Online Quiz League USA - About

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How do we play the quiz?

Games are played over video sharing software and we recommend that all teams use Zoom where possible. On Saturday afternoons each team will be emailed with one half of a password to access the quiz. The teams should then contact each other by email to arrange a suitable time to play the match. Please do not arrange any matches for a Monday evening as this is our admin day. Once you have chosen your date you need to fill in the form on the website giving the time and date of the match.

15 minutes before the scheduled quiz the questions will be accessible via a log in on the website. The Question Reader will download the quiz and when the Zoom call commences the home captain will DM the host their half of the password, the away captain will then do the same and the host will be able to open the PDF and access the quiz.

It is important that everyone is on video so that players can signal to their team mates.

The game must commence within 15 minutes of the agreed start time. if a player has failed to turn up then that team will have to play with just 3 players which will leave you at a disadvantage. If a team fails to show up at the agreed time they will be deemed to have forfeited the match.

If the teams cannot agree on a suitable time to play then by default the match will be played at 4PM EST on the Sunday. It is best to try and arrange your games as soon as possible to ensure you're not playing at a time which may be inconvenient to some players.

The quiz will follow the standard quiz league rules initiated by the Merseyside Quiz league over 60 years ago. Each player is asked a question. They have 15 seconds to answer and if they are correct they score 2 points. If they are incorrect the question goes straight over to the opposition who can nominate one player to answer and if correct they will score one point. If a player doesn't know their own question they can defer to a team mate instead of answering and if the teammate is correct they will score 1 point. If the teammate is wrong the question passes to the opposition team, again for 1 point.

This will proceed for eight rounds. Each player will take a designated seat, and be asked their individual question in order each round. After round 4 the order switches and the team going second now go first each round.

There is an online score sheet which will need to be completed by the home team (full instructions will be given). Once this is submitted it will update the website so it is important that both captains agree on both the results and the individual scores.

The question reader shall enforce the time limits strictly. Any cheating, including the use of search engines, will not be tolerated and is grounds for an immediate forfeit.

The cost of the league is $75 per new team per season, paid in advance and $100 for existing teams. That is the only required payment. Each team will play at least 11 matches, and potentially 15 if we run the cup competition between a squad of 7 of you that's less than a dollar a week each. Most of this money is used to pay question writers and for administrative costs.

If you have any questions at all then please contact us at info@onlinequizleague,com


What is the Online Quiz League?

It's a quiz, that's played online and is in a league.

How's it work?

All the games are played over video conference software, we recommend Zoom.

Do I need a team?

Well, yes. It's a team game. Every match is 4 v 4 with a question reader and a scorer.

I don't have any friends to start my own team, can I still get involved?

Of course. Go to the individual sign up tab and give us some information, we'll offer your services to some of the existing teams or look to put you with like minded individuals into a scratch team.

How good do I need to be to play?

There are some phenomenally good players in this quiz league including Jeopardy! Tournament of champions champions but there will multiple divisions and we cater for all abilities. Every quiz is designed so that every player will get some questions they should know the answer to. Whilst you can't know every question we hope you'll learn knew things and have fun.

I've got my team together, what do I do next?

Fantastic, fill out the form in the this section. We'll try to arrange a friendly match for you so you can get a feel for how the league works and then include you in the upcoming season.

When do I need to register by?

If you're late then I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the next season to join in the fun.

When are matches played?

The teams will liaise with each other to pick a convenient time each week. Any day except Monday. You then submit the time and date of your game via the online form. This will ensure that your designated question reader is able to access the questions just before the start of the game.

I'm a busy woman, how long do matches last?

Most games should last between 45 minutes and an hour depending on how much chatting goes on and how long it takes you all to answer the questions. Sometimes games will go on a bit longer and if you wish to play friendly matches afterwards then that's up to the teams. Some UK teams have been known to still be quizzing at 3am!

What if we can't agree on a time?

If the teams cannot agree on a time then the game must be played at 4pm EST on the Sunday. This may not be suitable for everyone so we strongly recommend you work hard to ensure an agreeable time each week.

We only have a squad of 4 players, what do we do about a reader?

We will have an open forum available for teams to ask for readers or to volunteer to read, plus members of the OQL team will always help out when we can.

Can I add players to our squad after the season has started?

Yes, just let us know of your new addition. You can add any free agent to your squad at any point, the only rules are that each player can only play for one team per season and to be eligible to play in the cup competition you must have played 3 league matches (This is due to the levelling element of the cup competition).

Do I have to pay to play?

Yes, running this league requires a shiny website, some complicated spreadsheets, question sets every week plus hours of time organising everything so that the league can run. The current fees are $100 per team per season.

