Merseyside Quiz Leagues

The World's Largest Independent Quiz Leagues


MQL MEETINGS 2023-2024


Sun 10th September 2023 (online)

Sun 10th December 2023 (online)

Sun 24th March 2024 (online) 

Sun 23rd June 2024 (online)


Sun 21st April 2024 (online)  (This is a postponement from 7th April)

All online meetings commence at 7.30 pm

AGENDA FOR most recent/next mEETING

Agenda for the Annual General Meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues to be held online on Sunday 21st April 2024 at 7:30 pm

1        Apologies for Absence

2        Minutes of the previous AGM

3        Matters Arising

4        Chairman’s Report

5        General Secretary’s Report

6        Treasurer’s Report

7        Assistant General Secretary’s Report

8        Election of Officers
        Including renewal of Vice Presidents

9        Proposals
a    The proposal is that the annual fee for entry into the MQL for each team be raised by £5 to £30.

Proposer: Dag Griffiths, MQL Treasurer
Seconder: Danny Grimes, MQL Chairman (on behalf of MQL Council)

b    MQL Rule 50 currently states
Any published matters, including press, radio, and social media, concerning quiz teams and individual members must not contain any comment or statement capable of causing offence or embarrassment. Questions must not be discussed on social media until at least four weeks after they are played. MQL has the right to impose appropriate sanctions on teams or individuals who contravene these rules.
The proposal is that the section underlined is removed.   This will allow for postponed matches to use the original questions with confidence.

Proposer: Rugby Hounds (Ormskirk)   
Seconder: Wings (S&F)

minutes of most recent council meeting

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 24th March 2024 

1.    In Attendance: were Bill Thomas, Bill Morris, Dag Griffiths, Derek Moody, David Hodgson, Angela Doyle, Danny Grimes, Paul Davitt, Frances Mason, Cliff Houghton, Jim Eccleson, Steve Lomas, Pam Baker and Brian Thompson.

The Chairman, Danny Grimes, invited Warrington Chairman, Cliff Houghton to say a few words about the late Brian Bates.  This was followed by a moments’ silence.

Apologies: no apologies were received
2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting. 

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising that were not on the Agenda for this meeting.

4.    Chairman’s report: Danny had been able to watch and /or take part in a wide range of matches in order to meet more players and teams.  He remarked on the quality of quizzing and organisation.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  General Secretary, Brian Thompson had nothing else to report that wasn’t covered in item 9.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported on expenditure and commented that the finances were such that if the MQL had to wind up tomorrow then as payments to officers was made in arrears then the there would only just be enough to cover it.  He suggested that to build up a small reserve, the annual fees be increased by £5 to £30.  This is the first increase for quite a number of years and this was to be made a proposal for the AGM.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton and co-distributor Frances Mason, reported that sets were being sent out 10 days ahead of playing date and on the whole this had been successful.  With Dag’s agreement Cliff had purchased 500 stamps and Frances will do the same before the imminent price rise.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported on the teams that had won the Liverpool divisions (Cricketers and Exiles) and which were taking part in the Feeny and Rendon.  Sadly, we would also be losing the Groundhogs team due to pressing family commitments.  32 teams have entered the Riley cup and there were more teams now in favour of EQD in that competition and Paul suggested that perhaps a hybrid of EQD (with the set emailed to the teams) and postal delivery would be needed for a period.  He felt that this would be true of the League as well.  He said that it was still clear that a number of teams did not fully understand how EQD worked.

Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported on the teams who had won the Ormskirk divisions (Colly Wobblers and Turks Head Saints) and which were taking part in the Feeny and Rendon.  Handicap knockout and plate finals were tomorrow and presentation evening was scheduled for 5 April.  They would be losing one team next season, and he feared possibly one or two more.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported the sad news of the deaths of Gary Buxton (Formby Sports) and Leo Tobin (Ex Pats).  At nearly 88, Leo was the oldest playing member in the S&F league.  Quads had won the Handicap League and Wings and Fisherman’s Rest the Cup and Plate.  

Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that their post-Christmas Leagues had been won by Ringers and Six Pack.  He also named the Feeny and Rendon participants.   John Hall and Ken Barlow had won the Pairs and the Presentation Night was on 26 April.

Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that their divisions had been won by Tia the Hazel Gnome and Aardvarks.  Their handicap KO is ongoing.  He named the Feeny Rendon participants.

