Merseyside Quiz Leagues

The World's Largest Independent Quiz Leagues

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 27th March 2022 at 7.30pm

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

Apologies: Angela Houghton, Bill Morris, Colin Foster, Jon Stitcher, Peter Deakin, Frances Mason
 
2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting. 

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising

4.    Deputy Chairman’s report: The Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton, asked for a moment’s silence for the late Chairman, Frank McFarlane.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported that Frank’s funeral last Thursday was very well attended and that several members of MQL were present.  The Website having been out of action for over a fortnight was now fully functioning and was being hosted by a new provider.  Brian expressed everyone’s thanks to Chris Quinn for all of his hard work in sorting out the problems and managing the transfer of the content.  A new Obituaries page had been created on the website to honour those who had made a valuable contribution to the MQL over the years.  Those who had contributed were thanked but there were still some gaps especially amongst the early officers.  It was hoped to soon add a page celebrating appearances by members of the MQL in external competitions such as national and international championships and TV and radio programmes.  The Merseyside Challenge Cup had been played online and has reached the final stage.  There had been 16 teams involved and congratulations to Unison and Hatton Yarboury on reaching the Cup final and Oxton and Ringers on reaching the Plate final.  Sadly, one team had had to be disqualified for a breach of the player eligibility rules.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported that there had been little activity and that the balance stood at £2031.46.  When asked, he suggested that the annual subscription fee should remain once again at £25 as there had been no major expenditure on events this year.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that all was continuing smoothly with question distribution.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported that Cricketers had won Division One, Groundhogs Division Two and St Francis of Assisi Division Three.  27 teams from Liverpool and Wirral had applied to play in the Riley Cup which begins on the 25 April with finals on 30 May.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that their league finishes this week.  Unison have won the First Division and Squigglers, the second.  A knockout competition begins on 4 April for three weeks.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported the sad death of Dermott Williams of Exams, a fine player and one who was exemplary in his setting and vetting responsibilities.  Dag also reported that Casablanca had won Division One and Quads Division Two. They are halfway through a handicap competition and would be playing their Mimir face to face on 20 April.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that with two weeks to go Hatton Coterie had won Division One but Division Two was still to be decided. They will play their Mimir face to face on Tuesday 19 April.

Wirral
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that with three weeks to go both Division One and Division Two were yet to be decided. They will be holding their Mimir face to face on Wednesday 20 April.


9.    Remainder of the 2021-22 Season 
After some discussion it was agreed to cancel the 2022 Feeny and Rendon Cup competitions but with a view to them being played once again next year at the end of what we hope will be a conventional season.  With the MCC, Plate and Mimir finals all being played online the 2022 Presentation Evening was also cancelled.  This also fitted in with ongoing COVID considerations.
It was agreed that the Merseyside Mimir will be played to a conclusion over 2 evenings on Wednesday 27 April (Round 1, Heats 1 and 2) and Wednesday 4 May (Quarter, Semi and Final).
It was pointed out that the questions would need to be with the General Secretary earlier than originally planned, so 17 April (Easter Sunday) would be the deadline.

10.    Website
This had been covered in the General Secretary’s report.

11.    Items for the AGM
There had been three proposals.  These were discussed, amended as necessary and are now as follows;

I  From General Secretary, Brian Thompson
Seconded by MCC Secretary Bill Thomas
Clarification of voting at Council and AGM

Council (as of April 2022)
Consists of 22 votes by persons who must be present.
•    5 officers (Chair, Dept Chair, Gen Sec, Asst Gen Sec, Treasurer)
•    5 Area Secretaries (or their appointed representative)
A person for each of ten teams or part thereof within the constituent leagues. 
•    3 Liverpool 27 teams
•    2 Ormskirk 17 teams
•    2 Southport & Formby 15 teams
•    2 Warrington 13 teams
•    3 Wirral 21 teams

One person cannot vote twice, for example the three Ormskirk votes have to be made by three different people. 
No voting by proxy.

AGM 
For the Election of the Chairman
•    Every team represented at the meeting has one vote.  
•    President has the casting vote if necessary.

AGM thereafter
•    5 officers (Chair, Dept Chair, Gen Sec, Asst Gen Sec, Treasurer)
•    Every team represented at the meeting has one vote.  
•    A person cannot vote twice, for example an officer cannot vote on behalf of their team as well as their post.
•    No voting by proxy.

During the discussion it was also pointed out that the clarification that had been added to MQL Rule 3 should also be ratified by the AGM.  Namely the italicised part shown.

A Council shall be appointed annually consisting of the following members: Chairman, Deputy Chairman, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and Treasurer, together with one Council member from each constituent league plus a further member for each of ten teams or part thereof within the constituent league.

II  From David Hodgson of Rugby Hounds
Seconded by Dag Griffiths of Wings
Change of Rules
•  Rule 3 The President should be a member of Council.

Clarification of Rules
•  Rule 8 Insert 'when held in person or 7.30 pm when held online, with an allowance of half an hour in each case'. Hence delete what current appears in brackets
•  Add The MQL Council will organise competitions for individuals, registered teams and representative teams between constituent leagues. Matches will take place on Wednesday nights according to a schedule provided at the start of the season. MQL will provide questions or arrange for their provision.

III  From Derek Moody of Bull’s Head
Seconded by Colin Foster of Hatton Coterie
Addition to Rules
•  No MQL member should use the MQL name and / or resources, in any form to further personal interests.

Derek was asked about the thinking behind the proposal, and he explained that no work undertaken by any member of the MQL should be able to be used by another for profit, for example publishing a quiz book using MQL questions.

The Local Area Secretaries would undertake to get AGM notification out to their teams.  This would be available before midnight.

(An additional item about amending rule 24 on start times for online competitions was held over until the next Council Meeting).

Election of a new Chairman
Two nominations had been received
Danny Grimes (Liverpool).  Proposed by Derek Moody (Warrington), seconded by Cliff Houghton (Warrington)
Dave Trent (Wirral).  Proposed by Jon Stitcher (Wirral), as yet unseconded.

The nominees do not have to make any statements at the AGM (although Danny Grimes later said that he would be prepared to do so if required)

12.    AOB
The last two years had indicated quite clearly that there is an appetite for online team quizzing.  The General Secretary sought the approval of the Council to investigate the possibility of creating an online MQL to operate in parallel with the existing Leagues.  He explained that despite many attempts to encourage recruitment over recent years, none had really been successful and especially in reaching younger players. This online version while not exclusively aimed at younger players could be made more appealing in its content.  The ultimate aim would be to have some crossover between this new league and the existing MQL in order to hopefully rejuvenate the membership.
The Council gave the idea its blessing.  A report would be made at the next meeting.


The meeting closed at about 8.30pm.  

Next Council meeting:      Sunday 26 June 2022 at 7.30pm online (this was a change to the published date)

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 18th April 2021 (commenced at 7.30pm)

Attendees:  Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bill Morris, Brian Bates, David Hodgson, Dag Griffiths, Bob Wilkie, Jon Stitcher, Jim Eccleson, Jim McGrath, Paul Davitt, Steve Lomas, Pam Baker, Danny Grimes and Brian Thompson representing fifteen teams and all five areas.

1. Apologies for absence.  Bill Thomas 

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, Frank McFarlane, asked for a moment’s silence for the following members and associates of the MQL who had passed away in the last year;

Liverpool 
Janet Barker 
John Fennell 
Jim Irvine
John McCabe

Northern 
Stan Snowden 

Ormskirk 
Brian Ball 
Dave Cockram 
Andrew Francis 
George Lucy (Vice -President) 

Southport & Formby
John Cochrane
Dave Harrhy 
Arthur Jones
Val Owen    

Wirral 
Geoff Austin
Malcolm Charles
Ian McKie     

Frank thanked the Council and all those who continue to organise the MQL and to all who run the constituent leagues.  This had been especially appreciated in the current circumstances. 

5. General Secretary’s Report.  General Secretary, Brian Thompson reported that in November 2020, after months of uncertainty, the regular 2020-21 season of MQL was cancelled.  The MQL Council, who met monthly throughout the year, took the decision as the restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic made it clear that no face to face quizzing was going to be possible.  In the late Summer and early Autumn of 2020 three leagues were established for existing MQL teams who were able and wished to quiz online.  All three leagues have since extended into a second or third season of fixtures, plus KO and Handicapped Competitions.  There are currently 39 teams involved.  

After approaching teams it was decided that the Merseyside Challenge Cup would be replaced for this season by the Merseyside Online Challenge.   This attracted 14 teams and is currently being played using the Swiss System.  It will finish in early May.  The President’s Trophy was won by Ormskirk for the third successive season.  The President’s Shield and Challenge, the Feeny Cup, the Rendon Cup and the Merseyside Pairs were all cancelled.  The Mimir competition was cancelled but the Merseyside Individual Challenge with 60 competitors will be held next month.  The 2020 Buzzer Tournament was cancelled but the 2021 Tournament is provisionally scheduled for 9 October.

After this most unusual and difficult twelve months in which the League season was cancelled for the first time in over sixty years, the happiest news is that the large majority of the members of the MQL appear to be safe and well.  Thanks to technology those players who wished to quiz online have been able to do so.  I hope that in the future, online and face to face quizzing will be able to coexist and complement each other.  My thanks, as always, go to fellow Council members and to everyone who contributes to the organisation of the MQL.

 (A full version of this Report can be found on the MQL website

6. Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented a financial statement for the season 2020-21.  The only outlay in addition to the annual honoraria was the renewal of the MQL Zoom subscription.  He reported a good financial situation and proposed that no increase to the £25 MQL subs was needed.  He added that should funds be needed an increase next year would be time enough.  The proposal was seconded by Brian Thompson and carried nem. con. 

7. Assistant General Secretary’s Report.  Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that he had been responsible for question distribution for MQLOnline which had gone smoothly.

8. Election of Officers.  President, Angela Doyle took the chair for the election of the Officers.  No other nominations having been received she proposed that the Officers be re-appointed en bloc. This was seconded by Peter Deakin and carried nem. con. 
Chairman:             Frank McFarlane        
Deputy Chairman:         Cliff Houghton    
General Secretary:         Brian Thompson    
Treasurer:             Dag Griffiths            
Deputy General Secretary:     Cliff Houghton     

Auditors (appointed):         Paul Davitt and David Hodgson.


9. Proposal.  
In this age of predominantly email communication, that the notice of and the circulation of papers for all MQL meetings be reduced from 28 days to 14 days. This had been proposed by the MQL Council and was carried nem. con.
    
The meeting closed at 7.55pm.  The suggested date for the 2022 AGM is Sunday 10th April.  This will be verified at the start of the new season.

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 23rd January 2022 at 7.30pm

1.    In Attendance: were Jim McGrath, Bill Morris, Bill Thomas, Angela Doyle, Brian Bates, Dag Griffiths, Cliff Houghton, Dave Tilley, Derek Moody, David Hodgson, Jim Eccleson, Pam Baker, Peter Deakin, Paul Davitt, Jon Stitcher and Brian Thompson 

Apologies: Angela Houghton, Steve Lomas, Colin Foster, Frank McFarlane, Danny Grimes
 
2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting. 

3.    Matters Arising:  There was one matter arising regarding item 3.  Wirral Secretary and Chairman, Jim Eccleson and Jon Stitcher wished to add their apologies for not having informed the MQL about the player who tested Covid positive in the week following the Buzzer Tournament.  As teammates of this player, they felt that some of the responsibility also lay with them.  They reiterated the comments that a lesson had been learned and that there would not be a re-occurrence.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton, had nothing to report and asked the General Secretary to update the Council on the health of Chairman Frank McFarlane.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported that Frank was still seriously ill in hospital.  He was slowly responding to treatment but there had been a recent setback that was causing grave concerns.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, had nothing new to report.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported that there had been no replies to an email enquiring about EQD.  He confirmed the participation of 5 teams in the MCC.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, confirmed the participation of 3 teams in the MCC.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, confirmed the participation of 3 teams in the MCC.  He also reported the sad death of Steve Murphy of Fisherman’s Rest.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, confirmed the participation of 2 teams in the MCC with Cliff Houghton reporting the late addition of a third.

Wirral
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, confirmed the participation of 2 teams in the MCC. 

This meant that there were 16 entrants for the MCC.

9.    2021-22 Season 
Each area reported on their teams’ willingness to resume League Fixtures on 31 Jan/ 1 Feb 
Liverpool has 1 team who will not resume, Ormskirk will generally be Ok and can deal with one or two postponements.  S&F were ready to go, having been willing to start as planned on 10 Jan.  Warrington teams would be ready to play on 1 Feb. Wirral had heard from 75% of their teams who were all ready to restart.

It was agreed to resume fixtures as planned on 31 Jan / 01 Feb.  With some ongoing Postal issues, it was suggested that Areas advise their teams to be vigilant in monitoring the arrival of sets through the post and contact their League Secretaries in good time if there was a problem.

10.    AOB:  
MCC:  In view of the late start and the number of teams it was agreed that the 2021-22 MCC would be a straight knockout tournament with a Plate competition running on 9 Feb, 2 Mar, 23 Mar and 6 Apr.  The draw was to be made following this meeting.
Mimir:  This would be played in the usual format.  Each area was to decide if they were to play their Area Heats online or face to face.  They would be held in the w/c 18 April and the Merseyside Heats in the w/c 2 May.  Dates to be confirmed at the next Council Meeting.

Bob Wilkie:  It was agreed that we should mark Bob’s long and valuable contribution to the Leagues.  It was suggested that the MCC Plate competition be named in his honour.  This was generally well received, and a decision was to be made at the next meeting.

Cliff also reminded the Council that the AGM was online at 7.30pm on 10 April.  Jim Eccleson added that he thought that one of his teams wished to propose a change to start times.  The Chairman advised on how they should do this.

The meeting closed at 8.10pm.  It was followed by the MCC draw.

Next Council meeting:      Sunday 27th March 2022 at 7.30pm online

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 2nd January 2022 at 7.30pm

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

Apologies: Angela Houghton, Paul Davitt, Frank McFarlane, Jon Stitcher
 
2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting. 

3.    Matters Arising:  There was one matter arising regarding item 5.  The Warrington Secretary called into question one aspect of the organisation of the Jubilee Buzzer Tournament held on 9th October 2021.  He described it as a failure and that it was disgraceful that when made aware that a player had tested positive for Covid-19, no action was taken.  The General Secretary conceded that in spite of taking every precaution possible for the safe operation of the day itself, no plan had been put into place for positive testing after the event.    It was pointed out that the General Secretary did not become aware of the situation until 21st October (and then only by hearsay) which was 12 days later.  Further comments about this being the first time that the event had been conducted under such circumstances provided some mitigation but nonetheless this was indeed a serious oversight in safety procedures and the Council was assured that it would certainly not happen again.  Perhaps in future all players would be told that a condition of taking part would be to agree to inform the organisers of any positive test within a certain number of days of the event.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton, informed the meeting that Chairman, Frank McFarlane, was seriously ill in hospital and passed on everyone’s thoughts and best wishes.  Cliff then spoke briefly about the late Bob Wilkie who died on 16 December.  Bob was one of the longest serving members of the MQL having been a player in the Liverpool league from the early seventies.  However, it was in the vital role of Question Distributor that Bob made an invaluable contribution to the running of the MQL.  Handbooks show that he was carrying out this job in 1977 and he continued for 44 years having only relinquished it last year.  As a Distributor, Bob was an ex-officio member of the MQL Council and was a very regular attender of meetings. He served as President of the MQL from 2005 to 2008 and so had been a Vice-President from 2008 to date. The Leagues recognised his years of service with a presentation in 2009.  Bob would have been 84 on Christmas Day.  A suggestion was made later in the meeting by Bill Thomas that thought be given as how best to honour Bob’s contribution to the MQL.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, had nothing to report save to reiterate Cliff’s comments about Bob Wilkie.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, had nothing new to report.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that sets from Wirral and S&F were outstanding.  He was reassured that these were on their way.  Also that the distribution of the sets for the next round of fixtures had been held, pending the outcome of this meeting.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Assistant Secretary, Frances Mason, reported that there had been no replies to an email enquiring about MCC and EQD.  It was pointed out that this had only been circulated 3 days ago, however in it Paul had assumed the participation of the 6 usual teams.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that of the 4 teams who usually take part in MCC, 2 were happy to play online, 1 would not be taking part and 1 hadn’t replied.  He had had 2 volunteers to run an Ormskirk Mimir face to face when it was scheduled.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that 2 teams will definitely play in MCC with possibility of a third.  Area Mimir could be played online or f2f but the Merseyside heats should be online.
With regard to EQD, 1 team were in favour, 1 would try it if there was a paper back up at first and 3 definitely agaianst.  Reasons cited for no EQD include lack of equipment, lack of technical expertise and not wishing to take a tablet to the pub or club where it may be damaged.  A generally lukewarm reception.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that 1 team will play in the MCC and another will play if it is online.
With regard to EQD, 2 teams were against although 1 of these is a new team who perhaps will be happier once they've tried it.  1 question person prefers paper than reading from the screen. All the other teams were in favour.

Wirral
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that he had had 9 replies from Wirral teams and of those, 2 wished to play in the MCC and 4 were in favour of EQD.

This meant provisional numbers for the MCC were 14 with 2 other possibilities.

9.    2021-22 Season 
In view of the current surge in Covid-19 cases, the continuation of the 2021-22 season was discussed.  Derek reported that 5 Warrington teams did not want to play when fixtures resume next week, making the point that quiz teams in general were not in control of the environment in their venue.  David H pointed out that QLL and Lancaster had postponed games this week and next, while Derbyshire and Withington Leagues had suspended f2f quizzing until February.  He also added that as always, no player should be pressured into playing and that organisations such as Royal Mail who were struggling before Christmas will undoubtedly continue to do so.  There was further discussion before it was proposed that a 3 week break be introduced from 10 January.  This was carried by a majority vote of 10 to 2 and means that all fixtures due to start on 10/11 January will now start on 31 January/1 February.  
Area secretaries were asked to inform their teams.
A further review meeting was scheduled for 23 January at 7.30 pm.

