At the buzzer to beat lockdown blues

Football fans devise innovative quiz league

With the COVID-19 outbreak bringing football leagues across the globe to a halt, fans are turning inventive to keep themselves engaged.

While throwaway trivia on football for bragging rights was common even before, a set of hardcore fans has tweaked it into a full-fledged quiz league during the lockdown.

Though football is at its heart, the league also explores the wisdom of participants in topics ranging from movies and literature to pop culture, history, and science.

Football Fanatics Kerala, a WhatsApp group of around 50 fans, wrapped up the maiden edition of the league spread over ten ‘matches’ in as many days on Thursday only to kick off the next edition straight-away!

“The group is a close-knit community with members following football leagues across the world. Anurag Dinesh, one of the members, came up with the idea, devised the format, and set the 160-odd questions for the ten matches,” said P. Govind, a chartered accountant and Manchester United fan, who emerged runner-up.

The format made consistent match-winning performances a prerequisite for the top-three finish. Ashwin Muraleedharan, a Manchester United fan, lifted the inaugural league amassing 181 points. He won seven of the ten contests and finished in top-three in the rest.

“Every match featured 16 questions with the quickest one with the complete answer bagging maximum points, while points got shared for partial answers,” Govind said.

In all matches, the ‘finish’ was more engaging with the last four questions linked to a common theme. Identifying the common theme in the first attempt raked in a maximum of 40 points with points dropping in the next two attempts.

To spice up the final match of the league, every three questions were linked to the fourth one in a similar way.

“Though Ashwin walked away with the league, the contest for the next three positions was a dogfight with fortunes swinging till the end,” said Govind.

It was only fitting that the top four, including Arjun Balachandra and Zubin K. Mahin, the second and fourth runners-up, were quizzers from their school days.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 9:07:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/at-the-buzzer-to-beat-lockdown-blues/article31260364.ece

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