9.    Competitions

•    President’s 
o    Trophy was won by Liverpool breaking Ormskirk’s 5-year run.
o    Once again, a very tight competition for the Shield went down to the last two matches.  The competition was won by Liverpool 2A by virtue of a bonus point gained in one of the two matches that they lost.  Wirral was second. Thank you to Dag for providing 6 sets of questions and to the teams for the other sets and to everybody that took part.
•    MCC
o    The final will be contested by Ringers and Oxton and the Plate Aigburth People and Fisherman’s Rest
Many thanks to Bill Thomas for coordinating this and to the areas for writing question sets.
o    Derek Moody will write the Plate Final and Dag Griffiths the Cup Final*
•    Buzzer Tournament
25 teams from all over the UK took part this year in the 5th Jubilee Buzzer Tournament held in Hoylake on Saturday 10 February.  A team of 11 writers composed over one thousand questions and a team of 14 read and scored on the day.  The winners were a team representing Yorkshire (Lewis Jones, Evan Lynch, Danny Lardner and Gary Moreland).  A team called M and M and M and M won the Plate and Wirral (Jim Eccleson, Ian Jack, Neil Wright, Andy Platt and Pam Baker) won the Bowl.  Our hosts at The Parade Community Centre were once again most welcoming and helpful.  The event made a slight loss this year due to buying the Bowl and taking care of our Readers on the day!  Special thanks to Tournament Organiser, Jon Stitcher and Question Coordinator and Editor, Dan Lawson for their enormous hard work in bringing the event together.
•    Mimir
Thanks to all Areas for organising their local Mimir.  Participation was about the same in most areas apart from Liverpool (13).  Thanks to Derek and Warrington for all their hard work in providing a new venue at Winmarleigh House, which proved ideally suited to the Merseyside Heats last week.  We had only one withdrawal and a full turnout on the night. Congratulations to Angela Doyle (Liv), Colin Foster (War), Dag Griffiths (S&F) and John Wilson (Orm) who will contest the Final at the MQL Finals and Presentation Evening on 15 May back at Winmarleigh House.  4/5 areas represented.
•    Feeny and Rendon Cups
There are 11 teams in the Feeny and 5 teams in the Rendon Cups.  Each Area will write one set, Brian Thompson will write a set for S&F* as they are producing the MCC Final set.  F&R sets are due for 5 April.

10.    Venues: 
Increasingly venues are going to make some if not full charges for our bigger events.  We only have two Areas realistically able to host Mimir (War and Wir).  The Presentation Evening is in Warrington this year and so perhaps S&F could look for a Venue for next year (it has not been held in S&F since 2016).  
As for the pubs and clubs that act as venues for our matches throughout the season.  It is hoped that all Areas will encourage their teams to support these venues by spending some money and, in some cases, making it worthwhile for these establishments to open on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

11.    EQD:
If we are to move towards EQD there will have to be a period of transition.  Teams who are comfortable with the process should help those less keen by showing how it works and the techniques used.  The downloading aspect could be avoided at first by emailing the password protected set to the home team (or both teams?).  It would seem that there is still a number of teams who will not even consider using EQD, although it was pointed out that they would still need to provide half of the password when they play a team who is trying it.  It was suggested that a financial incentive might be introduced.  For example, Warrington may well agree to have their sets by EQD next season, therefore some reduction in their MQL subscription might be made.

12.    Specification For Potential External Writers:
Brian apologised that although Derek had done a fair amount of work on this, the small group hadn’t met.  They will do so in the next month or so.

13.    AOB:
•    Bill Thomas wishes to stand down as MCC secretary and so all present at the meeting were asked to consider being or proposing a possible replacement.
•    The meeting was asked to remember Dave Sinclair (S&F) who is unwell at the moment.
•    A lengthy discussion followed the matter of Question quality.  It was agreed that while comments about sets that are made formally to the secretary are passed onto the setting League, the only meaningful feedback is how a set plays when it is used in several matches.  The analysis should be objective and focus on the measurables of the score, the aggregate score, the number of 2pointers and the number of Xs. 
Each league has to take responsibility vetting and play-testing sets and tracking how those sets score when they used in League matches.  The latter is a big undertaking, but it is a necessary first step.

The meeting closed at 8.40pm 
Next Council meeting: Sunday 23 June 2024 at 7.30pm online 

minutes of most recent AGM

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 21st April 2024 (commenced at 7.30pm)

Attendees:  Bill Morris, Dave Tilley, Colin Foster, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, David Hodgson, Dag Griffiths, Frances Mason, Jim Eccleson, Angela Houghton, Danny Grimes, Paul Davitt, Steve Lomas, Pam Baker, Peter Deakin and Brian Thompson representing fifteen teams and all five areas.

1. Apologies for absence.  None received.

2. The minutes of the previous AGM.  The minutes, having been circulated to all teams, were accepted as a true and fair record of the meeting.