10.    AOB:  There was no other business.

Next Council meeting:      Sunday 23rd January 2022 at 7.30pm online

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 12th December 2021 at 7.30pm

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

Apologies: Bill Morris, Colin Foster
 
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 covered on the Agenda.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, thanked everyone for attending and encouraged anyone to share their thoughts later in the meeting on how they saw the current COVID situation and its impact on face-to-face quizzing.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported that the third Jubilee Buzzer Tournament had been held successfully on 9th October.  20 teams had taken part and it had been won by Teesside with Wirral A winning the Plate.  He thanked all those who QP’d and scored on the day and Jon Stitcher who instigated and organised the event.  A special mention was made of Mark Kerr and Daniel Lawson who coordinated the production of questions.  Mark and Dan together with Dag Griffiths, Cliff Houghton and Brian Thompson were also thanked for writing over 2000 questions.  To our knowledge, one player tested COVID positive in the week following the event. 
An extra council meeting was held on 28th October at which progress and problems were discussed.  Encouragingly at that time there had been few COVID postponements or problems.  
Karl Whelan of Wirral QL was congratulated on having become the 68th Brain of Britain.  In winning the BBC Radio 4 competition Karl succeeded Graham Barker of Liverpool QL and became the 4th person from the MQL to hold the title.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported that he had successfully transferred the MQL bank account from HSBC to NatWest.  A new deal on printing envelopes had halved the cost.  The balance was healthy and he reported that the Buzzer tournament had made a profit of about £300.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that most things were going well from the distribution point of view but that he and Frances were aware of some local difficulties with Royal Mail deliveries.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported that there had been one postponement due to COVID.  There had been some slight problems due to postage but otherwise all was going well.  The Liverpool league season was due to finish on 21st February and no other competitions were planned.  Paul also reported that Philip Gray of Cricketer's had passed away on 1st December.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that although COVID had caused only one postponement he noted that of the 17 teams in Ormskirk only 5 had managed to field a team of four players for every match and even some of them were non regulars.  Royal Mail in Ormskirk had only recently revealed the severity of their staff shortages, which explained the non-arrival or late arrival of sets.  He praised his teams for the efforts they had made to distribute quizzes and keep fixtures on schedule.  The Ormskirk league was scheduled to finish on 8th March.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that there had been only two postponements.  One was COVID related and affected the venue, the other was due to soccer!  Dag also reported the death of Margaret Copplestone of Formby Pavilion.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that Ringers had won the Shield and that the League had now been split into two divisions of six for the remainder of the season.  There had been three postponements due to COVID, but the major problems had been with the postal deliveries and he thanked Frances for helping to make arrangements to overcome these difficulties.  Derek also informed the meeting of the death of Brian Glover of Yarboroughs.

Wirral
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that there had been several postponements that will result in double headers in the second half of the season.  Thankfully there had been no postal problems.  Wirral had held a Presentation / Pairs event that had been well attended.  They were scheduled for a finish on 22nd March.

9.    2021-22 Season Competitions (MCC and Mimir):
It was proposed that the MCC be played in the second half of the season.  After a lengthy discussion about the format, location and player eligibility the following points were agreed.
•    The competition should run online using Zoom in the usual 9.00pm slot on Wednesdays 
•    In order to encourage as many as possible to take part teams should enter under their usual league name but may be permitted on this occasion to include players from one other team in their own Area.
•    Area secretaries were to gauge interest in the competition and once we had a firm idea of the number of teams who wished to play, a decision would then be made on whether to play the Swiss rules or a round robin pool tournament.  
Most teams would play five or six matches and Dave Tilley had once again kindly agreed to set the questions.

Following discussion about the Mimir, it was agreed to allow Areas to decide how they might wish to organise their heats (face to face or online).  Once that was known, then a decision about when to hold the competition could be made.  Questions would be set by Areas in the usual way.

10.    Electronic Question Distribution:
This topic had been raised several times before, but in light of current difficulties with some postal services, in an effort to be greener and the fact that after the events of the last two years players were perhaps more tech savvy, it was raised once more.  In a discussion in which the usual pros and cons were aired it was agreed to sound out teams about their current feelings on the matter.  It was generally agreed that the time had come to actively investigate EQD but the feeling was that it would be difficult to achieve piecemeal (some on EQD and some on paper) within a League. However, a way forward could be to follow Warrington’s lead and each week send out friendlies using EQD to show how the system could work.  These friendlies could indeed be sets to be vetted and trialled.

ACTION:  area secretaries were to contact their teams and assess 
•    their interest in MCC
•    their feelings about EQD
and then report back at the January meeting about MCC and perhaps the February meeting for EQD.

11   AOB:  
There was no AOB

The Chairman wished everyone a happy and safe Christmas and the meeting closed at 8.52 pm.

Next Council meeting:      Sunday 2nd January 2022 at 7.30pm online

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 19th september 2021 at 7.30pm

1.    In Attendance: were Angela Doyle, Dag Griffiths, Bill Morris, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, David Hodgson, Brian Bates, Paul Davitt, Danny Grimes, Jon Stitcher, Pam Baker, Colin Foster, Steve Lomas and Brian Thompson

Apologies: Frank McFarlane, Bill Thomas, Jim Eccleson, Frances Mason, Peter Deakin,
 
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 covered on the Agenda.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, was absent.  Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton had nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported that MQLOnline 3 had ended in July and been won by Ringers of Warrington.  They were congratulated as this meant that they had won all three of the MQLOnline competitions.  He again thanked Derek, Cliff and Paul for their hard work throughout.  Brian thanked the Area Secretaries for getting the necessary information to Cliff for him to complete the question distribution schedule for the new season.

He reported that he had been invited by the family of Janet Barker to attend a gathering on 2 October to celebrate her life.

He reported that Karl Whelan had reached the Radio 4 Brain of Britain semi-finals.  In the British Quiz Championships held in Kent on 4 September, over 150 persons had taken part, 7 from MQL.  Congratulations to Pat Gibson who finished 2nd, Alan Gibbs 14th and Colin Foster 20th.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported that he’d found a very good deal on envelope printing saving considerably on previous cost.  He reported that with 3 teams still to pay there would be 92 teams taking part in the 2021-22 season.  9 teams had also paid their Buzzer Tournament Entry fee.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that after over 40 years Bob Wilkie has stepped down from his role as question distributor.  Cliff and Brian had been to see him and although very poorly he was in good spirits.  Frances Mason has kindly agreed to take on the role.  He also reported that a slight rescheduling of the distribution plan had been necessary but that it would only affect Warrington teams

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported 
27 teams in 3 divisions ready to start on 4 October
A lot of vetting and trialling had been going on and that the first batch of sets had been sent to Cliff.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported 
17 teams were ready to start on 4 October.  2 divisions of 9 and 8.
8 sets already sent to Cliff.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported
15 teams ready to start on 4 October, 1 team not ready but may rejoin in January.  2 divisions of 8 and 7 plus a handicap competition with details tba.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported
12 teams ready to start 5 October.  1 division plus a handicap competition with details tba.  16 sets submitted.

Wirral
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, was absent.  Steve Lomas reported that there would be 21 teams in 2 divisions of 10 and 11.  He hoped that some more teams may return later or next season.

10.    MQL Jubilee Buzzer Tournament Update:
Jon reported that 20 teams had confirmed that they were taking part in the tournament on Saturday 9th October.  Derek clearly expressed that in his opinion this was not a good time to have the tournament.  He felt that it could put the new league season in jeopardy.  He also felt that the event maybe severely disrupted by teams withdrawing at short notice.   Discussion followed in which some members of the council agreed with this while others felt that while it was a risk, it was a risk that we could manage.  Jon and Brian gave details of the venue and the measures that were being put in place.  It was decided that the event should proceed employing these measures and others as necessary.

9.    2021-22 Season:
Each area reported on friendlies and other matches that had been played to try out venues.  Liverpool had no negative feedback but sought clarification on refreshments and on buying a drink for the visiting team.  It was established that refreshments need not be provided.  It was thought that the fewer people going to the bar the better and so the practice of buying a drink for the visiting team should continue.
The Leagues are in no position to ask any person any details about their health.  However, if a player discloses voluntarily that they have not been vaccinated and is happy for this to be known, then the Leagues may feel obliged to advise the opposition of the situation.  As already agreed, teams may withdraw from a fixture without penalty for any reason related to COVID.  The Leagues will facilitate any efforts made to get the match played.
For this reason, it was especially important that teams are reminded not to discuss the sets or questions online.  Furthermore, this season’s sets would not be published online until next March.
Ormskirk reported a few instances where venues who had previously confirmed that they could be used for matches, have decided to close early or perhaps not to open at all.  It was agreed that earlier start times could be permitted in these circumstances.
After more discussion it was decided that the 2021 - 22 season should start in the week commencing 4th October with a review of progress at an extra Council meeting on Thursday 28th October.  It was however agreed that should it be necessary to suspend fixtures, then this would be done across all Leagues.

11   AOB:  
The following amendment / addition to the ‘Guidance to Question Persons’ Item 10 had been suggested.

Please assume that the set has been carefully prepared and vetted.  However, if you suspect a word has been omitted or there has been a printing error, then always read the question as it appears, if the captains share your concern, then they may agree on a correction.  
Please do not pre-empt a question with a comment of your own such as “Here’s a question on History”.  While you may feel that it lightens the atmosphere or will make the question sound better, it is fraught with problems, as unless it is done for every question you may be giving one side an unfair advantage or disadvantage.

It was suggested that the second paragraph might be omitted but the majority thought that it should be included.

The amendment/addition in its entirety was agreed and will be added to the website.


The meeting closed at 8.32 pm.

Next Council meetings:      Thursday 28th October 2021 at 6.30pm online
Sunday 19th December 2021 at 7.30pm online

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 18th july 2021 at 7.30pm

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Angela Doyle, Bill Thomas, Dag Griffiths, Bill Morris, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, David Hodgson, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Peter Deakin, Danny Grimes, Jon Stitcher, Pam Baker, Frances Mason, Steve Lomas, Dave Tilley, Bob Wilkie and Brian Thompson

Apologies: Colin Foster had informed the meeting that he would not be attending.  Brian Bates sent apologies later.
 
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 covered on the Agenda.

It being only 3 weeks since the previous Council meeting, no Officer reports were expected.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane had nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, had nothing to report

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, had nothing to report

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, had nothing to report

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported 
30 teams contacted
23 ready to restart and venues confirmed
3 ready to restart and venues unconfirmed
2 teams have withdrawn
1 team not ready to restart
1 team no reply

Paul also reported comments attached to some of the replies including the reduction in the boundaries of certain Areas, continued use of Online matches and an earlier start time.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported 
18 teams contacted
17 ready to restart and venues confirmed (1 of these teams has only 3 players)
1 team no reply

All teams had registered and paid (15 of them online)

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported
18 teams contacted
14 ready to restart and venues confirmed
1 team have withdrawn
1 team not ready to restart
1 team reduced number of players
1 team unsure if they will continue

Dag was trying to match up teams with gaps with players now without a team.


Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported
12 teams contacted
6 ready to restart and venues confirmed
3 ready to restart but venue (same venue) possibly unsuitable
2 teams prepared to start in October
1 team not ready to restart

Derek expressed concern about venues

Wirral
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported 
26 teams contacted
18 teams ready to restart and venues confirmed
5 teams do not wish to take part in the season
3 teams no reply

Interest had been shown by individual players about joining the League and possibly forming into a new team.

9.    2021-22 Season:
Just over 75% of all 104 teams asked were ready to restart quizzing face to face (FTF) in the new season and their venues were confirmed.  This could increase to 80% once venues were sorted out and to 86% after teams had had a period of trying out the experience.
To initiate discussion, it was proposed that 2021-2022 be a “bridging” season in which teams, players and venues got used to FTF play and allowed for periods of isolation and the possible reintroduction of restrictions.  This would entail a series of short mini leagues or similar that could be rearranged as required.  It also proposed an earlier start time, a series of test games / friendlies to try-out venues and arrangements, the suspension of rule 11 about players being allowed to play for more than one team during the season (to make teams viable) and the removing the need for teams to provide refreshments.  A parallel Online League was to run for teams not yet ready to quiz FTF and with the facilities to do so.

Lengthy discussion followed in which many views were expressed.  The outcome was the following

•    The 2021-22 MQL Season will start in the week commencing 4 October.
•    League quizzing will only be face to face.
•    Areas will draw up fixture lists for a full season of matches.  MQL will provide question sets for Mondays and Tuesdays from w/c 4 October to w/c 13 December (11 weeks) and w/c 10 January to w/c 21 Mar (11 weeks) *.
•    There would be a final Go/No Go decision at the Council Meeting on 19 September.
•    If a team cannot fulfil a fixture due to Covid restrictions each Area may apply its usual rules regarding postponement or the use of a calculated points allocation.
•    Areas should advise teams about expectations regarding venues including entry/exit, size and layout of room, social distancing of both teams and sanitising.
•    Start time to remain unchanged.
•    Refreshments were not to be provided.
•    The period from the usual league start date until October should be used by teams to organise friendly matches and test out their venues.  Areas will encourage this and arrange games if required.
•    If a venue proves unsuitable then an Area may ask the teams to reverse the fixture, if possible, postpone or, if the problem persists, change venue.
•    Should local and national COVID regulations and restrictions change then MQL will react and adapt as required.
•    President’s Trophy matches would be played online at least until Christmas.
•    Decisions about President’s Shield, Merseyside Challenge Cup and other competitions would be made after Christmas.

This plan was to be circulated to Council for approval before being sent to Area Secretaries and posted on the website.

ACTION:  If the above plan accurately covers what was decided, then Area Secretaries to provide fixture lists to Cliff Houghton as soon as possible.

10.    AOB:  
The MQL Jubilee Buzzer Tournament 2021.  
Jon Stitcher reported a good response from external teams and urged MQL teams to confirm their places.  Brian was asked to find out if the venue had a date after which MQL would still be liable for payment if there was a cancellation.  Reassurance was provided about the size of the spaces in the new venue.

It was envisaged that MQL Council Meetings would continue online for the foreseeable future.

The meeting closed at 8.37 pm.

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 19th September 2021 at 7.30pm online

* Details were sorted out after the meeting

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 27th June  2021 at 7.30pm

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

Apologies:  Dave Tilley, Jon Stitcher (sent on time but not read out at meeting)

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 covered on the Agenda.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane had nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported that the AGM had taken place online on 18 April, all Council members retained their posts.  After a long wait the 2019-20 MCC and Plate plus the Mimir Finals were played online on 26 May.  Congratulations to Colly Wobblers who defeated Greyhound after 9 rounds to win the all-Ormskirk Challenge Cup Final and to Bishop Eton who beat Judges 44-43 to take the Plate in an all-Liverpool Final.  Many thanks to Bill Thomas for managing the competitions and to Dave Tilley for providing the majority of the questions.  In a very keenly contested final Karl Whelan became Mimir champion for the fifth time after defeating Pat Gibson in a tie-break.  John Wilson and Mark Kerr were the other finalists in a match where the players finished within three points of each other.  Very well done to all concerned. 
The MQL Individual Challenge, a replacement for this year’s Mimir, was played over two evenings 10 and 17 May.  51 players took part and Pat Gibson just beat John Hall to win the 9-person final.  Many thanks to all the QPs, scorers and question checkers.  But especially to writers Dave Tilley and David Hodgson.
Many congratulations to Unison who remained unbeaten in their 6 matches to win the Merseyside Online Challenge.  The competition replaced this year’s Challenge Cup and used a Swiss Tournament structure.  Thanks to all the teams who took part, to Bill Thomas and Cliff Houghton for their organisation and to Dave Tilley and Derek Moody for setting and verifying the questions.
In a surprising but very pleasing response, 18 teams are taking part in Season 3 of MQLOnline.  Teams are mostly from Liverpool, Warrington and Wirral, but Fisherman’s Rest from S&F are most welcome.  We considered having two divisions but, in the end, opted for a Swiss system so that each team will play 9 matches.  It will finish at the end of July.  Questions were set very rapidly by the teams themselves and despite the best efforts of Cliff and Derek to make the sets respectable, there has been a little variation in standard.  It should, but I doubt if it will, make folk realise how much the work of the vetting teams that usually goes on every year in each of our constituent leagues, helps to produce decent sets.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported that the only transaction had been the renewal of the MQL Zoom subscription.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that question distribution for MQLOnline had gone well apart from a slight technical glitch the previous week.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported that 5 of about 20 venues had confirmed that they were open.  No responses yet received from teams.  A 3 team venue (Aigburth CC) was also likely to be lost in the coming months

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that the Online competitions had happily resulted in 3 different winners including Whippet who had defeated Unison in the final match of the recent handicap league.  All 18 Ormskirk teams had been contacted and 17 had replied.  ALL were keen to restart as soon as HMG restrictions allowed.  No venue problems were anticipated.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that a Swiss method had been used in their recently completed competition.  He too was pleased that their Online leagues had also produced 3 different winning teams.  Not all teams had responded, those that had were positive.  One team, St Jerome’s, was folding so reducing the number of teams to 17.  No problems with venues from any of the responders.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that the recent individual competition had been won by Colin Foster and the Plate by Cliff Houghton.  Half (6) of the Warrington teams had responded and were positive about playing although one team may be struggling for players.  One venue (Woodlands) had been lost and another, St Joseph’s, was yet to re-open.

Wirral
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that 21 out of 26 teams had replied and 17 were keen to play once restrictions were lifted.  Of the 4 who weren’t, 2 may reconsider once they’ve had some experience of “normality”.

9.    2021-22 Season:
Clearly, we cannot make any firm decision until HMG announce their plans for 19 July.   If we are to create fixture lists to start in September/October, then Leagues need to get a firm commitment from their teams for our meeting on 18 July.   From a rough estimate, the preparation of sets is well in hand by most leagues.  Those that weren’t, were confident that sets would be ready on time.
Although electronic question distribution (EQD) will be attempted again in the near future, it was felt that the priority was to get as much as possible back to some sort of normal.
The Leagues need to have a clear response to what will happen if 
•    restrictions are reimposed as the winter approaches 
•    players in a team test positive for Covid-19

It was suggested that the Wednesday competitions such as the President’s, the MCC and the Mimir could be played online or partly online.  It was thought that the Shield teams may probably still prefer to play face to face.

10.    AOB:  
The MQL Jubilee Buzzer Tournament 2021.  
It is proposed to hold the event on Saturday 9th October.  An alternative venue at St Peter’s Centre in Woolton has been confirmed.  Although more expensive than the Bradbury Centre this will give us more space and bigger rooms.  There is confidence that all 20 slots in the competition will be filled.  Council agreed that preparations could proceed.

The meeting closed at 8.10 pm.

