceptable.
  5. If a team does not buzz before the minute is up then the host will inform the team that they have been timed out.
  6. If a team offers an incorrect answer or runs out of time, the opposition will be invited to provide the link for a bonus point; all four clues will be revealed to the opposition when attempting an answer for a bonus point, regardless of how many clues had been revealed to the original team when their incorrect answer was given. The opposition will have 10 seconds to discuss their answer before the host will require an answer to be given. The host may allow more time, at his or her discretion, should a team be getting close to the answer, but when the host insists on an answer being given then a team must answer, or risk being timed out.

Round Two

  1. In Round 2, called “What Follows”, teams have 60 seconds to correctly identify the fourth element in a sequence of clues. Teams will get 5 points for answering correctly after seeing only 1 clue, 3 points for a correct answer after 2 clues, and 2 points for a correct answer after 3 clues.
  2. Should a team find a valid sequence after two clues, even if this is the not answer intended by the setters, then the host may, at their discretion, accept this answer, so long as the team can show how there can be third and fourth elements to the sequence, which are neither trivial nor contrived. Alternative sequences cannot be qualitatively more contrived or trivial than the intended sequence. In all other respects, gameplay is identical to Round 1.

Round Three

  1. In Round 3, called “Grid Unlock”, the teams will be separated by the creation of Zoom breakout rooms. The host will play Round 3 with each team consecutively.
  2. Teams will be presented with a grid with 16 clues, arranged randomly, which they must solve within 3 minutes by correctly organising into four groups of four.
  3. Teams should click (or press if using a touch screen) on four clues to select them as a group. Should this selection be correct, these four clues shall turn green and will appear together at the top of the grid, leaving only the unsolved clues below. All three players can click on the grid, but we strongly suggest that only one player does so, to avoid confusion, as the software will recognise all clicks.
  4. Once two groups have been found, teams have only three attempts (‘lives’) to complete the solution of the grid; should the team use up all three lives, the grid will freeze.
  5. Once time has elapsed, or the grid has been frozen or solved, the host will resolve the grid (if necessary) and ask the teams to explain what links the four elements in each of the four groups.
  6. If for any reason, the grid does not freeze after time has run out, the host will ask players to stop all attempts at solving the grid. Teams must comply will this request immediately.
  7. Teams will score 1 point for each group they find during play, and 1 point for each correct explanation given; teams will receive 2 bonus points if they find all four groups and give four correct explanations.
  8. There should only ever be one possible (sensible) solution available on any grid and it is this solution that will be accepted by the software. Should you find a valid, sensible connection between all four clues in one group that is not the answer ‘on the card’, then your answer will be accepted. However, the host may reject an alternative answer if he or she considers it trivial or contrived.
  9. When asked by the hosts what connects each group, teams will need to answer almost immediately as teams should have had plenty of time to discuss these groups while the grid was live.

Round Four

  1. In Round Four, called “Only Consonants”, teams will compete against each other on the buzzer. There is no time limit for this round.
  2. Teams will be shown three groups of four clues in which the vowels have been removed. The challenge is for the teams to identify the word, name, or phrase from only its consonants within 10 seconds.
  3. If neither team can answer within 10 seconds the host will call the clue dead and reveal the answer, before proceeding to reveal the next clue.
  4. Once a player from either team has buzzed, a member of that team must provide an answer immediately. A correct answer will be rewarded with 1 point, while an incorrect answer will see the team penalised 1 point.
  5. A team’s answer in this round must be perfect. If just one letter of an answer is incorrect, the team will lose a point and the question will be passed over to the opposition.
  6. In the event of an incorrect buzz, the opposition may answer immediately for 1 bonus point, but will not be penalised for an incorrect answer. The opposition does not need to buzz to answer a clue that has been passed over.
  7. Should a team buzz, there must be no hesitation of more than a maximum of 1 second before giving an answer, or this will be treated as an incorrect answer. Should one player start giving a correct answer, then a second player may complete that answer so long as there is no appreciable pause.
  8. A second player may not correct the first player; in these circumstances, the answer will be treated as incorrect. Any words spoken by the first player will be taken as an attempt at an answer; should the first player say ‘No, I don’t know’, for example, then this answer is incorrect regardless of whether a second player subsequently gives the correct answer.
  9. Teams may not confer during this round.
  10. Should you provide a perfectly valid answer to a clue, that fits both the consonants and the category, but which is not the answer provided by the setting team, then you will be awarded a point at the discretion of the host. Teams may lodge a protest immediately after the match has finished if they feel they have been unfairly denied a point for a valid answer. The setting team will consider the protest and make a ruling.
  11. The host will not update the score during this round but will reveal the final score at the end of the match.
  12. COQL will provide a spare clue for each group of Only Consonants clues. Should a question be deemed unusable by the host for any reason then that question will be cancelled and a spare will be used. The host has sole discretion as to whether they feel a question has been rendered unusable and therefore should be replaced by a spare.