3. Matters Arising.  There were no matters arising not covered by the Agenda.

4. Chairman’s Report.  Chairman, Danny Grimes, asked for a moment’s silence for the following members and associates of the MQL who had passed away in the last year.

Liverpool  Keith Spencer, Jeff Dunn, Bryan Leech 
Ormskirk  Andrew Sackville, Paul Prior
Southport & Formby   Gary Buxton, Leo Tobin
Warrington   Geoff Weston, Brian Bates 

He then reported that in order to meet as many teams and players as possible, he had, as in previous years, been spending his free weeks watching LQL Div.2 matches and also testing out sets for submission.  He had been QP, scorer and observer in the various MQL competitions, played in the Jubilee Pairs Competition and represented Liverpool in the President’s Trophy. Once again, these events showed the MQL at its best, setting the bar in respect of competitive quizzing and organisation.

Finally, he thanked the MQL Council who undertake all of their roles voluntarily and diligently to ensure that we can all enjoy our quizzing throughout the year. A number of those officials also hold positions with their own leagues and therefore undertake even more duties.

5. General Secretary’s Report.  General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported that since last year’s AGM we completed the Feeny and Rendon Competitions for the first time since the pandemic.  11 teams took part in the Feeny and 5 in the Rendon.  The finals night was held at the Griffin Inn in Warrington where Aardvarks defeated St Patrick’s to win the Rendon and then in a very close Feeny final Wings defeated Oxton Cons with Dag Griffiths scoring a full house.

That event was followed a few weeks later by our first Finals and Presentation evening for 4 years.  Aigburth People won the MCC Plate with a win over Aardvarks.  The Mimir Individual competition was won for the third time by Dag Griffiths, who became the oldest player to have won the trophy. The runners-up were Jim Eccleson, Colin Foster and John Hall.  In a close Challenge Cup final Cricketers defeated Colly Wobblers to win the trophy for the 5th time.  Thanks to the Liverpool League for hosting the event.

Another person retaining a Trophy was Neil Wright of Wirral who recorded a second successive win in the Jubilee Pairs tournament.  32 players took part in the competition which was hosted once again by Ormskirk at the Prescot Cables FC Club.  Neil won this year partnered by Ben Vincent of Warrington, with Mark Kerr and Bill Gerrard winning the Plate.

Once again, the Challenge Cup attracted very few entrants and a late withdrawal meant that there were only 14 teams taking part when the competition started in October.  Questions this season have been set by each of the Leagues with an additional set by MQL council.  Despite illness Dave Tilley who has set all the questions for this competition for several years, has still been able to provide a set for the Final. We wish him well in his treatment.   The Final will be between Ringers and Oxton, while Aigburth People and Fisherman’s Rest will contest the Plate.  Again, many thanks to Bill Thomas for his administration and I am glad to report his willingness to continue for another year in the role!

Thank you to Cliff and Frances for their continued hard work in distributing questions.  With reliability and sustainability now being factors in addition to cost, we continue on our path towards electronic distribution and hope that one League at least will be using EQD for their League sets next season.

The 5th Jubilee Buzzer Tournament took place at the Parade Hoylake in February and this year attracted twenty-five teams from all over the country.  Many thanks to members of the MQL who were part of the writing team and who read and scored on the day.  The event was won by a team representing Yorkshire while the team from Wirral won the newly inaugurated Bowl competition.  Special thanks to Jon Stitcher who administers the whole event and to Dan Lawson who coordinated and edited the questions.

The two President’s competitions both resulted in very close finishes with the outcomes not being resolved until the last set of matches.  The Trophy continued online and was won this season by Liverpool bringing an end to Ormskirk’s five-year run.  Thanks, as usual, to Dag for looking after this competition.  The Shield was played face to face and was won by Liverpool 2a.  Again, thanks to Dag for providing half the sets.  The Presidential Challenge was not played this season.

The Merseyside Heats of the Mimir competition were held at a new venue Winmarleigh House in Warrington.  It proved to be welcoming and very suited to our needs, and although at least one player fell foul of the parking technology, we intend to return there for next month’s Finals and Presentation Evening.  In a very close competition on the night Colin Foster, Dag Griffiths, John Wilson and Angela Doyle qualified for the Final.

Away from Merseyside, MQL were unable to defend the Don Bissett Cup at the QLL Open Tournament in June but recovered to win the Plate.  Details of this year’s event have just been received so if anyone is interested, please let me know.  In September, Pat Gibson retained his title as British Quizzing Champion and he also retained the British Pairs title earlier this month.  Pat finished sixth out of over 1600 players in the World Quizzing Championships last June.

A group is working on a standard Specification for Questions should we wish to invite an external party prepare sets for use in the MQL.  We are also working on ways of getting meaningful feedback back to Leagues and Teams to help them see how their sets play when used in League matches.