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 18th July 2021 at 7.30pm online

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 14th March  2021 at 7.30pm

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Angela Doyle, Bill Thomas, Jon Stitcher, Dag Griffiths, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, David Hodgson , Bob Wilkie, Jim Eccleson, Brian Bates, Paul Davitt, Danny Grimes, Bill Morris and Brian Thompson

Apologies:  Colin Foster, Frances Mason

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane had nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported the passing of Andy Francis of Greyhound.  A long time MQL player in Ormskirk and in President’s Trophy Andy passed away suddenly last month.  The death of former MQL player Janet Barker was also reported.  Janet was a leading player in the Post House team that dominated the Liverpool League in the 80s and 90s.  Brian noted that obituaries were available on the MQL website.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported that the MQL Zoom subscription was due for renewal before the next meeting and received the Council’s approval to renew it.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that question distribution for MQLOnline had gone well and he would still have 3 sets available once the season was completed.

8.    Area reports:  
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, had nothing to report.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, added a few more words about Andy Francis’ contribution to the Ormskirk League.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, had nothing to report.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, had nothing to report.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, had nothing to report.

9.    On-Line Quiz Competitions:  
Ormskirk QL
The league has 4 weeks of the third phase to go.  It will finish on 12 April and will then take a break for the summer.

S&F QL
The third league will conclude this week.  It will then be followed by a 5 week tournament based on the Swiss Model.  This will finish in the first week in May and will then take a break for the summer.

MQLOnline
The second season will finish this week with Gladly Stoned needing just a draw to take Division 1.  In Division 2 although Aardvarks are favourites, there are still two other teams in contention.  A handicapped KO tournament will then follow.  Once all other competitions were completed MQLOnline would be willing to run a third season in the summer if there was sufficient interest.

Merseyside Online Challenge
Three of the six rounds had been played and Colly Wobblers, Greyhound and Unison are leading the table.  Brian explained that the poorly received set used in Round 3 was a late replacement when the regular setter was indisposed. 
The decision to allow a team to bring in a player from another MQL area was questioned.  This prompted a discussion in which these points were made;
•    While within the rules (MCC rules are being applied to MOC) it was felt that bringing in a top player from another league was not in the spirit of the competition.  
•    Brian, who gave permission for this to happen, apologised to Bill Thomas who as Competition Secretary should have been approached first. 
•    The aim of this online competition was to provide quizzing and get people involved.
•    It would not have arisen in regular MCC, as Council has rejected on a several occasions the suggestion that teams be allowed to amalgamate players in order to take part in the competition.
•    The rule was introduced a number of seasons ago to discourage the practise of ‘parachuting in’ top players from outside MQL to reinforce already strong teams.
•    If the team needed to replace players then they should have looked to their own League for assistance.

Action:  Brian was asked to contact the team in question expressing the views of the Council and asking them to reconsider including this player in the remaining matches.

10.    2021 Competitions:
Merseyside Individual Challenge
Brian thanked League Secretaries for reporting that there were 54 people interested in taking part in this competition.  Although we expect the numbers might change, the following structure was proposed
•    6 groups of 9 players with the top 4 from each group going forward to
•    3 groups of 8 players with the top 3 from each group going forward to a
•    Final of 9 players.
This model would need 
•    two sets of 90 questions and one set of 80 questions 
•    6 QP / Scorers.  
•    It would need two evenings to complete.  10 and 17 May were suggested and agreed.  
•    Players to be drawn at random into the groups. 
There are at least two people already working on question sets.  Volunteer/s were invited to write the third set.

Action:  Brian to find 6 QPs and Scorers, coordinate question sets, set up the evenings.
Action:  League Secretaries to forward names of players to Brian

2019-20 Finals and Presentation Evening
It was pointed out that the 2019-20 Finals and Presentation Evening scheduled for Wednesday 26 May would not now take place.  Although it might be possible to have the Presentation Evening later in the summer, it was suggested that the Finals be played online in order to complete the competitions.
The Mimir shouldn’t be a problem as the Merseyside Heats had already been played online.  This could go ahead on the date planned.

Action:  Brian was asked to approach the MCC Finalists (Colly Wobblers and Greyhound) and Plate Finalists (Bishop Eton and Judges) to find out if they would like to share the Trophies or if they would like to play the finals online.
Action:  Brian to cancel booking at Aigburth Peoples Hall

11.    2021-22 Season:
In light of the pace of the lifting of restrictions, a proposal was made that the 2021-22 Season not start until January 2022.  This prompted a discussion in which these points were made;
•    that teams should be canvassed for their opinions.
•    that we should be ready to make a start in September but be prepared for a ‘winter break’.
•    areas should consider the structure of their Leagues such that it gave maximum flexibility should restrictions be re-imposed at short notice.

Action:  League Secretaries were to ask their teams if they wished to continue quizzing at all and if so how they felt about when they would be happy to start up again and what problems they might have with venues.
Action:  Brian to send a reminder in early June
Action:  League Secretaries were to report numbers at the next Council Meeting 27 June.

12.    AOB:  
The AGM is on Sunday 18 April.  Two proposals were made; 
•    Paul Davitt.  In this age of predominantly email communication, that the notice and the circulation of papers for all MQL meetings be reduced from 28 days to 14 days.  This was agreed and will be included in the AGM agenda.
•    Frank McFarlane.  When asked if the current elected officers would be prepared to stand again, they all agreed and so the AGM agenda will carry the proposal that they be elected en bloc.

The meeting closed at 8.20 pm.  

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 27th June 2021 at 7.30pm online (probably)

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 10th January 2021 at 7.30pm

1.    In Attendance: were Dag Griffiths, Colin Foster, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, Dave Tilley, David Hodgson , Bob Wilkie, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Danny Grimes, Bill Morris, Frances Mason and Brian Thompson

Apologies:  Peter Deakin, Frank McFarlane, Angela Doyle, Bill Thomas, Jon Stitcher

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, was unwell and the meeting sent their best wishes to him.  Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton, had nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported the successful online staging of the Merseyside Mimir Heats on 16 Dec.  He congratulated all who took part and thanked especially the QPs, the Scorers and the Question Distributor.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported that there had been no transactions since the last meeting.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:  
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, had nothing to report.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, congratulated Pat Gibson on becoming the British Quiz Champion again at a tournament in November (Pat’s sixth win)

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, had nothing to report.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, had nothing to report.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported the sudden sad death of Malcolm Charles.  Mal had played many years for Wallasey CC and latterly Scumbag College.  He noted a fine obituary that had been posted by his team on the Wirral QL website.

9.    On-Line Quiz Competitions:  
Ormskirk QL
The League has 3 weeks of the second phase to go.  A third phase of this handicapped competition will then begin on 8 Feb.

S&F QL
With the second league completed, a third league will begin on 19 Jan.  In spite of some cajoling it will consist of the same 10 teams.

MQLOnline
In a very tight finish the first season came to a close with Ringers of Warrington defeating Gladly Stoned of Wirral 49-48 to become champions.  A new season will begin on 18 January, when we will have 20 teams, playing in 2 divisions.

10.    2021 Competitions:
MCC
Brian reported that 16 teams had entered.  It was agreed that as the competition was to be played online we would try the Swiss Tournament model.  Cliff explained how this would work (a fuller description is in appendix).  This tried and trusted model allows all 16 teams to remain involved for the 6 matches with the fixtures for the next round depending upon the outcomes of the current round.  It lends itself to an online situation as venues do not have to be arranged at short notice.
Dave Tilley had once again kindly agreed to set the questions.  Bill Thomas would distribute, while Cliff would administer the Fixtures and Results.  After a discussion it was agreed to retain Wednesday as the playing night but with a little latitude in start time to help accommodate teams playing in other competitions.  The following dates were to be used
27 Jan
10 Feb
3 Mar
24 Mar
14 Apr
5 May
As it involves some composite teams and is being played in this different format it was decided that the competition was to be known as the Merseyside Online Challenge (MOC) for this year.

Mimir
A decision on an individual competition for 2021 was deferred until the next Council meeting.  Although it was suggested that an alternative tournament that would remove the need for as many specific question sets might be considered.  In one such proven format players are drawn into groups (size determined by numbers of participants).  The game consists of 10 rounds in which each player in the group is asked 1 question.  If unanswered or incorrect the question is passed to the others who are given a chance to answer in an order based on previous attempts.  The Scoring/Bonus App that we used at the Mimir last month makes the process very manageable.  At the end of the 10 rounds the 3 top players go into a final.  The final is another 10 round match.  It could be played in Areas or Merseyside wide again depending upon numbers.
The format is used regularly with approximately 30-40 players in 3 groups, yielding 9 finalists.  All played on one evening.

Action:  League Secretaries were to ask their teams if players wish to take part in an Individual Competition, similar to Mimir.  Although it would be sensible to ask if participation may be dictated by whether it was played in Areas and then Merseyside, please encourage folk to try it.  It is used successfully week after week by players with a wide range of quiz backgrounds.
Action:  Report numbers at the next Council Meeting

11.    AOB:  
1
Brian reported that a retweet on the MQL Twitter Account was expressing some political views.  Council agreed that this was not the place for such views and asked that it be removed.  Brian was to pursue this.
2
Derek suggested that in light of the ongoing situation with the Pandemic and the pace of vaccination we should give thought to an alternative plan for the 2021-22 MQL Season in due to start September.  Council agreed that this should be considered and put on the Agenda for the next meeting

The meeting closed at 8.20 pm.  

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 14th March 2021 at 7.30pm online


Appendix

Merseyside Online Challenge 2021

Proposed Structure of the Competition
We have sixteen entries for the competition and the proposal is to play the completion in a ‘Swiss’ format.

How it works
The intention is to play the competition over a total of six matches, each team playing at least five times, with 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw and 1 bonus point for a defeat by 4 points or fewer. Effectively all 16 teams will be in one group which to start with is seeded from 1 to 16. In the first set of matches the top 8 teams will play against a team from the bottom part of the group. Subsequent matches will be arranged once results of each round are known and will pair teams with a similar playing record at that time such that teams of a similar standard will play each other. As the competition progresses teams can move up the league and can still win the competition even after losing their first match. Teams will not play each other more than once.  A ranking order will be produced at the conclusion of the competition and the team at the top will be the winner of the Merseyside Online Challenge 2021.

From Wikipedia;
A Swiss-system tournament is a non-eliminating tournament format that features a fixed number of rounds of competition, but considerably fewer than for a round-robin tournament; thus each competitor (team or individual) does not play all the other competitors. Competitors meet one-on-one in each round and are paired using a set of rules designed to ensure that each competitor plays opponents with a similar running score, but does not play the same opponent more than once. The winner is the competitor with the highest aggregate points earned in all rounds. All competitors play in each round unless there is an odd number of them.
The Swiss system is used for competitions in which there are too many entrants for a full round-robin (all-play-all) to be feasible, and eliminating any competitors before the end of the tournament is undesirable. In contrast, all-play-all is suitable if there is a small number of competitors; whereas a single-elimination (knockout) tournament rapidly reduces the number of competitors, but the best competitor may not necessarily win, as good competitors might have a bad day or eliminate and exhaust each other if they meet in early rounds.
The Swiss system seeks to provide a clear winner with a large number of competitors and a relatively small number of rounds of competition, without a single bad result terminating participation.
The first round is either drawn at random or seeded according to some prior order, such as rating (in chess) or recent performance. All participants then proceed to the next round in which winners are pitted against winners, losers are pitted against losers and so on. In subsequent rounds, each competitor faces an opponent with the same, or almost the same, cumulative score. No competitor is paired with the same opponent twice.
During all but the first round, competitors are paired based on approximately how well (or poorly) they have performed so far. In the first round, competitors are paired either randomly or according to some pattern that has been found to serve a given game or sport well.

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 6th December 2020 at 7.30pm

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, Dave Tilley, David Hodgson , Bob Wilkie, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Danny Grimes, Bill Morris, Frances Mason and Brian Thompson

Apologies:  Dag Griffiths, Colin Foster, Peter Deakin, Brian Bates (received after the meeting)

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  Competitors and Venue for the postponed 2020 Buzzer Tournament had been informed of the cancellation of the event.  The venue (Bradbury Centre) has been provisionally booked for Sat 9 October 2021.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, had nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, put on record the Council’s congratulations to Graham Barker (The Cricketers) who won the Radio 4 Brain of Britain title last month.  Brian also thanked Area Secretaries for conveying the news about the cancellation of the 2020-21 regular league season.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, was absent but sent a message to say there had been no transactions since the last meeting.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:  
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported the sad deaths of Jim Irvine (Bootle YMCA) and of John McCabe (JC and the Jets).

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported the sad death of Dave Cockram (Bispham Farmers Arms).

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, was absent.  Bill Morris had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9 or 11.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9 or 11.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9 or 11.

9.    On-Line Quiz Competitions:  
Ormskirk QL
The League is 4 weeks (of 9) into the second phase.  This handicapped competition is proving very close.  David thanked Cliff for question distribution and MQLOnline for sets.

S&F QL
This second league will finish this week (8 Dec) and a third league will begin on 19 Jan.

MQLOnline
With 3 matches to go 4 teams are in contention and the top 2 play each other on the last night on 4 Jan.  A new season will begin on 18 Jan and it is likely that we will have 20 teams, providing 2 divisions.

10.    Arrangements for Mimir Merseyside Heats 16 December:  
Brian reported that all was in hand for Wed 16 Dec.  He described the arrangements and acknowledged helpful advice from David Hodgson, Dave Tilley, Cliff Houghton and Paul Davitt.  A note explaining these arrangements will be sent to players and officials next weekend.  Cliff has offered to check the Sets (which were compiled in February) and to distribute them on the night.  Brian said that it was going to be important to have the officials identified ahead of the competition.

Action:  Brian would approach a number of people to act as QP and seek other volunteers to be scorer/bonus callers.
Action:  Brian to send the Sets to Cliff.

11.    2021 Competitions
MCC
There seemed to be sufficient interest to run the MCC and Plate online and we would stick to playing on occasional Wednesday evenings.  We estimate that there will be 20 teams interested and once the numbers were finalised, a group of Bill Thomas (Comp Sec), Cliff, Brian and Frank would create a structure for the competition and present it at the meeting in January.

Action:  League Secretaries were to check which of their teams wish to play in the MCC on occasional Wednesday evenings starting late January.  These numbers should be sent to Brian by 21 December.
Action:  Brian to convene meeting with Bill, Cliff and Frank once numbers finalised.

12.    AOB:  
It was agreed that after the next monthly meeting on 10 Jan, Council would revert to meeting every 3 months as normal.  With the proviso that a meeting could be convened at quite short notice online if the need arose.

The meeting closed at 8.25 pm.  

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 10th January 2021 at 7.30pm online

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 8th NOVEMBER 2020

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, Dag Griffiths, Dave Tilley, Peter Deakin, David Hodgson , Bob Wilkie, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Danny Grimes, Bill Morris, Jon Stitcher, Brian Bates and Brian Thompson

Apologies:  Frances Mason, Colin Foster

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising not covered by items in this meeting.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, had nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, had nothing to report.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented a balance sheet and reported that only two transactions had occurred since the last meeting.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:  
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9, 10 and 11.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9, 10 and 11.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9, 10 and 11.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9, 10 and 11.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, had nothing to report that was not covered in items 9, 10 and 11.

9.    Decision on Conventional Quizzing:  
Leagues
The decision on the return to conventional / face to face quizzing in January was to be made at this meeting.  Brian suggested that perhaps this might be extended to a decision on the rest of the season.  Following a short discussion, the following proposal was made;

All League quizzing for the 2020-21 MQL season be cancelled and recommence in September with the 2021-22 season.  (This was proposed by Jon Stitcher, Seconded by Dave Tilley).  The proposal was carried unanimously.

A suggested statement for the website and for use by League secretaries if they wish;

It is with regret that MQL announce the cancellation of the 2020-21 Leagues season.  This was a unanimous decision made at Sunday’s meeting of the MQL Council.  It means that there will be no face to face quizzing in the Liverpool, Ormskirk, Southport & Formby, Warrington or Wirral Leagues.   Any question sets and membership fees that may have been submitted will be carried over to the 2021-22 season, which we hope will begin as normal in September.   As you are aware, three online league competitions are currently being operated by Southport & Formby, Ormskirk and by MQL.  If any teams or individuals would like to get involved with these, please contact your league Secretary.
The President’s Trophy competition is being played online and it is hoped that the Merseyside Challenge Cup and possibly the Mimir Individual competitions may run in some form of online version in the Spring.  The President’s Shield, Feeny Cup and Rendon Cup competitions will not take place.
The decision to cancel was made very reluctantly after months of uncertainty.  However we had reached the stage that even when circumstances may have allowed venues to open and host, there would be insufficient time to complete a league programme.  We hope that all players and their families stay safe and look forward to meeting up again in September.

Buzzer Quiz Tournament
In the same way it was decided to cancel the Buzzer Tournament that was originally scheduled for October 2020 and then postponed until February 2021.  The 2021 Buzzer Tournament will hopefully take place in October.
 
Action:  Jon Stitcher and Brian Thompson 
Contact those teams who had signed up for the Buzzer Quiz and the Bradbury Centre venue and inform them of the decision.

Action:  League Secretaries were to 
Inform their teams about the cancellation of the 2020-21 League Season

10.    On-Line Quiz Competitions:  
Ormskirk QL
The first phase of their competition has been completed and won by Colly Wobblers.  The second phase, a handicap league of 9 teams, has started and will be completed at the end of January.  A third phase would then start.  Any former or current members of the OQL were eligible to play.  Questions are provided by those set in house and by MQLOnline.

S&F QL
They are 5 weeks into a 9 week Handicap Season 2 with 10 teams.  A third season will start in January, with possibility of more teams in light of the decision in item 9.  Sets are being compiled in house and in cooperation with Dave Tilley and David Hodgson.

MQLOnline
They are just over halfway through a 14 week Season 1.  The current 15 teams will be joined for Season 2 in January by a further 8 (13 Liverpool, 4 Warrington and 6 Wirral) and they anticipate 2 divisions.  Questions are provided by those set in house and by Ormskirk Online.

Liverpool
A further 3 teams from Liverpool will join MQLOnline in January.  Paul once again repeated the offer made by several players to help those less familiar overcome technical difficulties and get involved in online quizzing.

Warrington
In addition to the 4 teams playing in MQLOnline, the weekly email competition is continuing and will finish its current season at Christmas.

Wirral
Being unable to quiz face to face, 5 teams will join MQLOnline in January bringing the total to 6.

Player Eligibility
It was decided to adapt and apply the Merseyside Challenge Cup Rule No 3 to any online quiz competitions organised by the MQL.  This states;
Players (in MQL online competitions) should be current or former players in the Merseyside Quiz Leagues.  A team who wish to include any other player must seek permission from the Competition Secretary.  If this is not done then the game, when played, may be forfeit.

