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Secretary's Notes

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League Structure
AGM Matters
And Finally ...

Secretary's Notes 2023–4

League Structure

Both A and B Leagues have eight teams, so there will normally be three games per week in each League with one team asking questions and the remaining team having a "bye".

Teams in both A and B Leagues will normally only need to provide three Question Masters, the exception to this being for the two weeks of the season in each League where all eight teams play each other and thus there is no team left to act as Question Master. I've arranged the fixtures so that this happens right at the end of each half of the season, first on Weeks 8 and 9 and then again on Weeks 17 and 18. On these occasions, the "Home" team will be obliged to provide a Question Master. Thus each League team will only have to do that once in the season.

For this year we will need seven sets of questions for league matches on most weeks – six sets for the games and one for the archive. On each of the four weeks mentioned in the previous paragraph (Weeks 8, 9, 17 and 18) we will require eight sets.

Waters Green Tavern remains the centre for collecting questions and returning score sheets. All sets of questions must be at Waters Green Tavern on the Monday before the game.


As was the case last year, every team will have to set both Specialist and General Knowledge questions when it is their turn to do so. My team will set both sets of questions on Week 1 to give everyone else at least a little more time to plan.

The Sutton Club are setting all questions for Week 2 and the Queens of the Castle will do so on Week 3, and so on. The question setters are listed on the Questions Menu.

As we are missing a team in each League from the ideal "nine–team standard", this does mean that one team in each League will have to set two sets of questions – which is more than their fair share of question setting.

The Waters Green Weavers are paired against the "vacant space" in the B League, and the Waters Green Nags are paired against the vacant space in the A League, so these are the two teams that must set questions twice. Again, at least I've managed to give them as much notice as possible of this as the first time they must set questions is at the end of January (Weeks 8 and 9) and the second in April 2023 (Weeks 17 and 18).

Money ...

Subscriptions remain at £50 per team for this season, as they have been since 2013.

Please note that we now have a new account with Lloyds Bank and are no longer with Barclays. It would help enormously if teams could pay by Bank Transfer. If you can do that, our bank details are as follows:

Account name – Macclesfield Quiz League.
Sort Code – 30–98–97
Account Number – 68552562

If you can't pay this way, please let me know and we'll make other arrangements to collect the £50.

This Season's Schedule and the Christmas Break

We start with the first games next week (Tuesday 7 November) and the last games before the Christmas break will be on Tuesday the 12th of December. We will have three weeks off this time around before resuming on Tuesday the 9th of January.

The final games of the season will be played on Tuesday the 16th of April.

Other Matters

For various reasons as explained by email, we didn't have an AGM this year, but hopefully we have sorted everything out in terms of issues raised with me by folks and I will mention those below.

Marshall Barnard is happy to continue as Treasurer and I am happy to carry on as Secretary / Whatever, and we must also include Haydn Thompson on the Committee as our 'Webmaster' or similar! The new Macclesfield Quiz League website has been a great success – all thanks to Haydn. PDF files of the News & Views can easily be downloaded and printed from the website which has saved a lot of paper!

One issue which would have been raised at the AGM was a suggestion from several teams that as we have now returned to more normal post COVID–19 conditions socially (which I sincerely hope is not a 'kiss of death' statement ... ) we should return to our historically normal starting time for the Quiz of 8pm. Last season, we changed our arrangements to start matches at 7.30pm rather than 8pm, but this does make attendance difficult for some people due to work / travel / other commitments.

The Committee have discussed this and for this season we will return to an 8pm start time for Quiz League matches and see how we get on with that. I have amended the rules in respect of start times, so please do try and get the games going at 8pm now or as near to that as humanly possible.

The only other suggestions, which I think would be helpful, are all from Haydn, and just involve the reporting of the match scores and the submission / formatting of the questions each week. Haydn has written the below paragraphs, which I've copied verbatim here.

Reporting the Results

As we are all well aware, it takes some time to compile the full results for Macclesfield Quiz League each week. In this Internet age, we feel we should be able to get something out there a bit faster. I am proposing that people be asked to send at least the match results to me each week, for posting on the website.

If people could do this – either via email (haydn@maccql.com), text (07583 974570), or indeed WhatsApp – I will undertake to post anything that I receive by (say) 5 pm on the Wednesday after the matches, that evening under normal circumstances. You don't have to restrict yourself to the result; I will post anything you care to contribute – be it individual scores, comments on the questions, or full-blown match reports. Let's be hearing from you!

Submission of Questions

The website has now been live for six years (including the year we had off due to COVID). I like to think that it's an official publication of the League, and submitting the questions for publication should be part of the setters' responsibilities. I don't think I should have to email every week to ask for them to be sent to me! Please email them to haydn@maccql.com as soon after the matches as you can, and by mid-day on the Wednesday if possible. This will hopefully allow me to post them the same day.

Format of Questions

Each week it takes me a full day's work to convert the questions into a standard format. I can't dictate the format that people submit them in, and nor would I want to; but I do think it's important for each set of questions to be in the same format on the website. If I could suggest a few standards, so that I receive them in something like a standard format, this would potentially save me a lot of work.

The following are in decreasing order of importance (to me):

1.Please continue to send the questions in Word or Excel format, if you can. PDF (as I've pointed out many times) is a nightmare to convert!
2.Try to be consistent in formatting the questions – i.e. put every question, and every round in the Specialist section, in the same format as far as possible. (This allows me to use global edits when converting to html.)
3.Don't type answers in capital letters. If you do, I have to retype them all. (IF YOU POST CAPITAL LETTERS ON A WEBSITE, IT LOOKS LIKE SHOUTING!) Having the answer on a different line from the question (or in a different cell, in Excel) should be enough to mark it out as separate from the question – especially if you include a capital Q and a capital A in the appropriate places.
4.Use bold type (not underlining) to identify the parts of the answers that are essential.
5.Don't use apostrophes, inverted commas or speech marks, to emphasise parts of the question, including titles (of books, films, TV programmes, etc.). Only use speech marks for actual quotes from a person, book, or suchlike.
6.For titles, please use italics.
7.Only use initial capitals for proper nouns (names, etc.), and in titles. Please resist any temptation to use them for anything else that might be the most important word in a question.

Thank you for your help!

Mark adds:

Hopefully, there is nothing too tricky in the above for any of us. The scoresheets etc still need to go back to the Waters Green Tavern as always and I'll collect and process them as soon as I can after the games. I then send all that detail to Haydn for formatting and putting on the website.

And Finally

All that remains is a reminder that if you have any problems at all, ring me first as always.

As it is the 21st century, the mobile number is the best to get me on, namely 07434 899513.

My email remains the same as always at mwatsonpc@yahoo.co.uk.

Best wishes to you all for a good season.

Mark Watson
01 November 2023

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