The 45th Annual WWSP Trivia Contest begins at 6 p.m. Friday, April 11, and goes until midnight Sunday, April 13, and part of that contest is an event called the Trivia Stone which takes contestants on a trip around the area, looking for clues to help them locate and pick up “Trivia Stones.”
This means drivers will be out trying to follow a series of clues along a route broadcast during the contest so they can arrive at a pickup point for a “Trivia Stone.” That usually results in long lines of vehicles on streets.
The traditional Trivia Parade will start at 4 p.m. Friday, April 11, and will follow a route through campus to the P.J. Jacobs Junior High School parking lot.
Registration began Monday, April 7, and Jim “The Oz” Oliva, the longtime organizer and question-writer of the contest, said 229 teams with 5,762 members had signed up by the end of the day.
In addition, he said, 21 teams had signed up to play the contest on streaming Internet. One of those teams played from Rome, Italy, while a person was living there and another team played in China while a person was living there. Both of those teams now have moved back to Wisconsin.
While most of the teams on the Internet are from Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, Oliva said some teams are from New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.
Teams and players that registered Monday also had an impact on the merchandise available for Trivia 45.
“We have sold out of a lot of merchandise, and we will continue to sell through the registration period,” he said, adding that selling will continue Saturday, April 12, after 10 a.m. and Sunday, April 13, after 10 a.m. The Sunday sale will include offering leftover items from previous years, he said.
During the contest eight questions are usually asked each hour, and teams have the length of two songs to call in their answers. Teams with correct answers are given an equal share of the 2,000 points each question is worth, with a minimum of five points and a maximum of 500 points.
Oliva said the scoring system will change this year, a change that came about only this month, after the scoring system was explained in the “New Trivia Times,” which came out this week, was printed.
“Last summer, after listening to many discussions about the score keeping for Trivia, I tried a different method of scoring,” Oliva wrote in an email sent to teams last week. “It’s still based on the idea, the more teams that get it right, the less the points. I sent my ideas off to the (computer) programmer who sat on it for quite a while.”
The new scoring system “will continue the concept that the more people that answer the question right, the lower the point value,” he said Tuesday, referring to a sequencing formula that was emailed to teams this week.
That shows a different point-spread for scores based on the number of teams that answer the question, with more teams getting more points for answering questions correctly than previously. For example, if 17 teams got a question right previously, they would each get 100 points. Under the new formula, if 17 teams get a question right, each would get 125.
As more teams get the question right, the steps for the number of teams answering the question right would increase, rising by 10 to 75 points for 55 teams under the new formula, compared to two under the old formula.
“I had been thinking about it for a couple of years. It’s what I wanted because there were so many comments from teams about too many 10-pointers.”
Previously 10 points were awarded after 188 to 360 teams got the answer right. Under the new system, the point schedule will be more graduated in increments of five points, with 10 points awarded after 322 to 367 teams get the answer right. Teams from 188 to 321 will receive between 35 and 15 points.
After receiving the email last week about the changes in scoring, one longtime trivia player emailed other members of his team with this comment about the changes, “What’s the number for the complaint line?”
In addition to the number of vehicles in some neighborhoods, area residents may also notice a lot of foot traffic at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, for the “Running Questions.”
Trivia players will gather Saturday in the Shopko parking lot in downtown Stevens Point and Sunday in the parking lot of the Copps Store in Plover.