Recording of Matches
It was decided to adapt and apply the MQL Rule No 50 to any online quiz competitions organised by the MQL.  This states;
Any published matters, including press, radio, internet and social media, concerning quiz teams and individual members must not contain any comment or statement capable of causing offence or embarrassment. Matches may not be recorded without the express permission of the Competition Secretary.  The only circumstances in which a recording might be made would be to promote the competition and in which case the Secretary would seek the individual permissions from all involved. Questions must not be discussed on social media. MQL has the right to impose appropriate sanctions on teams or individuals who contravene these rules.

Merseyside Challenge Cup 2020-21 and Mimir 2021
It was agreed to ask teams who usually play in the MCC if they would be interested in playing the competition online.  If there was a positive response then this could encourage a few other teams to join in.

It was thought that there might be an opportunity to run a version of the 2021 Mimir online in the Spring.  However, it was agreed that it would be sensible to make a decision after the experience of running the 2019-20 Merseyside Mimir in December.

Action:  League Secretaries were to 
Contact those teams who usually took part in the MCC to find out if they would be interested in playing the competition online from January.

11.    Dates:  
2019-20 Mimir Merseyside Heats to be held online at 7.45pm on Wed 16 December.  The competition will produce the four players for the final in May.
Current Ormskirk Online league finishes 25 January 2021
Current S&F Online league finishes 7 December 2020
Current MQLOnline league finishes 4 Jan 2021
2019-20 Finals and Presentation Evening at APH on Wed 26 May 2021

Action:  League Secretaries were to 
Make date of Merseyside Mimir at 7.45pm on Wed 16 Dec known to the appropriate players

12.    AOB:  
There were no items of AOB

The meeting closed at 8.35 pm.  

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 6th December 2020 at 7.30pm online

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 4th OCTOBER 2020

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, Jim McGrath, Dave Tilley, Colin Foster, David Hodgson, , Bob Wilkie, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Danny Grimes, Bill Morris, Jon Stitcher, Brian Bates and Brian Thompson

Apologies: Dag Griffiths, Peter Deakin, Frances Mason

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, invited Bill Thomas to say a few words about the late Arthur Jones.  Bill reported that many kind words and tributes had been received.  Frank had nothing else to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, had nothing to report apart from having sent a letter on behalf of the MQL to Gerard Molyneux and his team who after 49 years have decided to retire from the Ormskirk QL.  The letter thanked them for their commitment and dedication to the League.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, was absent but had reported that no transactions had occurred since the last meeting.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:  
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported that progress was being made with the LQL bank account and a temporary arrangement had been made to allow the paying in of cheques.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that Brian Ball a long-time player and official of the OQL had passed away at the age of 80.  Many generous tributes had been paid.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, was absent but Bill Morris noted that a Council meeting had been held in the last week but that there was nothing else to report.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, had nothing to report.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that in line with HMG regulations, the Wirral QL matches scheduled to start next month had been suspended.

9.    2020-2021 Season:  
As agreed previously, a decision on face to face quizzing will still be made at the Council meeting on 8 November.  However, there was a general feeling that it was now highly unlikely that any conventional competitions will be possible this season.
In light of this Derek took us through the main points of his ideas for Online Quizzing that had been circulated to the Council (attachment 1).  A lengthy discussion then followed in which these points were made
•    That we should try to get more teams involved in the existing online leagues being organised by MQL, Ormskirk and S&F. 
•    That now the chance of any f to f quizzing is unlikely, more teams might consider playing online.
•    That although a team as a whole may not wish to take part, individuals may wish to join other teams or be formed into new teams.
•    The possible amalgamation of the MQL, Ormskirk and S&F online leagues.
•    That if one of the barriers to teams taking part is that they have reservations about being outplayed by very strong teams match after match, then having more teams would enable the creation of a number of divisions of teams of similar standard.
•    That the existing online leagues beyond the MQL ie the QVQL and the OQL (see attachment 2) in which MQL players take part should remain separate.
•    That the group leading the QVQL would be willing to discuss with MQL how we might work together.

Some other more operational points were also made
•    Divisions of 12 teams could produce a playing session from mid-January to the end of March after which a KO/Handicap competition could be staged.
•    It might be more straight-forward and help the economical use of questions if there was a single match night rather than two.
•    Having two match nights each week might allow more people to play.
•    If providing a question set was a barrier to teams joining this online league then questions could be provided at a cost of around £35.
•    An external company could operate an online league on behalf of MQL that would include questions, distribution, a QP/Scoring facility, results and website all provided at a cost of about £45.

Action:  League Secretaries were to 
Go back to the appropriate teams in their areas and ask in view of there being no face to face quizzing, would you now consider quizzing online?
Ensure, where appropriate, that the same question was asked to individual players.
Make it clear that with sufficient teams, it will be possible to create divisions of teams of a similar standard.

[Although this was not mentioned, there are always members of the Leagues who are willing to help teams or individuals become familiar with the technical aspects of online quizzing such as Zoom and receiving questions electronically]
 
10.    On-Line Quiz Competitions:  
This had been largely covered in the discussion in Item 9.  Attachment 2 was a summary of those competitions that might currently involve members of the MQL.

11.    AOB:  
There were 3 items of AOB
a.    At present, apart from the Zoom subscription, MQL costs would appear to be at a minimum.  The honoraria that will be paid at the end of this season could be held over to the next.  There are no 2020-21 set up costs that cannot be transferred for use next year and so nothing already paid for will be wasted.  We could then announce the following, now. 

To teams who have paid their 2020-21 subscription fee.  As is looking increasingly likely, should there be no face to face quiz competitions and so no Finals or Presentation evenings, then that part of the fee payable to MQL (£25) will be carried over to the 2021-22 season. 
 
Individual areas may wish to do the same depending upon any costs that they may have incurred so far.  This could reassure those teams not taking advantage of the online quizzing provided by Ormskirk, S&F and MQL that these operations are incurring no costs save the time and effort of those involved in administration.

The Council agreed that this could be done.

Action:  League Secretaries were to 
Make this known where appropriate and, after discussion with their Treasurer, perhaps amend the statement to include their own league fees
 
b.    In the now likely event that there would be no conventional quizzing this season Brian was asked by the Council to contact those involved in the unresolved 2019-20 Mimir competition to see if they would now be willing to complete them online.

Action:  Brian to coordinate with the league secretaries and contact those scheduled to play in the MQL heats.

c.    We should aim to hold the 2019-20 Presentation Evening in May 2021.  Treating it as if we have simply skipped the 2020-21 season, it will include the MCC ,Plate and Mimir Finals.

Action:  Brian to sort out a date at a Liverpool venue.

The meeting closed at 8.25 pm.  

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 8th November 2020 7.30pm online

Attachment 1
Online Quizzing    (D.Moody 28/9/2020)

What sort of online quizzing do we want? The inaugural online league consists of teams either solely of existing teams or an amalgamation of players from different teams. The teams are also of widely different standards. However, as it only consists of 15 teams we can only deal with what we have.

If we run an online league in January there is a potential for teams from Ormskirk and Southport to join from their leagues plus other teams from Liverpool, Warrington and especially the Wirral. We could be looking at potentially 40 to 50 teams, the 15 teams currently playing in the MQL online league, the 15 teams currently playing in Southport and Ormskirk, and say 10 teams from the Wirral. One big turn off is mismatches, I have had it said to myself that teams didn’t want to play if they had to play superstar teams. The only way to resolve this is to grade the entrants so that they play in a competitive division. How do we accomplish this?

The more teams that are willing to take part the more likely we can put the respective teams into a group of a comparable standard, so a guiding principle should be that we make every effort to include everyone who wants’ to take part even if it means forming composite teams from players from different constituent leagues, much in the same way as the MQL Barbarians team in the MQL Buzzer quiz.

We have to grade the players rather than teams this means having access to players averages. Ideally this would be based on players own questions only, but this may not be available for everyone. In that case player averages would have to be used as we need to use one consistent system.  There may be a mechanism whereas we can use a factor to adjust the plater averages based on the difficulty of quizzes that each league played. Should player averages not be available then the league secretaries should rank the players who wish to take part.

    There are 12 weeks from the beginning of January until the week before the Easter bank holiday so we can have 12 teams per division each playing each other once.  Teams to be ranked via player averages and teams allocated to divisions from high to low. Ideally matches should be split between Monday and Tuesday nights. Splitting the league between the two nights would help with the load placed on the zoom rooms. As this would conflict with Dave Tilley’s league, and as Dave has already stated that he would be willing to fall in with the MQL, then if he was willing then we could expand the league to include the teams from outside the MQL area, to play in the league. This could also be extended with the MQL council’s permission to include the teams that have been invited to the MQL Buzzer quiz in February. Wednesdays could be utilised to host a cup competition should we so wish.
    The more teams that are willing to take part the more likely we can put the respective teams into a group of a comparable standard, so a guiding principle should be that we make every effort to include everyone who wants to take part even if it means forming composite teams from players from different constituent leagues, much in the same way as the MQL Barbarians team in the MQL Buzzer quiz.


We have to grade the players rather than teams this means having access to players averages. Ideally this would be based on players own questions only, but this may not be available for everyone. In that case player averages would have to be used as we need to use one consistent system.  There may be a mechanism whereas we can use a factor to adjust the plater averages based on the difficulty of quizzes that each league played. Should player averages not be available then the league secretaries should rank the players who wish to take part.

    There are 12 weeks from the beginning of January until the week before the Easter bank holiday so we can have 12 teams per division each playing each other once.  Teams to be ranked via player averages and teams allocated to divisions from high to low. Ideally matches should be split between Monday and Tuesday nights. Splitting the league between the two nights would help with the load placed on the zoom rooms. As this would conflict with Dave Tilley’s league, and as Dave has already stated that he would be willing to fall in with the MQL, then if he was willing then we could expand the league to include the teams from outside the MQL area, to play in the league. This could also be extended with the MQL council’s permission to include the teams that have been invited to the MQL Buzzer quiz in February. Wednesdays could be utilised to host a cup competition should we so wish.
    The more teams that are willing to take part the more likely we can put the respective teams into a group of a comparable standard, so a guiding principle should be that we make every effort to include everyone who wants to take part even if it means forming composite teams from players from different constituent leagues, much in the same way as the MQL Barbarians team in the MQL Buzzer quiz.

    Alternatively, we could operate a Swiss-style system where teams progressively play teams of similar ability as the league progresses. This is more difficult to administer and organise and teams would only know who they were playing a few days in advance. However it avoids making the initial assessment of each side’s strength.

    There does look to be an issue developing in the MQL online league; that of finding question persons. It is an already existing issue, but generally as face to face quizzing is as much a social event, teams manage to cope. However due to the reduced social interaction there appears to be an issue with finding willing QP’s. Solutions would be for the non-playing administrators to step in or to split the matches each night into two sittings, see below for why we would have enough question sets to do this.

    Entry requirements should be that each team provides a quiz that has to be submitted prior to the start of the league. It is my understanding that due to quiz swaps we may have as many as ten quizzes left over at the end of the current MQL online league. This would leave the league with a substantial stock of quizzes, which could be utilised into providing two different matches each night at different times. I see no reason why any spare sets cannot be utilised for MQL events going forward, such as the bonus questions for an MQL Buzzer quiz tournament, Challenge cup matches etc. Should the current circumstances still be in effect this time next year, then we would potentially have sufficient sets to run an online league in 2021/22 should the situation arise.  Alternatively, we could sell the sets to existing commercial online leagues should the council require an ongoing revenue stream or use this to subside the MQL fees when face to face quizzing can resume in order to provide an incentive, at the time, for teams to resume quizzing.


Attachment 2
Online Quizzing Summary
A number of different opportunities to quiz online have become available this year.  These are the ones that I am aware of that involve MQL players, I am sure that there may be others;
•    OQL.  This was started in March and was probably one of the first.  Created by MQL/Wirral player Jon Stitcher, it is now in its second season and has 54 teams from all over the UK.  
o    There is a fee to join each season with questions provided from a team of professional setters. 
o    My guess is that there are perhaps three Merseyside based teams.  
o    The current season will end in late autumn.  
o    It is the home team’s responsibility to host the match.  
o    Match night is Wednesday 8pm
•    QVQL.  This was started in April by MQL/Warrington player, Dave Tilley.  Also in its second season, it involves 14 teams from all over the country.  
o    Questions are set by the teams as their subscription and there is no fee to join. 
o    Matches are hosted by the organiser using Breakout Rooms.  
o    I believe that there is just one MQL based team but a number of MQL members play as part of multiregional teams.  
o    The second season is due to end by Christmas.  
o    Match night is Tuesday 8.45pm
•    S&F QL.  This was started in the summer and is about to start its second season with 10 teams from the S&F league.   
o    No fee and questions are set by the teams themselves 
o    Home team hosts the match
o    It will finish just before Christmas
o    Match night is Monday.
•    Ormskirk QL.  This began in September and has 7 teams.  
o    No fee and teams set questions themselves 
o    Home teams host the match. 
o     It will continue until late Autumn
o    Match night is Monday
•    MQLOnline.  This also started last month and has 15 teams from Liverpool, Warrington and Wirral taking part. 
o    No fee.  Questions are set by the teams and there is a sharing arrangement with the Ormskirk QL
o    Teams can elect to self-host or are hosted by the organiser using Breakout Rooms
o    Current season will end in first week in January
o    Match night is Monday 8pm
•    World Quiz.  I know little about this except that it runs on Sunday, is organised by the folk who run Grand Prix quizzing and, unsurprisingly, involves teams from around the world.  MQL players are involved but as far as I know, there is not a team all based in the area.

 

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 6th SEPTEMBER 2020

1.    In Attendance: were Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, Peter Deakin, Jim McGrath, Dave Tilley, Colin Foster, David Hodgson, Dag Griffiths, Bob Wilkie, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Frances Mason, Danny Grimes and Brian Thompson

Apologies: Frank McFarlane Bill Morris, Jon Stitcher, Brian Bates.

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, was absent and the meeting was chaired by Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton.  There was nothing to report. 

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, drew Council’s attention to the passing of George Lucy, former MQL President and long-time member of the Ormskirk League.  Brian thanked those who had helped prepare the statement (30 July) for the website.  Graham Barker (Cricketers), Jon Stitcher (Plasterers Arms), Roy Smith (Hatton Coterie) and Dag Griffiths (Wings) were all congratulated on having reached the semi-finals of the current series of Radio 4’s Brain of Britain.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, reported that no transactions had occurred since the last meeting.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:  
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported that 29 out of 31 teams had registered.  LQL were having problems with NS&I over the paying in of cheques and it was likely that they would have to change banking arrangements.  It had been indicated to teams that should little actual quizzing take place in the 20/21 season then 21/22 fees would be adjusted accordingly.  This was generally supported by the meeting. 

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that he had received 100% responses to a survey of teams.  1 team had decided to retire after 49 years of quizzing.  I team had decided not participate this season but would return in 21/22.  Of the other 17 4 have significant venue problems.  A large proportion of teams and individual players were still very cautious and uncertain about attending face to face quizzes.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that online quizzing had been taking place and he would be contacting teams for an update on their circumstances this month.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that the WQL AGM was scheduled for Sunday 13 September.  It was anticipated that the email quiz competition that had been running throughout the summer would continue.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that at their AGM on Thurs 20 August of their 27 teams, 1 was to retire, 6 would withdraw until September 2021 and the remaining 20 had agreed that a Wirral league would begin in November and run through until March.  When the Ormskirk Secretary asked about HMG recommendations, Jim added that all venues were happy to accommodate the teams in a socially distanced manner.  The Liverpool Secretary commented that Wirral’s decision did not permit the MQL presenting a ‘united front’ with regard to f to f quizzing.
9.    2020-2021 Season:  
The Council decided to continue meet each month to keep the situation under review.  It was recognised that if conventional quizzing was to resume early in the New Year, then a decision would need to be made at the meeting on Sun 8 November to allow arrangements to be put in place before the Christmas holidays.

(Minuted here although raised in AOB)  Dag Griffiths announced that the President’s Trophy Competition (which was to run online) would start in October.  As usual this would be one Wednesday per month through to March.  He hoped this would take priority over other online quiz leagues with which some MQL players were involved.


10.    On-Line Quiz Competitions:  
Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that 7 teams had formed into an Ormskirk Online League that is scheduled to start on 14 September and run through to the end of October.  Arrangements had been made for the trading and sharing of sets.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that 8 teams had formed into an S&F Online League that was almost completed.  A second season was anticipated to start at the end of September.   He hoped that more teams might get involved or that individual players might make up scratch teams.  Paul Davitt commented that this is what had happened in MQLOnline

MQLOnline
Brian Thompson and Paul Davitt reported 14 teams had registered to play in this temporary online quiz competition.  Cliff Houghton with support from Derek Moody were distributing questions and it was scheduled to get underway with a friendly session on Monday 7 September


11.    AOB:  
Peter Deakin presented an idea to help question setters who omit to reverse the order of questions from round five.  The suggestion also allowed the setter to review easily the questions addressed to particular players.  A discussion followed in which the following comments were made
•    Yes it would help setters
•    Having played sets arranged like this pairing errors are still made
•    No advantage to QPs who tend to use names rather than 1a 1b etc.
•    Useful as if setting using matching pairs, one question to an a player and the other question to a b player
•    QP can assign 1a to Fred and 1b to Mary, etc. and these would be unchanged throughout the match
•    A properly tested set should spot reversal errors
•    No requirement for sets to be in pairs
•    If it’s not broken don’t fix it
•    If we were starting from scratch then this might be a sensible approach 
The feeling was to leave the format as it is, but it was sufficiently inconclusive that it was thought worth returning to at a future meeting.

The meeting closed at 8.25 pm.  

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 4th October 2020 7.30pm online

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 26th July 2020 (commenced at 7.30pm)

Attendees;  Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bill Morris, Bill Thomas, Brian Bates, Dave Tilley, Colin Foster, David Hodgson, Dag Griffiths, Bob Wilkie, Jon Stitcher, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Frances Mason, Danny Grimes and Brian Thompson representing thirteen teams and all five areas.

Chairman, Frank McFarlane, asked for a moment’s silence for the following members and associates of the MQL who had passed away in the last year;
Ormskirk
Charlie McAuley

Southport & Formby
Bob Ellis
Geoff Wilde
Rhian Griffiths

Wirral
Anna Torpey
Geoff Austin

1. Apologies for absence.  There were no apologies.

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.  Frank thanked the Council and all those who continue to organise the MQL and to all who run the constituent leagues.  This had been especially appreciated in the current circumstances. 

