What is March Trivia Madness? It is, simply put, the best trivia tournament on the planet. It is a collection of the best trivia teams from all over Georgia. And they’re smart teams (which is why they’re playing Full Contact Trivia to begin with). This year will be its 12th incarnation. Thousands have played in this tournament in the past.
How does it work? The tournament will be split into two parts. First is the cumulative phase. The second is the championship game, March Trivia Madness XII, held on April 20, 2013, at the Brewhouse in Little Five Points.
Cumulative Phase – How it works: You play as you would normally play. Each team gets 1 base score per week, and your base score is your highest weekly score, regardless of how many games you play. So if the full team shows up Monday and scores 100, but you want to play by yourself on Wednesday and you wind up scoring 12 points, you won’t mess anything up. Your weekly score will be supplemented by performance points – you will receive an extra 9 pts for each 1st place finish, 6 for each 2nd, and 3 for each 3rd. So, for example, let’s say you play 3 games in a week. Monday, you score 100 and finish 3rd. You play again on Tuesday and finish 5th with 45 points. You play Wednesday and win a tough game with 83 points. Your base score for that week is 100, + 12 bonus points (9 for your Wednesday win, 3 for your Monday 3rd place finish), for a weekly score of 112. On the other hand, if you play just once in the week, score 110 and win, that’s 119 points (110 + 9 bonus). So, while it’s certainly possible to post good scores and get by in the tournament playing once a week, playing multiple games will allow you to leave some room for error and make up for rough nights. I’ve seen teams win the cumulative playing many, many games, and others finish in the top 3 while playing just once a week. So do NOT be scared off by limitations of your schedule. Each week’s score will continue to be added up through the conclusion of the Cumulative Phase, which lasts 9 weeks (or 10, weather permitting).
Cumulative Phase – Why should you care? So, what’s the point of worrying about all this nonsense? The benefits are twofold. First, there’s a prize for the cumulative champion, normally in the ballpark of $500 and a sweet, obnoxiously large trophy. Second, and more importantly, your standing in the cumulative will determine how many seats you get at the final game. Teams at the top of the cumulative are generally rewarded with extra space. Teams at the bottom have to fight the good fight with 4 or 6 chairs.
The Big Game – How it works – All qualified teams (we’ll discuss what that means shortly) will gather on the 3rd Saturday in April for one normal game of trivia. The winner will get customary house cash. Oh, and over $1,000. Cash prizes will go to 2nd and 3rd as well, and plenty of other honors will be bestowed (like best music team, best sports team, best dressed, attendance award, & the much-coveted Horse’s Ass Trophy for last place). Most importantly, the winner will be the 12th team to win the St. Patrick’s Cup, the most prestigious trophy in trivia, which comes with the title of being ranked as the #1 trivia team in the universe. The format will be familiar to you – 20 questions designed to test the very limits of your trivia knowledge. While the format will be normal, the difficulty will not. But don’t worry, it’s hard for everyone.
The question I’ve heard from several teams is an understandable one when dealing with an unknown, especially such a largescale one: Do we stand a chance? The answer here is YES! Yes, there probably will be teams more likely to win than you. And there will probably be teams less likely to win. But until you nut up and play, you won’t really know, will you? Sometimes the final game opens the door for upsets. MTM VIII champions Much Ado About Muffins were a fairly mediocre team during the cumulative phase. They won a game here or there, but they usually settled for 3rd or worse. But on Super Saturday, they got their entire team together, hung with the leaders, and tossed up a Hail Mary on #20 which connected and put $1000 in their pockets. MTM III champion Yusef celebrated their first win of the entire tournament on Super Saturday. Not only was it their first win, they had managed only two second-place finishes during the cumulative phase. You never know when you’re gonna catch the questions you know, the questions you always wish we’d ask at trivia. If those questions get asked and you’re not there, someone else will be hoisting your trophy and pocketing your cash.
Ok, you’ve sold me. How do we play? – The entry fee is $100 per team. If that’s split among several players, that’s pretty manageable.
However, teams must EARN their way into this tournament. To be invited to the tournament, you must be the highest-finishing un-qualified team at any FCT trivia show. Win 1st place and the door is open to qualification. You will then have 1 week to pay the entry fee. When the week is over (which is when I ask question #1 the following week at the same location), you’re back to earning it. Let’s say the winning team is already paid in full and playing in the tournament. In that case, the 2nd place team will be extended an invite. If the top 2 teams are both already in the tourney, the 3rd place team gets the invite, and so on.
Let’s say we don’t qualify until week 7. At that point, we won’t have any shot at the cumulative and it won’t even be worth our time. Right? – WRONG! I will be keeping your scores starting in week 1, even if you’re not a qualified team. Even teams that aren’t participating in the tournament will have tournament scores. The scores only become official and start competing with others WHEN you pay. So if you’re slow to qualify, keep trying! We won’t punish you for a slow start. Also, there are usually one or two Automatic Qualifier nights, where every team that shows up can qualify for the tournament that night and that night only. They’re early, so be on the lookout for them.
FCT has 4 hosts. Are you all collaborating on the final game? No. While you can play and participate in the tournament at Brent, TJ, and Brian’s weekly games, the final game will be written and asked by Bobby Nettles. Because Bobby is solely responsible for the final game, the other 3 hosts will be eligible to play in the final game. And if there are concerns about them having an advantage, they’ve all been playing for years, and none have ever finished in the top 3.
How do we keep up with our progress? Join the Triviaheads page on Facebook to keep up with questions, discussions, etc. regarding the tournament. Follow http://www.fullcontacttrivia.com for daily updates, important announcements, etc. At the website, you can also peruse many past championship games and see how they played out. We at FCT value and preserve the history of our sport.
If you have any more questions, ask your host before or after trivia. We can give advice and give you an idea of what to expect. Those who have played the tournament will testify to its unique atmosphere and intensity. There’s nothing quite like Super Saturday.
Last but not least, WELCOME TO MARCH TRIVIA MADNESS XII!