What do I get for my $100?

Your team will play a full league season of 11 matches plus entry into our handicap cup competition where you'll play at least 2 games. You'll get quality quiz questions every week plus updated tables and individual statistics for every player in the league.

How do I pay?

Payment is made via paypal to the email address

I see that Online Quiz League is a UK venture, will all the questions be about British tea and Doctor Who?

No, we have assembled a crack team of setters from the USA. Some of our UK team will be helping them to ensure the questions are balanced and factually correct.

What can I win?

Trophies of course. The top 2 teams in each division will win trophies and also the winners of our cup and plate competition will get prizes.

With it being played online, how do you know people aren't cheating?

Cheating is outlawed. All players must be visible on their webcam or phone throughout the quiz. All the matches can be videoed and if anyone is caught cheating (by any means) the team will forfeit the match and the player will be ejected from the league, permanently.

You are fully bonded and licenced by the city aren't you Online Quiz League?

Shut up boy! Only joking, of course. We are based in the UK and comply with all relevant laws and regulations.




Do not attempt to cheat. Anyone caught cheating will be banned from the league for life and their team will forfeit all matches in which they had played that season. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Using Google or any other resource to try to look up answers during the quiz. If a team suspect anyone of doing this they may ask all players to keep all hands in view at all times. Any player refusing will not be able to continue in the match.
  2. Attempting to access the questions prior to or during the match. No player is to give any information about any questions away until after the game week has concluded. If any player asks you for information before they have played their game you must report the conversation to the league immediately. The passwords to the quiz should be messaged privately to the Reader to reduce the risk of intercept.
  3. Asking your Reader to make harsh rulings on your opponent's questions but be lenient on yours. All Readers must act with full impartiality at all times.


OQL is an inclusive environment. All players will show each other respect and any allegations of sexism, racism or any other form of discriminative behaviour will result in sanctions. Behave in the following manner:

  1. Always be courteous and respectful to your opponents
  2. Congratulate your opponents and teammates on a good answer, commiserate them on a near miss.
  3. When a question is being read out all players should remain silent.
  4. If asking for a repeat, only do so when the question is offered to your side.
  5. We all enjoy discussing questions and how we knew the answer but try to keep this to a minimum during matches to avoid disrupting the game. The league is a social event but be considerate.
  6. In the case of a dispute or a contentious decision please act calmly and discuss with your opponents.
  7. Arrive promptly for your game. Being late is selfish. If you know that you will be late, make sure someone knows.
  8. At the end of the game teams may play a friendly match. If you don't intend to play a friendly let your opponents know in advance so that people can make plans for the rest of their evening.
  9. Respect the match officials.


During matches there are certain behaviours that are compulsory and others that are to be followed where possible. Mandatory behaviours are as follows:

  1. All players participating in a match must have their webcam on at all times. If your video is not working, you cannot play without the express permission of your opponents.
  2. Your Zoom name should be your team, your team name (or shortened version) and your seat number. For example Jon Stitcher OQLUSA Seat 4.
  3. Your signalling should be clear with hand signals. Oral communication is allowed but only to the extent of generic statements such as 'I'm 80% sure on this'. When signalling certainly you should never make comments such as 'I know it's either North or South Dakota' as this may be helping others.
  4. Similar to the above, do not prompt your teammates with answer information in any way.
  5. Keep all background noise to a minimum. If anyone else is in the room with you or watching the match they should be silent at all times.

The following behaviours are best practice but we appreciate in certain circumstances they may not be possible.

  1. Keep your hands in view of the camera at all times. This is to assist people in seeing your signalling and ensures that you cannot be googling.
  2. Do not put your microphone on mute unless there is a good reason for it such as a continuous echo or sustained background noise.


When arranging matches with your opponents please stick to the following:

  1. Give as many scheduling options as possible that your team can field a full team.
  2. Be as flexible as possible.
  3. Remember that this is a North American league. Suggesting times that are during normal business hours in the USA will be unlikely, though there may be exceptions.
  4. If it is obvious that there is no time that can be agreed upon then the match shall be played at 4pm Eastern 1pm Pacific 9pm UK time on Sunday. This is a time slot that works across all time zones, for most people.
  5. Do not be obtuse in an attempt to have the match played at the default time.
  6. Contact your opponents early in the week. In fact, you will have your schedule for the full season so you may even reach out the week before.
  7. The designated home team should provide a question reader. If they are unable to and the away team can offer one then they should. If neither team are able to provide a reader then they can use the 'request a reader' section of the website. If no reader can be found at your allotted slot (highly unlikely) then you can try and reschedule but otherwise the home team will need to play 1 person short to ensure there is a reader. OQL will try and provide someone wherever possible but this will be on a first come first served basis.
  8. Make sure you complete the form on the website to confirm your start time. This will ensure the questions are available at your allotted start time.