5. General Secretary’s Report.  General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported on the outcomes of 2018 - 2019 competitions that had occurred since the last AGM.  He thanked all who had played, set questions and supported the events.  He noted that 107 teams played in the 2019-20 season.  Participation in the Merseyside Challenge Cup and Rendon Cup was still disappointing but interest in the President’s competitions was still very healthy.  Special thanks were given to Dave Tilley who had set all the questions in the MCC and Plate competitions.
Although the season had been truncated, there seemed to have been less dissatisfaction with the quality of question sets.  The anonymisation of sets appeared to have had its desired effect to reduce the blind prejudice about questions before they were even played.
Following the success of the inaugural competition, the second MQL Buzzer Tournament was held in October.  Setting our own questions allowed us to control both the date and the administration of the event.  With a few hiccups that were sorted out on the day, the event was a great success and won by Ormskirk with Liverpool winning the Plate.  Many thanks must again go to Jon Stitcher and his team of setters, compliers and most importantly question persons.  

The General Secretary congratulated Ormskirk in winning all three inter-league competitions and the Buzzer Tournament in what was their Golden Jubilee season.

The Diamond Jubilee of the MQL passed a little more quietly than perhaps anticipated. A Charity Table Quiz scheduled for May or June didn’t take place, but a Jubilee Pairs Competition was held in September 2019.  Hosted by Wirral, it was attended by 36 players and was won by the team of John Hall of Warrington and Kris Jones of Wirral.    COVID notwithstanding, both the Pairs and the Buzzer Tournaments will remain on the MQL calendar as a legacy of the Diamond Jubilee year.

It was reported that the team from Merseyside retained the Don Bissett Trophy at the annual Quiz League of London Open Quiz Festival in June 2019, defeating teams from Teesside, Yorkshire and Scotland on the way.

The General Secretary concluded by thanking fellow Council members and to all who contribute to the organisation of the MQL and the individual Leagues.

 (A full version of this Report can be found on the MQL website

6. Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented an unaudited financial statement for the season 2019-20.  He reported a less healthy financial situation than X as there had been no outlay for the Mimir evening nor any trophies.  He proposed that no increase to the £25 MQL subs was needed although pointed out that as there had been no increase in subs for several years this was in effect a reduction in real terms.  The proposal was seconded by Brian Thompson and carried nem. con. 

7. Assistant General Secretary’s Report.  Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that the additional Laser printer had eased pressure on copying and that distribution had gone relatively smoothly.    He added that the anonymization of sets had been a success.

8. Election of Officers.  President, Angela Houghton took the chair for the election of the Chairman.  No other nominations having been received Frank McFarlane was returned as Chairman.  As all remaining officers had expressed their willingness to continue in post, Frank McFarlane proposed that they were re-appointed en bloc. This was seconded by Cliff Houghton and carried nem. con.

Chairman:             Frank McFarlane        
Deputy Chairman:         Cliff Houghton    
General Secretary:         Brian Thompson    
Treasurer:             Dag Griffiths            
Deputy General Secretary:     Cliff Houghton     

Auditors (appointed):         Paul Davitt and David Hodgson.


9. Election of President.  Angela Houghton has served her 3 year Presidency and was obliged to stand down.  The Chairman expressed his thanks for her dedication to the Leagues and her support at all events.

The MQL Council had nominated Angela Doyle as new President and she was duly appointed.

    Vice Presidents:  The 3 year term of the following had ended.  Brian Thompson proposed that they be re-elected for a further 3 years.  This was seconded by Frank McFarlane and carried nem. con.

Jim McGrath            Brian Bates 

Brian Thompson then proposed that Angela Houghton be elected as a Vice-President.  This was seconded by Angela Doyle and carried nem. con.


The date for the 2021 AGM has been set for Sunday 18th April.

The meeting closed at 8.00pm

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 26th July 2020 following the AGM

The meeting commenced at 8.05pm

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bill Morris, Bill Thomas, Brian Bates, Dave Tilley, Colin Foster, David Hodgson, Dag Griffiths, Bob Wilkie, Jon Stitcher, Jim Eccleson, Paul Davitt, Frances Mason, Danny Grimes and Brian Thompson

Apologies: There were no apologies

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, had nothing to report except to congratulate Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher and his wife Jeni, on the birth of their daughter.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, had nothing to report.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the account balance sheet on line and reported that finances were OK if a little depleted as, understandably, subs were being slow to come in from the Areas.  He would welcome any payments being forwarded to him.

Action:  Paul Davitt was to enquire about a new source of envelopes.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:  Secretaries were advised to combine any report with their feedback under item 9.
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported Registration Forms had been returned but two teams were reluctant to pay their subs due to the uncertainty about the start of the season.  14 teams reported their venues would be available and 5 teams that as yet theirs were unavailable.  12 were as yet unknown. 

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that he had delayed sending out registration forms or making enquiries about team and venue availability until probably mid-August.   He said that Ormskirk had 8 sets ready for when the MQL needed them for regular quizzing.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that still only 2 venues had confirmed their availability.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported having had responses from teams ranging from enquiries why fixtures for September were not published to others stating that they would not be ready to play until September 2021!  In responses about venues, some were unwilling or unable to commit as yet.  Some club venues had switched to members only for the time being and so couldn’t host visiting teams.  Finally some venues were willing to have matches back; however teams had expressed concern over the space in these venues and the inability to achieve social distancing.  In total about half the venues were available.


Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that of their 27 teams 7 would withdraw until September 2021.  The remaining 20 had players and venues that said that they would be willing to play.  It was decided that a Wirral league would begin in October and run through until Christmas.  After discussion it was agreed that while MQL would provide sets, these would not be from those submitted by the other areas.  Once again Dave Tilley stepped in and offered sets that he had available. 
 
Action: Jim was to go away to consult with his teams about a potential start date and season length.

9.    On Line Quizzing:  
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported 5 teams would like to play in a temporary online quiz competition, while players from another, 6 teams would be happy to form together to create perhaps another 3 teams.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that 7 teams had formed into an Ormskirk Online League that is scheduled to start on 14 September.  They were setting themselves but would be happy to share / swap questions with another Area to help reduce the sets that needed writing.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that 8 teams had formed into an S&F Online League that is already underway and due to end in early September.  At that point they will hopefully have encouraged a few more teams to get involved in a League that could run then until Christmas.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that an individual email quiz was still running and produced over 10 different winners.  3 Warrington teams would be happy to play in a temporary online league with enough players to make up a fourth.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, reported that of the 7 teams who had withdrawn until 2021, 1 would be willing to play in a temporary online league.  There was also interest from 3 of the 20 teams playing face to face, but their participation would depend on the scheduling of the 2 competitions.

In conclusion, with Ormskirk and S&F happy to run their own competitions, it seems that we are looking at an MQL Online League consisting of a between12 - 15 teams.  

Action: Brian would make contact with these teams over the next week or so and discuss the operation of an MQL Online League.

10.    Any Other Business:  
•    Wirral Chairman Jon Stitcher proposed Saturday 13 February 2021 as a date for the postponed MQL Buzzer Tournament.

Action: Brian would make contact with the Bradbury Centre. 
Action: Jon would make contact with the teams with this date.

•    A statement should be made on the website to the effect that regular MQL matches would not recommence until further notice.  MQL Council will continue to meet regularly to review the situation and were confident that when it became possible to play, then fixtures and distribution could be completed within a month

Action: Brian would arrange for this message to be posted to Area Secretaries and on the Website. 

The meeting closed at 8.55 pm.

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 6th September 2020 7.30pm online.

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 28th June 2020 at 8:00pm

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Dag Griffiths, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Dave Tilley, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, Bill Morris, David Hodgson, Jon Stitcher, Bob Wilkie, Frances Mason, Brian Bates, Jim McGrath, Jim Eccleson and Brian Thompson.   

Apologies: There were no apologies

2.    Minutes of previous meeting:  These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman, Frank McFarlane, had nothing to report.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, thanked Peter Deakin for his advice on convening the AGM.  He noted that a message from the Council was posted on 5 June on the MQL website.  He reported that the MQL had been approached by Ed Avern of Whitworth Media who is making a programme about Quizzing in the UK for Channel 5.  Ed had spoken to Brian, Pat Gibson and was due to interview Jon Stitcher.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the account balance sheet on line and reported that finances were OK if a little depleted due to funds not yet having been received from any area (late AGM) and to stamps for the 20/21 season having been bought ahead of a price rise.  He advised a consultation with him before any trophies were ordered.  He envisaged no increase in the £25 subs

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton had nothing to report.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported Registration forms were ready to go out to teams.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, had nothing to report that was not covered by other items on the Agenda. 

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, had nothing to report that was not covered by other items on the Agenda.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, had nothing to report that was not covered by other items on the Agenda.

Wirral     
Wirral Secretary, Jim Eccleson, had nothing to report that was not covered by other items on the Agenda.

9.    2019-20 Competitions:
Having consulted the finalists it was agreed that the MCC and Plate finals would be played once face to face quizzing resumed.  Although some were willing to play online, others felt that as major competition finals they should have a sense of occasion which would be lost if played online.
Of the 25 Mimir qualifiers questioned 19 were willing to play online.  There was no information as yet from Liverpool.  It was suggested that if it were to be held online that those unable or unwilling to take part should be given some advantage into next year’s competition.  A final decision on when and how it was going to played will be taken in the August Council meeting.

Action:  Paul Davitt was asked to find out if the Liverpool Mimir qualifiers would be willing to play on-line.

10.    2020-21Season:  

Each Area reported on feedback that they had received about playing MQL matches on line.  While some teams were interested the majority were not and in some Areas very few teams had replied.  It was therefore decided that no 2020-21 League or President’s Shield matches would be played online.  All President’s Trophy teams were willing to play online.

Action:  Area Secretaries were asked to contact teams (perhaps after 4 July) to find out
•    the availability and suitability of their usual Venue
•    if and when players would be willing and comfortable to return to usual quizzing
also 
•    find out if teams and / or players wished to take part in a temporary online competition.  This would start in September and run until usual quizzing resumed.

Action:  Area Secretaries were asked to continue their preparation of sets for the new season as usual


11.    2019-20 AGM:   As of the deadline of 7pm on Sunday 28th June no further proposals had been received.  The two Council proposals that, as all Officers were willing to continue in their roles, they be re-elected and that Angela Doyle be nominated as the new President would therefore be taken forward to the AGM.  It was also decided that a Council Meeting would follow the AGM on 26th July.

Action:  Brian was to send out AGM Agenda and Minutes by 12th July.


12.    On Line Quizzing:  After a discussion it was agreed that a decision on whether to create an MQL online competition would be taken at the next Council meeting on 26th July.

Action:  Brian was to continue to try to provide exemplar material in the form of video footage, for teams who had no experience of quizzing on line.

13.    Any Other Business:  Wirral Chairman Jon Stitcher was asked about what he knew of the postponed QLL Buzzer Quiz having been rescheduled for September.  Jon said he wasn’t certain but there had been no firm confirmation of this.  He added later that their venue was very spacious and that might be a factor.
It was reported that the decision taken at the last meeting to postpone the Merseyside Buzzer Tournament until the Spring had been conveyed to the teams and to the venue.  While they were disappointed they understood.

The meeting closed at 8.48 pm.

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 26th July 2020 following the AGM.

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held online on Sunday 31st May 2020 at 8:00pm

1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Dag Griffiths, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, Bill Morris, David Hodgson, Jon Stitcher, Bob Wilkie, Peter Deakin, Brian Bates, Jim McGrath, Jim Eccleson and Brian Thompson.   

Apologies: There were no apologies

2.    Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that Quads had now been able to return to their original venue.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman but had nothing to report other than to welcome everyone to this new format.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, thanked the League Secretaries for having organised the Area Heats of the Mimir.  He congratulated Ormskirk on their very successful season as they had won the President’s Trophy, Shield and Challenge and had the two finalists in the Merseyside Challenge Cup (MCC).  Congratulations were also passed on to Judges and Bishop Eton from Liverpool for having reached the Plate Final.  He thanked Dave Tilley who had set all the questions for the season’s MCC/Plate competitions.  The passing of Dave Rainford was noted and Brian thanked Pat Gibson for the piece he wrote for the website and Jon Stitcher for his plans to commemorate Dave in the MQL Buzzer Quiz Tournament.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the account balance sheet on line and reported that finances were in a healthy state.  He noted that Wirral and Warrington’s Question expenses had not yet been paid and asked if the claims could be forwarded again.  Dag also reported having taken a year’s subscription to Zoom and that it was being used tonight for the first time.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton reported that a midweek schedule had been planned for next season but that it would likely to have to be reworked once the situation was clearer regarding when the season would be able to commence.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported that the Liverpool League season had been curtailed and the Riley Cup had been cancelled.  The Liverpool Charity Quiz Night had raised £460 for the Brain Charity.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that the OQL had continued the celebration of their Golden Jubilee with a Pairs event held in early March won by Clive Walton and Pat Gibson.  David also informed the meeting that the Ormskirk League had completed its season and the first round of the KO was played before lockdown.  He sadly reported the death of Charlie McCauley a long time member of the Ormskirk League. 

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that they were shocked by the sudden death of long time member and S&F Treasurer Geoff Wilde.  Dag noted that the League and Handicap leagues had been completed but all end of season competitions and events had been cancelled.  They had successfully held their AGM via email.  Two teams have started playing quizzes matches on line and aim to roll this out to encourage other teams to get involved.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that the regular season had been completed and a successful handicap league based on individual handicaps rather than teams.  They now just needed to hold the finals.  It had produced some very close finishes and encouraged new players to get involved.  They had been holding an email based quiz since the start of lockdown.

Wirral     
Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher reported that all Div 2 business had been completed but that Div 1 had several issues still to resolve.  Two teams had withdrawn from the League - one due to Covid 19.  Hopefully some of their players may find new teams. 

9.    2019-20 Competitions / Presentation:  Brian informed the meeting that Feeny / Rendon competitions had been cancelled for this year.  The Merseyside Mimir had still to be played, as had the MCC, Plate and Mimir Finals.

Jon Stitcher reported that he had successfully run a Mimir type completion with more than 32 players, on-line that afternoon and would be willing to advise on how it could be done if MQL wanted to try it.
David Hodgson said that one of the MCC finalists would prefer to wait until face to face quizzing was available before playing.  The other team could play on line if required.  It would seem that we will wait until after January to play this match.
Derek Moody said that players shouldn’t feel pressurised into playing if they don’t have or are unwilling to use the technology
Paul Davitt said that we should grasp the opportunity and embrace the technology and move on with those willing to use it.
Action:  Paul Davitt was asked to find out if the Plate finalists would be willing to play on-line.
Action:  Each League Secretary was asked to find out if their Mimir qualifiers would be prepared to play on-line and let Brian know the outcome.  It seems fair that it should be the original qualifiers who should be approached and not those who had been promoted after withdrawals.

After discussion it was decided to postpone the Buzzer Tournament, scheduled for 10 October, until the Spring of 2021.
Action:  Jon Stitcher to inform all teams who had expressed interest in this year’s event
Action:  Brian Thompson to inform the Bradbury Centre of the decision.

The 2020 MQL Pairs competition was cancelled.

The Presentation Evening for the 2019-20 Season remains postponed until face to face quizzing resumes when a Wednesday date might be arranged.  Angela Houghton suggested that it might even be held on the same evening as the 2020-21 Presentation.

It was agreed that the rules on Tie Breaking in MQL competitions should remain as stated.  Council acknowledged Aardvarks’ gracious concession with regards to their qualification to the Plate competition.

10.    MQL Dates for 2020-21:  All 2020-21 meeting dates were approved

Council
•    Sunday 6 September 2020 (on-line)
•    Sunday 6 December 2020
•    Sunday 14 March 2021
•    Sunday 27 June 2021

AGM
•    Sun 18 April 2021

In addition the following Council dates for on-line meetings were provisionally agreed to respond to changes in lockdown regulations
•    Sunday 28 June 2020
•    Sunday 26 July 2020 AGM (see item 11)

Action:  Dag Griffiths to find out if President’s Trophy teams were willing to play on line for the time being and to revert to face to face when possible.
Action:  Frank McFarlane to find out if President’s Shield teams were willing to play on line for the time being and to revert to face to face when possible.

11.    2019-20 AGM:  It was agreed that the AGM could be conducted by email over a period of time starting from today, culminating in an online event on 26 July to finalise any decisions that were needed.  This would not breach the constitution of the Leagues.
Angela Houghton has completed her 3 year term as MQL President.  The Council proposed Angela Doyle as their nomination to be the next President.

Action:  Brian was to take advice from Peter Deakin and then get the process started.


12.    On Line Quizzing:  After a discussion it was agreed that League secretaries would encourage their teams to respond to the questionnaire sent out on 19 May.  This attempts to assess interest in on-line quizzing and the results to be fed back at the Council Meeting on 28 June.  There was general keenness to establish a temporary competition to run until normal face to face quizzing can resume.  There were a number of ideas suggested for the formation of the teams that we can consider.

Action:  Brian was to provide exemplar material in the form of video footage, for teams who had no experience of quizzing on line.


The meeting closed at 8.57 pm.

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 28 June 2020.  7.30pm on-line.

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 8th December 2019 at 8:00 pm


1.    In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Dag Griffiths, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Dave Tilley, Derek Moody, Bill Thomas, Bill Morris, Mark Kerr, David Hodgson, Jon Stitcher, Bob Wilkie and Brian Thompson.   

Apologies: Were received from Brian Bates.

2.    Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting.

3.    Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman welcomed everyone but had nothing to report.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, informed the Council that he and Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton are recording any comments about sets that were made via the 5 League secretaries.  These will be fed back to the setting League.  It was suggested that the respective Results Secretaries forward the scores for their Leagues, so that a report on how the sets have played could also be included in this feedback.  He enquired after the health of John Wilson, who had been in hospital recently, and was told that he was doing well.  Dave Tilley (Warrington) congratulated the General Secretary on his recent success in winning BBC Radio 4’s Counterpoint competition.

Action:  All Results Secretaries to forward any analyses of results so far to Brian (eg no of 2 points, no of unanswered questions.  Results themselves would also be useful although he can get these from the website).  This is so that they may be passed on to the setting teams whilst in the process of compiling their submission for next season.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the account balance sheet and reported that finances were in a healthy state.  He noted that the costs of the Pairs Jubilee event had effectively been covered by the profit from the Buzzer Tournament.  However it was pointed out that this was not intentional and the Pairs had been organised as a one off Jubilee event.  There were still outstanding claims from Liverpool, despite several reminders. 