  1. At the end of Round Four, and therefore the match, the team with the most points are declared the winners and earn 4 league points. If the score is tied, both teams will receive 2 league points. A losing team receives 0 league points, unless they lose the match by 4 points or fewer, in which case they receive 1 ‘close-defeat’ league point.
  2. Ties will not be broken except in knockout matches that require a team to advance. The tie-breaker will be a single “Only Consonants” question, which can be answered by only the respective team captains. An incorrect answer will automatically result in a victory for the opposing team.
  3. Please do not discuss questions in public or with any team who has not yet played their match until all games in all conferences have been played for that week.
  4. Following completion of a match, should a team realise that there may have been an error made by the host in accepting or rejecting of an answer or in the scoring prcess then they should report it to the league immediately. An email should be sent to detailing exactly what has happened. If possible, teams should also copy the opposing captain in to the email so that they are aware of the protest. This will then be reviewed as soon as practicable and an outcome decided by the COQL writing and organising team. Any protests must be filed within 24 hours of game completion to be allowed.

Miscellaneous Information

  1. Treat your opposition and your host with respect at all times.
  2. If you feel an answer has been unfairly adjudicated, you should explain to your host why you believe this to be the case. However, the host’s decision is final.
  3. If the host feels unable to make a final ruling for any reason, then a protest will be logged and both teams will be made aware of this fact. The game shall play out with the original ruling in place and, after the match, the host will raise the protest with the setting team, who will provide a final ruling; this may result in a score-line being altered post-match.
  4. If you feel there is an error with a question, which has resulted in your team being unfairly adjudicated, please let your host know immediately. Your host will attempt to resolve any issues in consultation with the setting team. # If no immediate resolution is possible then your host will note this as a protest and will follow the procedures laid out in 3).
  5. Teams should attempt to arrive a few minutes before the designated start time so that the game can begin in a timely fashion. Matches should last around 45 minutes, but in some cases can take up to an hour so please ensure you have enough time to complete your match.
  6. Should a team not arrive on time for their match the non-offending team must wait at least 10 minutes for the other team to attend and every effort should be made to contact them in case there is any kind of scheduling confusion. After 10 minutes the non-offending team are able to claim a forfeit win and the host will play the match out with only one team in attendance. Should the non-offending team agree they can wait an additional 5 minutes but no match should commence more than 15 minutes after the designated start time unless agreed by both team captains and the host.
  7. If a team starts a match with fewer than 3 players and another player joins after the match has started then that player will be permitted to participate at the conclusion of any question which was live when they joined the Zoom.
  8. When your opponents are attempting to answer a question please remain quiet. They will accord you the same courtesy.
  9. During Rounds 1 & 2, players should keep their hands in view as much as is practicable (especially when it is the opposition’s question). Occasionally, a player will wish to move the mouse over a picture to enlarge it, which is entirely fine, but players should protect themselves from unnecessary accusations of skulduggery by making their hands visible to the QM wherever possible.
  10. Under no circumstances should players try to communicate with each other through any means other than orally. Players should not be sending direct messages to each other via any platform at any stage of the match.
  11. Player in the same room or using the same device should not try to communicate with each other in any manner that the host or the other players would not be able to receive. This includes, but is not limited to, writing notes to each other, muting the Zoom to have discussions, whispering to each other.
  12. We really hope you enjoy the league. We have put a lot of work into making this as fun as possible.

If you've any questions, please just ask by emailing us at