Trivia Scoring Guide

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Williams Trivia Scoring Guide


Here is the standard template of scoring values for a Williams Trivia contest.

Running teams have always been free to amend and improvise, but should not do so capriciously. Many scoring changes have been announced or discussed first on the Trivia listserver.

Bonus Types and Recommended Maximum Scores

On-Airs (Single Songs and Trivia Questions)

On-air songs-- 1 point apiece. This means title and artist.

On-air questions-- 1 point apiece.

"Three-point plays"-- Occasionally there are two-part trivia questions, or questions with multiple answers (i.e. name all seven Dwarves). In such a case, 1 point might be awarded to teams naming any 4 of the dwarves, with an additional 2nd point for naming all seven.


Bonuses are sometimes scored on a two-tier scale. One scale offers the possibility of more points for teams that do not use the internet to research answers; other resources (books, phone calls to experts, etc.) are still encouraged. Teams indicate which scoring option they have elected to submit the bonus under. If the running team elects to use this sliding scale, this decision should be clearly communicated on bonus submission sheets.

Hour Bonuses-- 10 points for teams using the internet; 15 points without.

Super Bonuses-- 25 points for teams using the internet; 40 points without. A 20/25 scale may have been used in May 2005.

Ultra Bonus-- Scored on a downward sliding scale; worth less and less as the night continues and more clues are revealed. Point values have varied, though the highest possible score is typically 8 or 10 points. In May 2005, the Ultra Bonus was scored on a 16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 scale.

Other Scoring Opportunities

Action Trivia-- 5 points apiece. Points are awarded for both specific trivial knowledge, reference points, and general command of the topic, as well as for performing skills: energy, humor, physical mayhem, and general "style." For extremely good action trivia performances, a score of six may be awarded (there are usualy a maximum of one or two sixes awarded per contest).

4:00 AM challenge-- Point values vary depending on circumstance. The top score has typically been in the 3-point range.