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Cliff reported that distribution was going fairly well although there had been an error on 3 Dec.  The Question Distributors agreed that it was the code for the set to be used on a particular date that was always to be the main reference.  It was pointed out that Wirral sets had not arrived for 28 Oct, for which an apology was given by Question Distributor, Bob Wilkie.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt was absent.  There was no Report

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that the OQL began their celebration of the Golden Jubilee with an invitation Quiz at Aughton Institute on Wednesday 18 September.  It was a very pleasant and successful evening with the only slight disappointment being the poor turnout from Ormskirk teams themselves.  A Pairs event is being held in March.  David also informed the meeting that the Ormskirk President’s Shield venue was now the Greyhound and that Colly Wobblers and Squigglers have changed their home venues. 

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that all was well but that Quads’ venue (The George) had closed and they were being accommodated by the Mount Pleasant Hotel.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that the regular season was almost completed with Nematodes winning Div. 2 but WSC Woodworms and Ringers required a playoff to settle Div. 1.  They were about to embark on their handicap season but with the handicap determined by the players rather than the team.  This was to encourage new players to come and join in.
Derek also said that he hadn’t been sending out statistics week by week, as he had done in previous seasons but will do so soon.  He commented that perceived imbalances showed more in Div. 2 score lines, suggesting that it may reflect the fact that most vetting is be being done by top teams and/or by players from top teams.

Wirral     
Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher reported things were mostly going well.  He thanked MQL for sorting out the distribution problem on 28 Oct and commented that the 3 Dec error had thankfully had few repercussions.  He reminded the meeting that Liverpool 2A had failed to attend the Wirral heat of the President’s Shield.  Frank McFarlane apologised again for this.                                                                                                                        

9.    Report on Pairs and Buzzer Competitions:  Brian Thompson informed the meeting that the Jubilee Pairs Competition had been held on 11 September and had been successful with decent support from across the MQL but especially from the hosts, Wirral.  After a little discussion is was decided that it might be established as an annual event, perhaps rotating around the 5 areas? 

Jon Stitcher reported that the second Buzzer Tournament held on 12 October had also been very successful.  A debriefing meeting had since been held to iron out the few problems that occurred and to begin planning for next year.

Action:  Brian to look into arranging an Annual MQL Pairs competition

10.    Inclusion into MCC Rules of guidance regarding player eligibility:  At the Council meeting on 24 June 2018 the following was agreed; 

As they are scheduled for Wednesdays, some teams will invite players to join their team for the occasional game in Cup competitions to make up numbers. On the whole these are friends or relatives who have no other allegiances or quiz “pedigree”. But sometimes the invitation is extended to players from other Leagues or to professional setters or players.  Therefore from the start of the 2018-19 season, if a team wish to include such players, then they must seek permission from the Competition Secretary. If this is not done then the game, when played, may be forfeit.

It was agreed that as this was now the practice, it should be included into the MCC Competition Rules with immediate effect. [As it was a change to a Competition Rule, it did not require AGM approval]

Action:  Brian to add to MCC Rules

11.    AOB:
•    Setting and Vetting Procedures.  Dag explained the procedure used in S&F.  This has now been included in the Notes that are attached to these minutes, which will be discussed more fully at the next meeting.  He suggested League secretaries draw team’s attention to the The Guidance to Question Setters: League Sets in good time for the 2020 submissions.
•    Social Media.  There had been an instance of questions from a recent League quiz being discussed on Facebook on the evening of the match.  This was in breach of MQL Rule 50.  The person instigating the discussion was contacted and conceded that they wrong.  No sanction was applied.
•    The Frank pointed out that the President, Angela Houghton, was coming to the end of her 3 year term and invited all to think of who might be her successor.

Action:  All Council members to consider possible nominations

The meeting closed at 8.50 pm.

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 15 March 2020.  8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 8th September 2019 at 8:00

1.    In Attendance: were Cliff Houghton, Dag Griffiths, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Dave Tilley, Derek Moody, Mark Kerr, Chris Quinn, David Hodgson, Jon Stitcher, Paul Davitt, Bob Wilkie, Peter Deakin and Brian Thompson.   (Meeting chaired by Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton)

Apologies: Were received from Frank McFarlane, Bill Morris and Bill Thomas

2.    Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

3.    Matters Arising: 
There were two matters arising.
Item 3.  The General Secretary reported that the link on the website for the Quiz Set templates was working.
Item 11.  The General Secretary reported that the Mimir Merseyside Heats would be hosted by Wirral who have stepped in in place of Southport and Formby.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Chairman was absent and Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton, wished all teams good luck for the new season.

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, thanked the League and Competition Secretaries for their preparations for the new season and especially Cliff Houghton for planning question distribution.  He reported that Notes, including reference to those issues raised at the last meeting, had been circulated in question sets and posted on the website.

6.    Treasurer’s report: The Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the account balance sheet and reported that finances were in a healthy state.  He expressed a little concern that if the Buzzer Tournament was to be become an annual event then it would need to self-finance.  It was pointed out that it had made a small profit last year and there was every indication that it would do the same this year.  There were no questions related to the accounts.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that distribution was well in hand and that all areas had met the first deadline for sets.  All sets have been anonymised.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported that nearly all sets for MQL had been vetted.  The new team that had shown interest may join next season.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that the OQL celebrate their Golden Jubilee this year and confirmed that the event comprising matches between Ormskirk President’s Trophy teams past and present will take place at Aughton Institute at 8.30pm on Wednesday 18 September.  The main season will then begin on 23 September.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that 18 teams had started the new season.  One of their teams, Devonshire had relocated to the Metropole Hotel and renamed themselves the Metros.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that 12 teams have started the new season.  The traditional curtain raiser had been well attended.  

Wirral     
Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher reported 27 teams (14 teams in division one and 13 in division two) have started their new season.  He confirmed that they were adopting the 4 pts for a win, 2 pts for a loss and 1 point for a loss of 4 or fewer points scoring system, also that the new handicap competition will run alongside the main leagues and have play-offs at the end of the season. The new individual competition for the players in divisions one and two who have the highest two point averages for the season has also got under way.  Jon reported that all 4 teams who were made ‘homeless’ by the closure of a venue have been successfully relocated.

9.    Competitions
Arrangements for all other MQL competitions (Merseyside Challenge Cup, President’s Trophy and President’s Shield) were in place.  The draw for the MCC would take place after the meeting closed, 2 new teams had joined but sadly 2 had withdrawn leaving the total at 20 teams.  Gen Sec confirmed Merseyside Mimir allocation was to be unchanged at L 7, O 6, S&F 6, Wa 6 and Wi 7.
 
Second Jubilee Buzzer Tournament
Jon Stitcher reported that this is scheduled for Sat 12 October 2019 and that 20 teams including 7 from MQL.  A successful meeting had taken place and all arrangements were well in hand.

10.    Jubilee Events
Preparations for the Jubilee Pairs competition were complete and the event will take place on Wed 11 September.  36 players had registered.  The meeting then agreed upon the seeding for the top 18 players.  Thanks were made to Wirral for hosting and to Peter Deakin for co-writing the questions.

11.    AOB
•    Feedback indicated that anonymising the sets for league matches had been accepted without much comment.
•    Publicity.  Mark Kerr urged anyone with MQL related news to include it on their personal twitter feeds.  He suggested that each league make one person responsible for retweeting at least one item of news about their League each month.
•    Cliff and Angela Houghton were running a MQL Promotions desk at the forthcoming Warrington Oktoberfest Beer Festival.  
•    Cliff and Bob asked that when League Secs email sets that they attach only one set to each email. 

The meeting closed at 8.50 pm and was followed by the draw for the MCC.

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 8 December 2019.  8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 7th July 2019 at 8:00 pm

1.    In Attendance: were Cliff Houghton, Dag Griffiths, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Bill Thomas, Brian Bates, Derek Moody, David Hodgson, Bill Morris, Jon Stitcher, Paul Davitt, Bob Wilkie and Brian Thompson.   (Meeting chaired by Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton)

Apologies: Were received from Frank McFarlane and Dave Tilley

2.    Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

3.    Matters Arising: 
There were two matters arising.
Item 8.  Mixed Blues had won Southport and Formby Div 2 not Ormskirk Div 2!  
Item 16.  The General Secretary was asked to ensure that a vetting procedure was put in place for the 2019-20 MCC questions.
The General Secretary also apologised that the link on the website for the Quiz Set templates had still not been repaired.

4.    Chairman’s report: The Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton, congratulated the Merseyside team of Dag Griffiths, Angela Doyle, Jim Eccleson and Pat Gibson for having retained the Don Bissett Trophy at the recent Quiz League of London Open Quiz Festival in June, beating Teesside and Yorkshire again and then Scotland in the final.  

5.    General Secretary’s report:  The General Secretary, Brian Thompson, reported on the end of season events.  He thanked the Southport and Formby League for most of the Feeny and Rendon Finals night at Fleetwood Hesketh and the Wirral League for the Presentation Evening at Hoylake.  He congratulated Oxton Cons, Pat Gibson and Victorian Cricketers for winning the Plate, Mimir and MCC respectively.  He mentioned for the benefit of those with long memories that Don Yule, a former MQL member and founder of the QLL announced that this was to be his last London Open Quiz Festival.  The General Secretary also congratulated Colin Foster of Warrington and Gary Grant of Ormskirk for having reached the semi-finals of Radio 4’s Brain of Britain competition.

6.    Treasurer’s report: The Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the account balance sheet and reported that there would be 107 teams in the 2019-20 season.  There were no questions related to the accounts, but Bob Wilkie suggested another source of envelope printing that the Treasurer said he would follow up.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, reported that the 2019-20 Question Set Distribution schedule was nearly completed.  He explained how sets would be anonymised from now on and how Areas were to number and track their submitted sets

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported that LQL had elected a new Chairman, Danny Grimes.  The Riley Cup (Liverpool and Wirral Handicap KO) had been won by Bishop Eton.  The number of teams will remain at 31 for the coming season, played over the maximum number of weeks with 2 double headers.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that the number of teams will remain at 19 for the coming season.  OQL celebrate their Golden Jubilee this year and an event comprising matches between Ormskirk President’s Trophy teams past and present would take place at Aughton Institute at 8.30pm on Wednesday 18 September.  He had also located a set from the early 1970s and asked if any other Leagues had any very old sets.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, was sad to inform the Council of the death of Frank Gracie of Formby Pavilion, a long standing member of the MQL.  He reported that the number of teams will remain at 18 for the coming season.  There will once again be 2 divisions followed by a handicap league.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that their KO Competition had been won by Yarboroughs and the Handicap League by The Bull’s Head.  They have lost a team and so the number of teams will be 12 for the coming season.  They will play in 2 divisions followed by a handicap league.

Wirral     
Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher reported all 27 teams are continuing.  There will be 14 teams in division one and 13 in division two.  They are adopting a new scoring system for next season. It will now be 4 pts for a win, 2 pts for a draw and 1 point for a loss by 4 or fewer points.
There will be a new handicap competition which will run alongside the main leagues and have play-offs at the end of the season. There will also be new individual trophies awarded to the players in divisions one and two who have the highest two point averages for the season.
A new WQL Facebook page had been set up and had already in resulted in 3 new players.

9.    Sets for 2019-20
To help in the anonymisation of sets, a template with an agreed format and font size was accepted.  Font Calibri size 11 would be used and the splitting of questions across a page break was to be avoided.  The template and the list of codes for use by Area Secretaries were to be sent out soon by Cliff.
 
10.    Competitions
In spite of poor participation it was decided to continue with the Rendon Cup competition.  Although the venue for the final was to be decided once the finalists were known and would be separate from the Feeny final if necessary.

The draw for the 2019-20 MCC would be made at the September meeting

Second Jubilee Buzzer Tournament
Jon Stitcher reported that this is scheduled for Sat 12 October 2019.  Of the 9 guest teams from last season, 8 have confirmed they will be returning. He has confirmed entries from 6 MQL teams, two each from Wirral and Liverpool and one each from Ormskirk and Warrington. He is waiting to hear whether or not Southport will be entering a team. We will also open the door for an MQL Barbarians team which Jon will begin organising once he knows if Southport are entering or not. Wirral will be able to enter a C team if needed to fill the spaces.
8 spaces have been allowed for MQL teams which leaves 4 spots for new teams who were not present last year. Jon has had confirmed entries from Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Teesside and London.
Dave Tilley is in charge of question setting and all setters are making progress.  Teams have not been asked to pay their £50 entry fees yet, but once 20 teams have confirmed he will send out something more formal requesting payment.
QPs are not yet fully organised so if anyone knows of anyone who would be happy to help then please let Jon know.
It was suggested that team sheets that need to be filled in for each match be printed and issued.

11.    2019-20 Dates and Venues
The following dates for Council Meetings 8 Sept 2019, 8 Dec 2019, 15 Mar 2020 and 28 Jun 2020 were agreed with 19 April 2020 for the AGM having already been set.
MQL heat of the Mimir competition is overdue at a S&F venue and this continues to be a problem.  It was left to the General Secretary to arrange this.
Finals of the Feeny and Rendon competitions are scheduled for a Warrington venue but will be sorted nearer the time, see item 10.
The Presentation Evening and the finals of the Challenge Cup, MQL Plate and Mimir Competition will be held at a Liverpool venue.

12.    Jubilee Events
Pairs.  Wirral / Jon was asked to check availability of the Hoylake Social Club for 11 Sept, 6 Nov or 4 Sept.
Table Quiz.  Warrington / Angela H was asked to check availability of St Joseph’s for a Friday in late October/ November

13.    AOB
•    The rules for breaking ties was raised again but Council were happy with the agreement reached at the last meeting, namely;
It was decided that in MQL competitions in which League tables were used namely the Merseyside Challenge Cup, Feeny Cup, Rendon Cup, President’s Trophy and President’s Shield, places would be decided as follows;
firstly by table points (e.g. 4 for a win, 2 for a draw, etc.)
then by match points difference of the matches between the tied teams
then by overall match points difference
then by coin toss/drawing lots
•    The issue of some QPs being “over-helpful” in their asking and repetition of questions was raised.  The matter was to be included in the notes to all teams sent out at the start of the season.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm

Next Council meeting:  Sunday 8 September 2019.  8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 17th March 2019 at 8:00 pm


1.    In Attendance: were, Frank McFarlane, Dag Griffiths, Angela Houghton, Cliff Houghton, David Hodgson, Bill Morris, Derek Moody, Jon Stitcher, Angela Doyle, Paul Davitt, Bob Wilkie, Brian Thompson.

Apologies: Were received from Brian Bates, Bill Thomas, Jim McGrath

2.    Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

3.    Matters Arising: 
There were no matters arising that were not covered in the Agenda

4.    Chairman’s report: A short silence was held to mark the death of Mal Leeming (Wirral), Matt Shore and Dave Gill (Liverpool), Alan Wynne and Joe O’Connor (Ormskirk),  Audrey Jeffereys (Southport & Formby) and Paul Swindlehurst (Warrington)

5.    General Secretary’s report:  Brian Thompson thanked League Secs for having conducted the local area heats of the Mimir and reported 3 withdrawals from the Merseyside qualifiers, 1 from Wirral, 1 from Warrington and 1 from Ormskirk all have been replaced.  He congratulated Ormskirk on winning the President’s Trophy, Wirral and Ormskirk on sharing the President’s Shield and Wirral on winning the Presidential Challenge.
Colly Wobblers and Victorian Cricketers have reached the MCC final and Judges and Oxton Cons the MCC Plate final,
Presentation and Finals night has been confirmed on Wed 15 May 2019 at Hoylake Social Club.
So far 3 teams from Ormskirk have entered the Feeny Cup and 2 the Rendon Cup, deadline for entry is 31 March.

6.    Treasurer’s report: Dag Griffiths presented the account balance sheet, he reported a healthy state and that there would be no need to raise MQL subs this year.  There were no questions related to the accounts.

7.    Assistant General Secretary’s report: Distribution for all matches had progressed without problems.  Bob Wilkie pointed out that there were 2 Warrington dates for which there were no questions scheduled.  This will be dealt with by Cliff, Derek and Brian.

8.    Area reports:
Liverpool 
Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt reported that all was well and that Feeny/Rendon entrants would be in after the final league matches next week.  27 teams from Liverpool and 12 from Wirral had entered the Riley Handicap competition.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that both divisions had been very close and won on points difference by Unison and Abbey Sinners.  The Mixed Blues had won Division 2.   In preparation to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the MQL and the Golden Jubilee of Ormskirk he had identified the longest serving Ormskirk (and possibly MQL) players.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that all was progressing well.  Wings and Exams had won their 2 divisions.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that the handicap league would be completed in the next few weeks and was very close.  The finals night was scheduled for 30 April.

Wirral     
Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher reported a very close finish to Division 1 with Oxton and Gladly Stoned in contention.  Division 2 had been won by Wallaseyans.  The unfortunate closure of the Liberal Club would affect the home venue of 5 teams.

9.    Guidance for Setters and Question Persons
These were revised and posted on the website last April and December.  They were discussed and a few amendments were suggested.  These will be made and circulated before posting on the website.  It was however pointed out that once posted attention must be drawn to them, both now and a reminder sent when sets are being prepared later in the year.
 
10.    Jubilee Events
It was decided to postpone the proposed Pairs competition scheduled for 8 May until early in the new season as it would have meant MQL events on 3 successive Wednesdays in May.
The date for the Table Quiz would be announced once it was known when St Joseph’s Centre in Warrington was once again available.

11.    Buzzer Tournament
Jon Stitcher and Jim Eccleson have offered to get the 2019 organisation underway but were anxious for a meeting to gather views from each of the areas about how the setting and structure might differ from last year.  This has been organised for the hour before (7pm start) the Merseyside Mimir Heats at Unison on Wed 20 March.
Jon and Jim will circulate the suggested changes, with pros and cons of each suggestion, to Council and to attendees ahead of the meeting.  Council were keen for the event to go ahead and would support any rewriting of questions that might be necessary.

12.    Tie Breaking
It was decided that in MQL competitions in which League tables were used namely the Merseyside Challenge Cup, Feeny Cup, Rendon Cup, President’s Trophy and President’s Shield, places would be decided as follows;
firstly by table points (e.g. 2 for a win, 1 for a draw, etc.)
then by match points difference of the matches between the tied teams
then by overall match points difference
then by coin toss/drawing lots

A free draw of group winners is used when drawing home teams for the KO stages

This was to take effect immediately.

13.    GDPR 
The initial furore having subsided it was decided that the following would be included on the Registration Forms of each local area

•    Data supplied here will only be used for the purposes of organizing the XXXX Quiz League.
•    It will be shared amongst the teams in the League and appropriate officials of the Merseyside Quiz League.
•    It will not be shared with/sold to third parties.

There was disagreement over this final statement and was left to the discretion of the individual leagues
•    No personal data will appear on the XXXX Quiz League website, other than the name of the team secretary.