Once the match is completed the following should be completed

  1. The reader/scorer should show the completed score sheet to both teams by way of sharing the screen. Both team captains should confirm that they agree with the final score of the match and the individual totals.
  2. The reader will then confirm the match result. At this point no changes to the scoresheet will occur unless there is a formal protest.
  3. If protesting the result, this must be noted on the score sheet and full details sent to the Commissioner with 24 hours of the match's completion. We expect this to be rare.
  4. At the end of the match both teams should act appropriately. Be a gracious winner and a respectful loser.
  5. Do not discuss questions with anyone until the Monday following the matches. No questions should be put in the public domain and no recordings of matches should be released until Monday.
  6. If your schedule allows, volunteer to read for other teams after your match has been completed for the week. It’s fun and encourages more league engagement!


During the season you may wish to add players to your squad. You may do this, subject to the following rules.

  1. All players can only play for one team each league season. If you play an ineligible player then their points will be removed from that match.
  2. Players can be added to your squad using an online tool. If you add a player whose name is already in the database you will be asked to confirm that they are not the same person and are therefore eligible to play for you. We expect this to be rare.
  3. For a player to play in a cup competition they must have played a minimum of 3 league matches. This rule exists to prevent teams from adding “ringers” only for the cup competition.


Reader’s Primer: Online Quiz League USA

A guide to reading matches for OQL-USA.

The verbal statements provided here for readers to use are *examples.*


Once all players have arrived,

  1. Open the scoring tool on the website.
  2. Ask each team for their seating order and place players with first and last names into the scoring tool in seats 1, 2, 3, and 4 accordingly. Ask each team who their captain will be for the match.
  3. Decide who goes first. This can be done by asking the visiting captain to call a coin toss and then allowing them to choose, or by simply using a randomizer if both teams agree. The team which plays first in the first half plays second in the second half.
  4. Ensure everyone can see teammates. Encourage spectators or teammates not playing to turn cameras off.


