What is the World Quizzing Championship? To the average person, it’s exactly what it sounds like. But to the dedicated bar trivia enthusiast or competitive quiz participant, it’s so much more. This annual event brings competitors together from all over the world, each one seeking to have his or her name immortalized in the ranks of the World Quizzing Championship, with (Arguably) some of the most knowledgeable people on the planet.
The championship began its existence in 2003 at the Villa Park football stadium in Birmingham, England. The first quiz contest, hosted by the International Quizzing Association, was attended by 50 competitors who represented several different nations. Although a few competitors represented countries other than England, the competition was not considered an international affair. But this did not dissuade participants from travelling long distances to compete. These competitors were then quizzed with a written test and were scored based on the accuracy of their answers. They were confronted with 240 quiz questions, spanning 8 categories, and are given 2 hours to complete the test.
While the soul and purpose of the championships have stayed true, the World Quizzing Championship has grown and expanded dramatically since its inception in 2003; now recognized internationally with championship events hosted on many continents, such as: Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. The championships are hosted simultaneously in many different venues around the globe. The last championship took place in 2015 and was attended by over 2000 participants, globally. Olav Bjortomt of England, the returning champion of the first World Quizzing Championship of 2003, had won the 2015 World Quizzing Championship with a score of 161. The highest score attained in the championships is actually held by two competitors: Pat Gibson of England, who scored 186 during the 2011 championship and Jesse Honey of England, who scored 186 during the following 2012 championship.
Now, I assume you might ask, “Is this competition open to everybody”? The answer is yes! Yes indeed, anybody is free to participate in the championship. Be warned though, the level of trivial knowledge required for the competition might not appeal to some. For example, quiz questions taken from the previous tests are as follows: “In 1927, a famous sports team was created by Abe Saperstein. Originally known as the ‘Savoy Big Five’, they have played more than 20,000 games under their current name, notably against the Washington Generals and the New York Nationals. What is the name of the team”? Or “Mexico’s largest state gave its name to a breed of dog. What name”? Or even something extremely specific, like, “One particular month is known for its close connection to warfare and tragedies. Events taking place in that month include: the outbreak of the American Civil War and the Bosnian War, the Rwandan genocide; the deaths of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II; the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the San Francisco earthquake, the first use of poison gas in WWI and the sinking of the Titanic. Which month”? The answer to that last one is April, by the way; in case you were wondering.
So, if you’ve got what it takes, all you need to do to enter is head to a venue hosting the championship in your country and contact the local organizer once there. This year, the competition will be held on the 4th of June, worldwide. The questions will be chosen from 8 categories and the test is available in many languages, including the local language of the area. The 8 general categories that the questions are chosen from are Culture, Entertainment, History, Lifestyle, Media, Science, Sport and World. These categories will provide 30 questions each, so that 30 questions would fall under the category of History, 30 under Culture and so on and so forth. Although the contest offers no prize money, the championship winner is held in high regards amongst the ‘Know-it-all’ community and is considered an internationally recognized prestige award winner.
Should you decide to try your hand at the World Quizzing Championship, remember the sporting spirit with which it was founded and have a great time! The good wishes of countless members of the trivia communities are with you!