Privacy Statement (as posted on the MQL website)

What Is Meant By Details
Details are some or all of the following 5 pieces of information about members of the organisation who have some level of responsibility for the operation of or participation in the MQL
•    Name
•    Postal address
•    E mail address
•    Home and /or Mobile telephone number
Other than updating this information on the request of the individual, it is held only for retrieval i.e. the data is not altered by the activities of the MQL.

What Are Details Used For
As a non-professional, non-commercial organisation that exists for the sole purpose of organising quiz competitions the Merseyside Quiz Leagues is in a peculiar but not unique situation, as it holds the contact details of a number of individuals without which it would be unable to operate.  We use your data to contact you about forthcoming matches, fixtures or events and for the distribution of question sets. 

Where Are Details Held
•    If permission has been given by those concerned, then certain details are held on the MQL website or the Local League website and in the local league Handbook. 
•    They are also held on the electronic devices of League Officers responsible for the competitions in which teams participate. 

Who We Share Details With
•    The Postal Address of the Team Contact (usually the Team Secretary) is accessible to MQL and Local League secretaries, Competition secretaries and to Question Distributors.
•    We will never share, sell or otherwise disseminate your contact details to any third party.

Where Details Are Collected From
Details are collected directly from you or via your local league

How Long Are Details Kept
•    For as long as you remain in the MQL.  

Your Rights  
Every member of the MQL has the right to access, rectify or erase any or all details that are held about them.


14.    Post of Data Protection Officer
It was agreed that this post was no longer needed and the proposed duties of the officer could be included in those of the General Secretary.

15.    Setting Procedures
Due to time constraints, this item was to be held over until the next council meeting.

16.    The Standard of MCC sets
In response to the somewhat uneven nature of the sets written for this season’s competition, all the sets for the MCC in season 2019-20 were to be set by one person, a member of the MQL.

17.    AOB
It was agreed to include MCC Plate winners on the Honours Board on the MQL website.
Jon Stitcher and Helen Belcham were congratulated on their appearances on ITV’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

The meeting closed at 9.20pm

Next meeting:  AGM on Sunday 14 April 2019.  8pm start at Old Swan Cons.
Next Council meeting:  Sunday 23 June  2019.  8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

For next meeting:
Setting and Vetting Procedures


Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 9th December 2018 at 8:00 pm


1. In Attendance: were, Frank McFarlane, Brian Bates, Cliff Houghton, Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Derek Moody and Bob Wilkie.

Apologies: Were received from Brian Thompson, Jon Stitcher, Angela Doyle, Angela Houghton, Bill Morris and Paul Davitt.

2. Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

3. Matters Arising:
There were no matters arising that were not covered in the Agenda

4. Chairman’s report: A short silence was held to mark the death of Martin Prendergast of the Wirral League.

5. General Secretary’s report: The Gen Sec was absent but sent a short message to record thanks to the team of people led by Jon Stitcher who organised the Jubilee Buzzer Tournament in September.

6. Treasurer’s report: Dag Griffiths presented the account balance sheet, he reported a profit of approximately £150 from the buzzer quiz. There were no questions related to the accounts.

7. Assistant General Secretary’s report: Distribution for all matches up to the Christmas break had progressed without problems.

8. Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary was absent, there was no report.

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that Division One was closely fought and Division Two had two teams level at the top. Plans were in hand to celebrate the 50th season of the Ormskirk Quiz League next season.

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that all was progressing well.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that the first half of the season was complete with WSC Woodworms winning the league by one point. A Pairs Competition would take place on Dec 18th and a handicap league would be contested in the New Year.

Wirral
So far the season has progressed with no major issues. Our new team were evicted from the pub after one match but have found a much more suitable venue. The landlord of that pub has since been dismissed and the new landlords are keen to have a team enter next season.
One venue which currently holds four teams is becoming less suitable and the teams in question are investigating other venues. We will monitor the situation carefully.
We did have one team claim a match rather than accept a postponement which upset the offending team but they now understand the official league policy and seem satisfied.
For the first time, Wirral Quiz League are now maintaining individual statistics which has been well received with only one team asking to not have their statistics recorded. Top scoring players on each quiz from each division plus the top 10 scoring players from each division are recorded weekly on the Wirral Quiz League website.
Trophies will be awarded to the top performing player in each division at the end of the season. The division one trophy will be named after Martin Prendergast who passed away earlier this year.
It is unsure yet as to how we will decide the top player. Suggestions from other areas would be useful. The current preferred option is highest average of 2 point questions correctly answered.

9. Setting & Vetting Guidance
Following various suggestion from the Wirral League, the following were discussed; Duplicate answers to questions within the same quiz should be discouraged. Surnames sufficient, care should be taken when setting that it is clear from the question (when necessary) that a given name is also required. Wirral are free to change their scoring system in any way that they think fit.


10. Jubilee Events
It was not clear what events had been arranged.
Added subsequently for information
It is intended that there should be a Merseyside Jubilee Pairs Competition, held sometime in the Spring and in a venue other than Liverpool. At the end of the season it is proposed that there will be a Jubilee Charity Table Quiz and Supper. The Gen Sec will make contact in the New Year for assistance with both events.
Bob Wilkie asked that the stickers bearing the Jubilee logo be made available for attachment to all quiz envelopes etc.

11. Competitions
The draw for the Merseyside Challenge Cup would take place as soon as the qualifiers were known.

12. AOB
Mimir – David Hodgson reported that Unison Club should be suitable for the final.
Anonymising question sets; this would be undertaken by the AGS when scheduling question distribution.
Purchase of question sets; no plans were in hand to buy sets at present.

Added subsequently for information
We are aware of at least two members of the MQL who will be appearing on the new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which starts screening on ITV1 from New Year’s Day.

The meeting closed at 8.50pm

Next meeting: Council meeting on Sunday 17 March 2019. 8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

For next meeting – Discuss draft of Guidance for Setters & QMs and Rules.

 


Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 9th September 2018 at 8:00 pm


1. In Attendance: were, Jon Stitcher, Angela Doyle, Cliff Houghton, Bill Morris, Bill Thomas, Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Dave Tilley, Angela Houghton, Derek Moody, Bob Wilkie and Brian Thompson.

Apologies: Were received from Frank McFarlane, Brian Bates, Jim McGrath and Paul Davitt.

2. Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

3. Matters Arising:
There were no matters arising that were not covered in the Agenda

4. Chairman’s report: Cliff Houghton chaired the meeting and had nothing to report.

5. General Secretary’s report: Brian Thompson thanked a number of people.  Those who had made all the pre-season arrangements including League and midweek fixtures, question distribution and publication of Handbooks.  Dag Griffiths and Frank McFarlane for again administering the President’s Trophy and Shield Competitions.  Jon Stitcher and Jim Eccleson for initiating and organising the forthcoming Buzzer Tournament (see item 12).  Those who had met in July to help resolve issues connected with GDPR. 

6. Treasurer’s report: Dag Griffiths presented the account balance sheet.  A few of the 17/18 season’s expenses were still to come in.  He noted that there were 107 teams in the MQL.  There were no questions related to the accounts.

7. Assistant General Secretary’s report: All Leagues had now submitted their first batch of question sets, mostly well ahead of the deadline.  Envelopes were in place for all matches up to the Christmas break

8. Area reports:
Liverpool
Liverpool Secretary was absent.  It was reported that a new team called Standard Bearers had joined the League and Liverpool had therefore retained its 2 division structure for the coming season. 

Ormskirk
Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that although no teams there were a number of new players including a former Mastermind!

Southport and Formby
S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that all 18 teams were continuing although they had lost the Mason Arms as a venue.

Warrington
Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that a late withdrawal had reduced the league to 13 teams and caused a restructuring of their competitions.

Wirral
Wirral Secretary was not present, Chairman, Jon Stitcher, reported that they had gained a team, Shipwrecked, but were retaining their 2 division structure.  He said that the President’s Trophy side would play from Hoylake Social Club and the Shield side from the Stork Hotel.

9. GDPR
It was agreed that the post of Data Protection Officer be created at next April’s AGM.  A post description would be produced but initially the job would be to maintain the permissions given by teams to hold and use data.  It was agreed that from season 2019-20, all Leagues would add a “consent” section to their annual registration form to cover the giving of necessary permissions.  Dave Tilley offered to share his experience of how another organisation has dealt with the GDPR process.


10. Player Allocation for MQL Mimir Competition
It was agreed that the allocation of the 32 places for the MQL Mimir Competition in 2019 would be as follows;

Liverpool 7 Ormskirk 6  Southport & Formby 6  Warrington 6  Wirral 7

The holder will no longer be given a place by right.

11. Competitions
The draw was made for the Merseyside Challenge Cup.  20 teams will take part in the group stages with the top 8 progressing to the Cup KO and the next 8 to the Plate
It was agreed that any team failing to fulfil all its fixtures would forfeit their place in the KO stages regardless of their final position.

12. Diamond Jubilee
Jon Stitcher reported on the organisation for the forthcoming Buzzer Quiz Tournament.  17 teams will take part.  The event will self-finance.  He explained the way the day would operate and the timings.  Jon was thanked by the Council for all of his hard work in bringing the competition together.

13. AOB
The colours for the MQL promotional Pull-Up were agreed.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm

Next meeting:  Council meeting on Sunday 9 Dec 2018.  8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

 


Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 24th June 2018 at 8:00 pm


  1. In Attendance: were Brian Bates, Bill Thomas, Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Frank McFarlane, Angela Houghton, Paul Davitt, Derek Moody, Bob Wilkie and Brian Thompson.

Apologies: Were received from Jon Stitcher, Angela Doyle, Cliff Houghton, Bill Morris, Jim McGrath and Mark Kerr

  1. Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting
  1. Matters Arising:

Item 9.

Advice and Guidance to Question Setters and to Question Persons. Gen Sec reported that these had been updated in the last year but had not yet revised them in light of the Rules Review adopted at the AGM.

Action: This was to be done by the Gen Sec before Area Handbooks go to print in late July

Item 10.

Feedback to All External Setters. Assistant Gen Sec was not present and so unable to confirm that this had been sent, but the Gen Sec thought that it had.

MQL Individual Setters. While no individuals had identified themselves, the Ormskirk Sec reported that the OQL would provide 2 sets over and above those that will be requested for next season. Dave Tilley from Warrington had expressed willingness to set. The other Secs had nothing to report on this matter.

Item 11

Willingness to adopt EQD. Ormskirk reported a complete lack of response to the enquiry on 2 occasions and interpreted that as a negative! Warrington reported that as EQD was used to send out friendly quizzes each week, they would be willing. S&F reported that the response was mixed but more against. Liverpool had not asked but a recent experience indicated that the potential reduction in fees could be a positive factor. Concerns were again raised over the facility of QPs (especially stand-ins) in coping with the technology. Brian Bates countered this by noting that he copes well while professing no IT competence at all!

  1. Chairman’s report: Frank McFarlane chaired the meeting and had nothing to report.
  1. General Secretary’s report: Brian Thompson reported on the successful completion of the end of season competitions and events. He thanked those who had hosted finals and in particular Ormskirk for the Presentation Evening. He thanked Derek Moody and Chris Quinn for help in creating a GDPR Policy, a version of which was in place by the 25 May deadline. He congratulated the Merseyside team of Pat Gibson, Dag Griffith, Neil Macaskill, Derek Moody, Cliff Houghton, Jim Eccleson and Brian Thompson for having won the Don Bissett Trophy at the recent Quiz League of London Festival. In defeating some very strong opposition, this was the first time that we had won the Trophy since 2009 and it was good that players from all areas of the MQL had taken part. Pat Gibson was also congratulated as the winner of the main individual competition on the day.

The Chairman also commended the General Secretary’s recent appearances on Radio 4’s Brain of Britain, together with Rob Cruise (Bookworms), Jack Bennett (formerly of Rainhill Victoria) and Darren Martin (Unison).

  1. Treasurer’s report: Dag Griffiths presented the account balance sheet. A few of the 17/18 season’s expenses were still to come in. All registration fees had been paid apart from Liverpool. This was due to an outstanding issue which was now resolved. Otherwise no other comments were made.
  1. Assistant General Secretary’s report: not present
  1. Area reports:

Liverpool

Liverpool Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported that are 30 teams expected with the long standing team, Mersey Bowmen having withdrawn. A decision as to whether this would be organised into 2 or 3 divisions had yet to be made. A successful Liverpool & Wirral Riley Handicap Cup had been won by JC and the Jets who defeated Nelson’s Fifth Column in the final.

Ormskirk

Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that all 19 teams were continuing. They would divide into divisions of 10 and 9 followed by a mini league competition. He also reported a potential problem for the 2019 MQL Mimir Heats as Unison, their only 4 location venue, is unavailable on Wednesdays.

Southport and Formby

S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that all 18 teams were continuing. He commented on the welcome success of the teams that had joined from Northern. Although they now had a venue suitable for Finals and Presentation Evenings, S&F too have been unable to find a 4 location venue for Mimir events

Warrington

Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that all 14 teams were continuing with the same divisional structure as before.

Wirral

Wirral Secretary was not present, nor Chairman, Jon Stitcher, but he had sent a report that all 26 teams were continuing. He hoped that there was still a possibility that 2 more teams might join, but that in the structure of 2 divisions of 13, these teams could still be accommodated at the last minute.

  1. GDPR

A GDPR policy had been created and published in line with that of similar organisations to ourselves. Gen Sec proposed some additions to this. Lengthy discussion followed after which there were differing opinions on how to proceed.

A subsequent meeting has been arranged for the discussion of this matter on Thursday 19 July

 

  1. Team and Player Eligibility for MQL Competitions

Mimir

In 2018, allocation of the 31 places for the Merseyside heats was, as usual, made in proportion to the number of teams in each area. The remaining 1 place is allocated to holder of the Trophy. A lengthy discussion followed but as it was not immediately pressing, it was decided to hold over any decision until we were able to consult former General Secretary, Cliff Houghton, who devised the current system.

MCC and Plate

Again after discussion, no changes were made.

Action: General Secretary was to contact all teams to invite participation (especially as it is Diamond Jubilee Season) and to find out if there is anything that we are missing that stop 85% of teams taking part.

President’s Trophy and Shield

Trophy is not an issue. Areas were to declare the players who would play in the Trophy competition after which all other players would be eligible for the Shield. We continue to tread the line between retaining the spirit of the competition and not discouraging keen players who wish to play

Introduction of Players from outside the MQL for Cup Competitions

As they are scheduled for Wednesdays, some teams will invite players to join their team for the occasional game in Cup competitions to make up numbers. On the whole these are friends or relatives who have no other allegiances or quiz “pedigree”. But sometimes the invitation is extended to players from other Leagues or to professional setters or players.

From the start of the 2018-19 season, if a team wish to include such players, then they must seek permission from the Competition Secretary. If this is not done then the game, when played, may be forfeit.

  1. Diamond Jubilee

A number of suggestions have been made for ways in which to mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Leagues. Many would take considerable organisation and the writing of questions. Although only the President and the General Secretary have volunteered their involvement so far, it is hoped to approach and co-opt certain persons for specific tasks.

Grand Prix Event. Similar to Quiz in the North and QLL Festival but perhaps containing variations including

  • 15 to 1 Style Knockout Competition
  • Buzzer Quiz Competition

Action: An offer to have access to QLL’s buzzer questions in September was worth pursuing.

Ask The Family style competition (2 Quiz players and 2 Non Quiz Players) for MQL only

Based on the old BBC tv programme. This would be consultation but would for example, include questions for the non-leaguers only. If there was more interest, then a table quiz leading to head to heads could be played.

Higher Education Team Quiz. Approach the Student’s Union and / or Lecturers Common Rooms of our local Higher Education establishments to suggest a series of say 3 table quizzes producing perhaps 8 teams for a KO Finals evening. This could have the additional value of promoting the MQL with potential new players. A prize might need to be offered to attract interest?

Schools Quiz. Approach local Schools with a similar format as above and at the same time ask each School’s permission to advertise the MQL in their Staff / Common Rooms. Although, as was pointed out, the involvement of under 18s brings safeguarding issues into consideration.

 

MQL History. Have the history of the Leagues updated and then published on line.

Action: Gen Sec to approach Peter Deakin about this.

Blue Plaque Memorial. Enquire about installation of a Blue plaque in Bootle.

Action: Gen Sec to enquire about this.

Presentations. Make presentations to the longest playing members of each league, maybe even to the teams (although determining these might be like “Trigger’s brush”).

It was thought that a formal Celebratory Dinner should NOT be held this time. Although it was a successful and enjoyable evening in 2009, a lot of arm twisting and last minute opting in made this a disproportionately stressful event to organise.

Logo

Action: Gen Sec to provide a simple 60th anniversary Logo for use next season. This was to be ready for inclusion on Handbooks by mid-July.

Other promotional activities

Create and have printed a “standard “poster that could be displayed in all venues of MQL teams. It explains that this is the venue of an MQL team, the basic rules and names the team, gives a contact and invites them to watch and join in. It could be customised for each venue.

Action: Gen Sec to provide an example of this.

  1. AOB

Bob Wilkie commended Wirral for having submitted 2 of their 2018-19 sets already. He also reported that the hack of his PC in March seems not to have led to any compromise of question security.

The date for the first President’s Shield event of next season was to be Wed 19 September at 8pm at Bradbury Fields in Liverpool.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm

Next meeting: Council meeting on Sunday 9 Sept 2018. 8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

 


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Cons Club on Sunday 15th April 2018 (commenced 8.00pm)


Attendees; Frank McFarlane, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bill Morris, Bill Thomas, Brian Thompson, David Hodgson, Dag Griffiths, Paul Davitt, Dave Tilley and Colin Foster representing nine teams.

The Chairman asked for a moment’s silence for the following members of the MQL who had passed away in the last year;

Don Bennett (S&F)    
Alan Bond (Exams)
John Farnen (Duncan’s Doughnuts)  
Colin Hyson (Ormskirk CC)
Ian Jackson (Devonshire Club)   
Gerald Johnson (S&F)
Robin Leedale (Aigburth Swans)   
Eric Moore (Gang of Four)
David Ormesher (Earles)   
Brian Rimmer (S&F)
Brian Stogdale (St Francis of Assisi)  
Derek Woods (St Francis of Assisi)

1. Apologies for absence.  Apologies were received from Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton and Jon Stitcher.

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.  The Chairman thanked those who continue to organise the MQL and to all who run the constituent leagues.  He said that we were always open to positive and constructive suggestions as to how improve the activities of the leagues.