  1. The most important rules for readers to adjudicate are contained in the league rules, under Match Rule 13: Answering, which follow what is described below but contain additional clarifications.
  2. Ask a question to each player in turn (team A seat 1, then team B seat 1, then team A seat 2, then team B seat 2, etc.).
  3. Questions are controlled as follows: Original Player, Original Player’s Captain, Designee of the Captain. If a wrong answer is given by any player on the Original Player’s team, then the question goes to the Opponent’s Captain and the Opponent’s Captain’s Designee.
  4. Use a timer (usually a clock keeping seconds rather than a start-stop timer is best) to give players the following times:
    1. 15 seconds to the Original Player, with a “5 seconds” prompt from the reader when they have only 5 remaining. If this time expires with no answer at all, the question goes to the captain and you may say “captain?” or “to the team” or similar. If the player passes or defers, immediately move to the next step. A correct answer by this player is worth 2 points and should be given to that player.
    2. 5 seconds for the Original Player’s Captain to designate another player or choose to take the question directly. At the end of this time say “who will answer?” or “I need a designee” or similar.
    3. 5 seconds for the Designee or Captain to answer. At the end of this time say “begin your answer please” or “I need an answer” or similar. If no answer begins promptly, you may say “that’s time, sorry” and send the question to the other team. A correct answer by this player is worth 1 point and should be given to the person who answers.
    4. If a question is missed by any player say “Incorrect, over to the other team” or similar.
    5. 5 seconds for the Opponent’s Captain to designate another player or choose to take the question directly. At the end of this time say “who will answer?” or “I need a designee” or similar.
    6. 5 seconds for the Designee or Captain to answer. At the end of this time say “begin your answer please” or “I need an answer” or similar. If no answer begins promptly, you may say “that’s time, sorry” and end the question. A correct answer by this player is worth 1 point and should be given to the player who answers.
  5. Repeating the Question. We are playing on Zoom, which means small audio difficulties are likely to happen frequently. Please repeat the question when asked. Players may also clarify more directly, such as “you want the city, right?” or “can you spell those two names for me?” Provide all such clarification you can. Any player may ask for one repeat at any time prior to the question going over to the other team. Pause your timer (or do not mark off time) during a repeat.
    1. Players may request individual questions or all questions be pasted into the chat box for clarification. Do this on a question-by-question basis. If a team asks all questions be pasted in the chat box, you may do so systematically.
    2. Players must ask for repeats or pasting within the first five seconds after the question is given to their team, and each team may ask for either of these only once per question. Clarifying questions and word spellings may be asked after this time but kept brief. At reader's discretion, there may be multiple repeats given in the event of technology issues, but the reader should be notified of the tech issue immediately. Question rereads should not be used tactically.
  6. Prompting and Answers. The answer required is in Bold and/or Underlined text. If not enough information is given to completely fulfill the underlined/bolded answer, you may say “Prompt” to ask for more information. In this particular case, say “Prompt” but nothing else. Do not say “be more specific” or “which one” or similar; this is the player’s job to figure out and the word “Prompt” ensures this is done fairly. Common examples include “President Johnson” (there are two), “King Edward” (there are eight), or “Spider-Man” for the film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (there are many Spider-Man films). Occasionally, questions will offer alternate answers or tell the reader to prompt on certain answers every time.
    1. Prompt when in doubt! If the player fails to give the right additional information or the information sought, they may always protest that their initial answer was actually acceptable and you or the other team may award the point(s). You can always take something back, but awarding a point without prompting if an answer may be incomplete is worse.
    2. Do not prompt for additional words of titles if a title is required by the answer. If a player says “I Wanna Dance,” do not prompt for the additional words “With Somebody.”
  7. Acceptable Answers.
    1. Be as generous as is feasible with pronunciation that includes all of the major consonants and plausible vowel pronunciations within a word. “Ver-SALES” would be correct for the palace of Versailles, but “Ver-BYE” would not be correct.
    2. Take the first thing a player says as their answer. If the answer is “GRANT” and the player says “Grant, er, Lincoln” the answer is correct. It would be incorrect if the player says “Lincoln, er, Grant.”
    3. Sports teams will generally accept either the city name or the team name for American city-nickname style teams.
    4. Last name only is sufficient for nearly all people. First names are rarely required unless the question asks or needs to distinguish between similarly-named individuals in a category. This will be noted in the answer box seen by the reader.
    5. Monarchs and Popes will typically require a first name and regnal number. Other information may be bolded/underlined on the answer sheet.
    6. “Blitzing”: Because players can clarify what is being asked for, it should be unnecessary most of the time to provide multiple related pieces of information in an answer. However, it is permissible for players to say “Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte” and get credit for either answer, or “Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia in Star Wars” and get credit for any of the three if those are what is underlined. The rule is that all information given must be true. “Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia in the Godfather” would make any piece of that information incorrect.
    7. Song Titles: Accurate song lyrics which include the whole title are acceptable for song titles. “Give Me One Moment In Time” is acceptable for “One Moment In Time” as it demonstrates clear knowledge. “Give Me One Moment” is not acceptable as it does not contain the full title.
  8. Consultation/Conferring. Teams may confer to any extent they wish about whether people know the answer, or how strongly they believe they do, during their allotted time. They may do this verbally or, even more commonly, with hand signals. Teams may not discuss answers to the question or its content in any way, or provide verbal or nonverbal prompting about answers to teammates. The penalty for prompting of this nature is to mark the team wrong and send it to the other team, or to end the question if it has already been sent over.
  9. Spoiled Questions and Spares. The reader may inadvertently spoil a question by reading the answer while reading it, or other similar means. In the event a question is spoiled, ask the player currently controlling the question to select Spare Question 1, 2, 3, or 4 (sight unseen) to replace it. The spare is then asked to the same player or team who had it at that point, and worth the same number of points it would be worth. The spare questions do not relate to the main pairs in the set.
  10. Score Checks. You will be entering scores as the game goes along – the scoring tool prompts you to do so. At the end of each round of 8 questions, provide the score to the players. During round eight, the final round, players may ask for a score check at any time a question is in their team’s control.
  11. Protests. Most questions about answer accuracy can be resolved immediately using Google, and the reader should endeavor to do so if possible. Players may protest behavior as well, and if something cannot be resolved among the teams please explain to the League Commissioner by emailing [[1]]. He will contact you or the teams for more information.
  12. Odd Answer Situations. If you have called time on an original player and they did not begin their answer immediately, you may award 1 point instead of 2 if they give a correct answer after several seconds. If an answer is given and a player was not designated to give it, you take that answer before any other.
  13. Zoom Issues. Refer to Match Rule 10 for what to do about Zoom disconnections. Essentially, players are ruled out for the round but may rejoin on the next round if they are absent for longer than a minute, pending opponent’s grace.
  14. Score Submission. Check the scores with each team before submitting them to the league at the end of the game.