In conclusion, just a few personal opinions.  It continues to be the responsibility of all players to promote team quizzing and the Leagues whenever the opportunity arises.  This could include anything from advertising the fact that matches are held at your venue, to welcoming anyone and especially younger people who show any interest in quiz activities.  Secondly, I repeat what I said at a recent council meeting that we have to encourage and retain our venues too, so once again it is the responsibility of everyone who plays to support and spend a bit of money in these venues because without them, we will not have a quiz league.

As usual I would like to thank fellow officers and council members for their hard work throughout the year in supporting me and in helping the leagues run smoothly.

6. Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the balance sheet and pointed out that there had been some significant expenditure over the last 12 months and a loss of income with the number of teams falling to 84.  A slight loss on the Buzzer Quiz, purchase of a new printer, advance purchase of stamps and the return of trophy purchase had all contributed to the situation whereby if all commitments needed to be cleared immediately then the balance would be about £30.  For this reason, Dag with the Council’s agreement was going to propose an increase of fees for the coming year.

Auditors (appointed):     Paul Davitt and David Hodgson.

7. Assistant General Secretary’s Report.  Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that thanks to early posting to counter the effects of reduced reliability, the majority of sets had arrived on time although one or two areas are being affected more than others.  He thanked fellow distributor Frances Mason for her hard work and also Derek Moody for assisting when Cliff had been absent earlier in the year.

8. Election of Officers.  President, Jim Eccleson, took the chair for the election of the officers.  All officers had expressed a wish to continue in their roles and with no other nominations having been received Jim proposed that the Officers be re-appointed en bloc. This was carried nem con. 

None of the three-year terms of the current Vice Presidents needed renewing this year.

Therefore, the current (April 2024) Council comprises the following Elected and Ex Officio members:

Chairman:             Danny Grimes        
Deputy Chairman:         Cliff Houghton    
General Secretary:         Brian Thompson    
Treasurer:             Dag Griffiths            
Deputy General Secretary:     Cliff Houghton     

Ex officio members are:
President:            Jim Eccleson
Question Distributor:        Cliff Houghton
Question Distributor:        Frances Mason

The Council has 24 voting members  (although currently reduced to 21 due to a person being unable to vote twice)

9. Proposals.  
No 1

‘The proposal is that the annual fee for entry into the MQL for each team be raised by £5 to £30.’
Proposed by Dag Griffiths.    Seconded by Danny Grimes, MQL Chairman (on behalf of MQL Council).

Dag supported the proposal with some suggestions as to how savings could be made.  Transferring the burden of paying for the production of sets back to the individual Leagues, only using event venues that did not make a hire charge and the use of EQD.  Discussion followed that dwelt upon the first and third points.  As a result, there was no consensus to alter the current payment to Leagues to produce questions, but a strong point was made that although there was a continued reluctance to adopt EQD, each League has to make an effort to encourage and demonstrate that it can work.  The discussion resulted in this proposed amendment that

‘Leagues who used EQD should receive a 50% discount on their annual MQL fees.’ 
Proposed by Bull’s Head (Derek Moody).   Seconded by Dave Tilley (WSC Woodworms).
Figures discussed showed that savings under EQD would indeed cover the reduction.  This amendment was voted upon with 15 eligible votes.  
In favour 6 against 7 abstentions 2.  The amendment was rejected.  However, it was felt that the issue warranted further consideration next year.

The meeting then voted on the original proposal with 15 eligible voters.  13 were in favour and there were 2 abstentions.  The proposal was adopted.

No 2

‘Rule 50 currently reads 
Any published matters, including press, radio, and social media, concerning quiz teams and individual members must not contain any comment or statement capable of causing offence or embarrassment. Questions must not be discussed on social media until at least four weeks after they are played. MQL has the right to impose appropriate sanctions on teams or individuals who contravene these rules.

The proposal is that the section underlined is removed.   This will allow for postponed matches to use the original questions with confidence.’
Proposed by Rugby Hounds (Ormskirk).  Seconded by Wings (S&F)

David and Dag spoke in favour of the proposal.  It soon became clear that the main issue was how postings on the MQL Facebook site rarely portrayed the MQL or its players in a good light.  These postings had never been reported to Council and so it had never been called upon to invoke Rule 50.   However, the proposal remained unamended.
The meeting voted with 15 eligible voters.  All 15 were in favour.  The proposal was adopted.

The date for the 2025 AGM is Sunday 13th April.  The dates for the four required Council Meetings for the new season are:

Sunday 08 September 2024
Sunday 08 December 2024
Sunday 30 March 2025 
Sunday 22 June 2025

The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and their support.  The meeting closed at 8.36pm.