Fingers on Buzzers

By Torbjørn Brunt

A few weeks ago, you may have seen, when strolling through the SU, some blue posters occasionally lighting up the monitors, (usually right after the Korean Society’s posters that asked YOU to join them). The posters read “Your Name Here – University Challenge Tryouts”, advertising an intro-talk for the selection of the Cardiff team. This talk was on October 18th and was followed by many having a go at the University Challenge-style questions the following week. The try-outs are now over, but barely so, as the second round of selection is underway. The finals will be quick-fire rounds of buzzing in one’s answers, much like the show, to both test one’s knowledge and trigger-fingers. It tends to help to not be hesitant on the show!

Now, contrary to what one might think, it is not merely the most knowledgeable and fastest on the buzzers that get on University Challenge. Both the show’s staff and the Quiz Society put a lot of emphasis on a good team that covers a range of strengths in specific areas, as well as general knowledge. After all, it is the best team that wins, not the best individual. The team, therefore, needs a varied mix of people from different backgrounds to cover everything from hadrons to Händel. After the final rounds are over, the team will be selected and sent to be interviewed by the University Challenge team. These are the ones who finally decide whether Cardiff will be on the quiz next season. Both an interview and a written test, the Cardiff team will have to show off whether they have the right stuff to get in front of the cameras. Funnily enough, the sudden-death format seems to start well before they tape the season.

The Quiz Society has no idea whether Cardiff will be on the next season but stays optimistic. In the meantime, they run their regular activities here in Cardiff. They attend pub quizzes weekly, though not much luck securing the prize yet, and host their own rounds of quizzing in the SU as well. Every first Saturday of the month they host the UK Quiz Circuit, a national quiz where your score is ranked against people from all over the country, including some well-known quizzers! Also look out for collaborations that might show up!

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