5. General Secretary’s Report.  The General Secretary reported on the outcomes of 2017 and 2018 competitions and thanked all who had played, set questions and supported the events.  He noted that 108 teams played in the 2017-18 season and that the two attempt format had been used in all team competitions throughout the MQL.  As in previous seasons, the MCC and Plate competitions had used Electronic Question Distribution (EQD).  Some leagues continue to work with EQD in order to iron out technical and other problems with a view to adopting this method of distribution in the future.
On 2 occasions during the season the Council and the Distributors had bought in sets from external setters.  These had been played “blind” and had had a mixed reception.  The experimentation will continue as the Leagues look for a solution to the problem of the quality and quantity of the sets that we produce ourselves.
2018-19 will be the Diamond Jubilee season and the General Secretary was open to suggestions from any members as how best to celebrate this landmark.  In this season especially he urged all existing teams to take some responsibility and do whatever they could to promote and encourage increased membership of the MQL.
The General Secretary thanked all the League Secretaries, the Webmaster and in particular the question distributors for all their hard work throughout the year.
(A full version of this Report can be found on the MQL website)

6. Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer presented the audited financial statement for the season which was circulated.  He reported a healthy financial situation and proposed that no increase in MQL subs was needed.  This was seconded by Paul Davitt (Liverpool Secretary) and carried nem. con.

7. Assistant General Secretary’s Report.  The work of the Assistant General Secretary had effectively been carried out by Cliff Houghton throughout the season.  In his absence the General Secretary reported that the Distributors sent out over 1500 sets for 55 playing nights over a 28 week season.  A duplication of an earlier set occurred in November and of a 2017 set in February but otherwise distribution had gone relatively smoothly throughout the season with one or two postal problems having occurred in Wirral in January.  Secretaries and distributors were thanked for having acted quickly to minimise the impact on games.

8. Election of Officers.  On behalf of the President, Angela Doyle took the chair for the election of the Chairman.  All existing officers had expressed their willingness to continue in post, therefore it was proposed by Colin Foster (Warrington QL) that they be re-appointed en bloc. This was seconded by Derek Moody (Warrington Secretary) and carried nem. con.

Chairman:    Frank McFarlane  
Deputy Chairman:   Cliff Houghton 
General Secretary:   Brian Thompson 
Treasurer:    Dag Griffiths   
Deputy General Secretary:  Cliff Houghton* 

Auditors (appointed):   Paul Davitt and David Hodgson.

* Cliff Houghton had effectively been carrying out this role throughout the season

9. Election of President.  Angela Houghton has served 1 year of her 3 year Presidency and was happy to continue.

    Vice Presidents:   All current Vice Presidents have completed either one or two years of their three year term.  There were no additions proposed this year

In 2016, the following were all elected or re-elected for a 3 year term
George Lucy    
Peter Deakin
Brian Cunningham  
Bob Wilkie
Frank McFarlane   
Ray Oakes
Cliff Houghton   
John Wilson
Dag Griffiths

In 2017 the following were added
Jim McGrath   
Brian Bates

10. Proposal.

It was proposed that the revisions to the MQL Rules suggested by the MQL Council be adopted for 1 year and be subject to amendment if necessary at next year’s AGM.

As spokesperson for the group responsible for the review, Dag Griffiths thanked those who had commented upon and made suggestions for the revised Rules.  He reminded local leagues that although some suggestions had not been adopted, they were always able to try them out themselves without recourse to the MQL.  The group were thanked for their work.

Proposed by Dag Griffiths (Rules Review Group and S&F Secretary)
Seconded by Brian Thompson on behalf of MQL Council and carried nem. con.

 

The date for the 2019 AGM was set for Sunday 14th April.

The meeting closed at 8.31pm

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 18th Mar 2018 at 8:00 pm

In Attendance: were Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Frank McFarlane, Angela Houghton, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bob Wilkie, Jon Stitcher and Brian Thompson.

Apologies: Were received from, Brian Bates, James MacGregor, Peter Harris, Dave Cotson, Bill Morris, Bill Thomas and Paul Davitt

Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

Matters Arising: there were no matters arising

Chairman’s report: Frank McFarlane chaired the meeting and had nothing to report other than, in preparation for the AGM, thanking those elected officers who had expressed their willingness to stand again.

General Secretary’s report: Brian Thompson reiterated apologies over the slip regarding the set sent on 5 Feb which had been the set used on 30 Jan 2017and thanked question distributors for their quick action in preventing a reoccurrence the following week. All League Secretaries were thanked for their organisation of the local Mimir Heats and in particular Warrington for hosting the Merseyside heats on 21 Mar. He mentioned that the allocation of places in the Mimir might be reviewed before next year’s competition.

Treasurer’s report: Dag Griffiths presented the account balance sheet. With most of the season’s expenses paid the situation was described as healthy. It was agreed that although Cliff Houghton was not in post as Asst Gen Sec he was carrying out the work so should receive the honorarium to cover expenses

Assistant General Secretary’s report: Position Vacant

Area reports:

Liverpool Div 1 had been won by Rainhill Victoria with Earles as runners-up, Div 2 was still tight with 3 teams in contention. The sad passing of David Ormesher (Earles), John Farnen (Duncan’s Doughnuts) and Robin Leedale (Aigburth Swans) was reported.

  1. Ormskirk Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that all was well. The main competition was completed and the season had moved into its mini league stage. He reported that promisingly some new players had become involved at this point. He reported that an issue with Facebook and Rule 50 had been resolved satisfactorily.

Southport and Formby S&F Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported that Wings had won Div 1 and Dismounted Div 2 and that the Handicap league was nearing completion. It was anticipated that all teams will play next season.

Warrington Warrington Secretary, Derek Moody, reported that the handicap competition had been close and the final was to be played in the coming week.

Wirral Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher reported that Div 1 had been won by Oxton Cons and a very close Div 2 by Bebington Hockey. He was hopeful that a new team may be joining next season

Report from the Rules Review groupDag Griffiths, Derek Moody and David Hodgson presented their Review of MQL Rules. They thanked all who had taken the trouble to respond to the draft and said that some suggestions had been incorporated. They drew attention to Rule 50 and commented that each and any breach of the rules would be treated on its own with regard to the imposition of sanctions.

It was proposed that these Revisions be forwarded to the AGM for adoption for 1 year and be subject to amendment if necessary at next year’s AGM.

They requested that the “Guidance to Question Persons” and “Guidance to Question Setters” also be reviewed in light of any changes made to the Rules. The members of the group were thanked for their work and proposals.

Sourcing Question Sets

Investigations into the suitability of sets from an external setter have continued and a pair was used for matches on 20 and 21 February. The response had in general not been favourable. It was agreed that the sets were well structured and contained some interesting questions but they were both considered difficult having too many unanswered questions. These sets had come from a different source than the pair that was tried out in November. It was agreed that both setters should be given some detailed feedback and if they wished, could submit further sets.

In the meantime Area Secretaries were asked to ascertain if there were any individuals within their League who might be interested in producing additional sets and perhaps to investigate the idea of there being some financial inducement.

Action: Distributors to provide feedback in terms of scores and comments to the setter

Action: Area Secs to approach and float the idea of certain individuals producing extra sets

Electronic Question Distribution

Views varied on the likely response to teams being told to adopt EQD. Area secretaries were asked to conduct enquiries of their teams as to their willingness to try (and subsequently adopt) EQD.

It was recognised that there still seemed to be some technical problems although most resulted from users being unfamiliar with procedures and/or equipment.

Action: Area Secs to assess willingness to adopt EQD

Competitions:

It was reported that Liverpool had won the President’s Trophy and Warrington the President’s Shield and Challenge. Collywobblers and Unison were congratulated on reaching the MCC final and Wings and Exiles on reaching the Plate final.

There had been 4 withdrawals from the Mimir Merseyside Heats but areas had provided replacements.

A discussion over player eligibility for MCC and President’s Competitions was begun but was held over and will be entered as a separate agenda item for the June meeting

AOB

The meeting closed at 9.25pm

Next meeting: Council meeting on Sunday 24 June 2018. 8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

 

Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 10th Dec 2017 at 8:00 pm

  1. In Attendance: were Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Frank McFarlane, Angela Houghton, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bob Wilkie, Bill Morris and Brian Thompson.

Apologies: Were received from, Brian Bates, Jon Stitcher, John Wilson, Bill Thomas, Paul Davitt, Chris Quinn, Jim McGrath and Peter Deakin

  1. Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting
  1. Matters Arising: Ormskirk Secretary queried Item 9 and why there were 17 teams in MCC when it seemed during the meeting that there were 16. General Secretary explained that due to an oversight there was one more team from Liverpool than first thought. As the draw was conducted immediately after the meeting some Council members had already departed and so were not aware of the rearranged groups.
  1. Chairman’s report: Frank McFarlane chaired the meeting and had nothing to report
  1. General Secretary’s report: Brian Thompson reported that most of the season so far had run smoothly. However the non-arrival of the 3 Wirral Div 2 sets in November had been most unfortunate. Distributors were sure that the sets had been posted. Wirral have reviewed their procedures for reporting and gaining access to spare sets. As usual, the resulting Facebook activity in responding to the President's suggestions and commenting on Wirral's organisation, did nobody any favours. The General Secretary had apologised for the distribution error on 21 November in which the set sent out was a duplicate of that used 2 weeks earlier. He commented that it was the kind of very rare error that can happen from time to time and could still happen even if we were using Electronic Question Distribution. He thanked Warrington and Ormskirk for their resourcefulness on the night and assured Wirral that MQL would provide the sets as and when they were needed to complete the fixtures.

He thanked Derek Moody for his continued weekly analysis of the sets that were being used and congratulated the following members of the league on their appearances on TV

John Wilson (O) on Only Connect

Steve Pilkington (O) on The Chase

Alan Martin (S&F) on The Chase

Derek Moody and Cliff Houghton (Wa) on Mastermind

Ian Jack and Jon Stitcher (Wi) on Mastermind

In response to questions, the General Secretary explained the decision to ask the Question Distributors to proceed with their investigation into the feasibility of using bought in sets of questions for use in League fixtures.

  1. Treasurer’s report: Dag Griffiths presented the account balance sheet. He verified the removal of the fines item and that this was reflected the review of the Rules. In response to problems with the Laser Printer, Dag reminded Council that compared to rental charges when it was bought a year ago it was considered a consumable that could be renewed on an annual basis. If the current machine could not be easily repaired then a new one was to be bought. It was thought that a second printer could also be bought and held by Cliff.
  1. Assistant General Secretary’s report: Position Vacant
  1. Area reports:

Liverpool No report from Liverpool

Ormskirk Ormskirk General Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that all was well and leagues were very close. 3 rearranged games were being played before Christmas and he thanked Bob Wilkie for providing extra copies of sets for these. All Ormskirk League sets were in.

Southport and Formby S&F General Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported the sad news of the deaths of Alan Bond (Exams) and of Ian Jackson (most recently Devonshire Club). Both long-standing members of the League, Ian had scored a full house in a very recent game. The new teams from Northern had settled in well. The closure of the Sands Hotel had been something of a blow as it was a home venue for 2 teams, Presidents’ teams and League functions. Teams had relocated but it was unlikely that a venue for the MQL Mimir in March could be found. Dag asked if an alternative could be found in another area.

Warrington Warrington General Secretary, Derek Moody, reported all was well and the league had been won by WSC Woodworms after a very close finish. The second half of the season should be equally close.

Action: General Secretary was to seek a new venue for the MQL Mimir in March

Wirral No report from Wirral

 

  1. Report from the Rules Review group
  1. Griffiths, Derek Moody and David Hodgson presented their Draft Review. They requested that the Draft be circulated to all areas and then to all teams. They asked for general feedback and specific feedback on Rule 19 concerning a lower age limit for participants and on Rule 50 as to whether the rule should include a sanction. Council agreed to amend Rule 32b so email protests should be sent within 3 days not 7.

Action: General Secretary was to circulate the Draft, the existing “Guidance to Question Setters” and the existing “Guidance to Question Persons” to all areas. Comments back to Area Secretaries by 28 February and from them to the next Council meeting.

  1. Sourcing Question Sets

Investigations into the suitability of sets from an external setter were to be continued. Warrington General Secretary was to help by providing a “profile” of the ideal set using on results and responses to matches played this season. Ormskirk General Secretary asked if Council be kept informed of these investigations even between meetings. He also suggested that bought in sets could supplement rather than replace those submitted by teams in Leagues and so take some pressure off the Areas with fewer teams.

  1. Electronic Question Distribution

Item postponed until next meeting

  1. Competitions:

President’s Trophy. Dag Griffiths reported that the new format was working well and that Liverpool was leading the competition with games in hand.

President’s Shield. Frank McFarlane reported that all was going well and that Warrington was currently leading. The rules regarding who can play in Shield matches were queried. Traditionally it was open to any players other than those in Division 1. Now that each area has fewer divisions, the spirit has prevailed and secretaries continue to be sensitive about team selection in order to preserve the nature of the competition.

Action: Frank was to contact Liverpool 2B about missing scoresheets

  1. Challenge Cup and Plate. Bill Thomas was absent but sent the report that all was set for the final round of group games this Wednesday. He was aware that Wandering Star had conceded to WSC Woodworms. The draw would be made early in the New Year for the KO stages.

Mimir Area Heats . These are to be held in the week commencing 5 February 2018. Sets should be received by the General Secretary by Wed 17 January 2018. Area Secretaries were asked to inform him how many sets and copies of those sets they would need. Sets for the MQL Heats were due on 28 February 2018.

  1. AOB

· The 15th Quiz in the North is taking place at the Cross Keys in Liverpool on Saturday 16 December from 1100 until 1730. All welcome

· A presentation was made to Bob Wilkie from the MQL to mark his forthcoming 80th birthday. He was thanked again for his years of continued service to the Leagues

· General Secretary asked for people to volunteer to join the Diamond Jubilee Planning group.

The meeting closed at 9.25pm

Next meeting: Council meeting on Sunday 18 March 2018. 8pm start at Old Swan Cons.


Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 10th Sept 2017 at 8:00 pm

In Attendance: were Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Jon Stitcher, Angela Houghton, Bill Thomas, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Bob Wilkie, Paul Davitt, Bill Morris, James MacGregor and Brian Thompson.

1. Apologies: Were received from Frank McFarlane, Brian Bates

2. Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

3, Matters Arising: There were no matters arising not covered by today’s agenda.

4, Chairman’s report: Deputy Chairman, Cliff Houghton, chaired the meeting and had nothing to report

5, General Secretary’s report: General Secretary, Brian Thompson, thanked all secretaries for their pre-season work, preparation of handbooks and for having met and in some cases exceeded the August question submission deadline. He hoped that the efforts to encourage a return to an 8.45pm start would continue across the leagues. He thanked Frank McFarlane and Dag Griffiths for having organised the forthcoming President’s Shield and Trophy competitions

6. Treasurer’s report: The Treasurer, Dag Griffiths, presented the account balance sheet. He commented that he was going to remove the Fines item from subsequent sheets as this had not been used for several seasons. He explained that the Asst Gen Sec honorarium was given to Cliff Houghton who was incorporating the duties into his own as Question Distributor.

7. Assistant General Secretary’s report: Position Vacant

8. Area reports:

Liverpool

Liverpool General Secretary, Paul Davitt, reported that the season began on 4 Sept with 31 teams in 2 divisions. Set preparation was on schedule. He relayed the sad news of the deaths of Brian Stogdale and Derek Woods long term members of the LQL and of the St Francis of Assisi team.

Ormskirk

Ormskirk General Secretary, David Hodgson, reported that all was ready for start on 11 Sept.

Southport and Formby

S&F General Secretary, Dag Griffiths, reported all was well and on schedule.

Warrington

Warrington General Secretary, Derek Moody, reported all was well and that teams had responded positively to the advice about accurate completion of the scoresheet and the 8.45pm start time.

Wirral

Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher, reported that all was well and that a new team had just been too late to join the 17-18 season. He would invite them to matches in the coming months with a view to them joining next season. It was suggested that they might attend the Wirral Pairs competition in order to make contact with other teams. Bob Wilkie offered access to past question sets. Jon also said that the team had commented about difficulties in using the Website in order to make contact with the League.

Action: Jon was to let either Webmaster, Chris Quinn or Brian Thompson know the nature of these difficulties.

9. Competitions:

President’s Trophy. Dag Griffiths reiterated the revised format of the competition. Sets will be posted or delivered in person on the evening rather than use Electronic Question Distribution (EQD) but that they would be posted on the website the following day.

President’s Shield. The season’s arrangements had been sent out. All teams were scheduled to attend the opening fixture at Bradbury Fields in Liverpool on Wed 20 Sept.

Merseyside Challenge Cup and Plate. There were 17 teams wishing to take part. One team had withdrawn but had been replaced by Greyhound (O) and Palmy Army (L). The draw was made at the end of the meeting.

10. Sourcing of Questions:

Wirral Chairman, Jon Stitcher and Liverpool Deputy Chairman, James MacGregor made the proposal that the MQL should consider the purchasing of professionally written sets of questions for league games. They made the point that sets would be wider in content, more consistent in quality and would considerably simplify the distribution schedule. They quoted a tentative cost and commented that when shared by all teams in the MQL this would amount to an increase of about £15 to £20 per team. Alternatively this could be completely recouped by using EQD. Their proposal was countered by concerns about the somewhat formulaic nature of sets that had been seen to date and that over a season, content would reflect the style and interests of one setter. The point was made that as “responsible clients”, MQL would have to provide specific criteria regarding content and accessibility to any potential setter. However, the general reaction to the proposal was positive and that further work should be done.

Action: Jon Stitcher and James MacGregor would forward details to Gen Sec of a setter with whom they had been in contact.

Action: Question Distributors, Cliff Houghton and Bob Wilkie would investigate further and report back to the next meeting.

Action: Chairman and Gen Sec would compose a draft Specification

11. AOB:

1 Rule Group: Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson, Derek Moody and Paul Davitt had agreed to join the group. One more member from the Wirral would be welcomed.

Action: The group was to meet, appoint its own spokesperson and to report its progress to Council in December

2 Printing: Bob Wilkie reported difficulties with toner on new printer that had now been resolved

3 History of the MQL: Bill Thomas reported that the Mount Hotel in Bootle, site of the very first meeting of the MQL was no more.

Action: He was asked to liaise with Peter Deakin to try and create a “before and after” image for the Website.

4 Diamond Jubilee Committee: Gen Sec invited any members of the council to join him as part of this group that would make preparations for the celebration of 60 years of the MQL in 2019.

5 AGM 2018: Due to personal reasons, Gen Sec asked if the AGM of the MQL scheduled for Sun 22 April 2018 could be brought 1 week earlier. He apologised for the potential inconvenience. The meeting agreed that the change could be made and that it should be made known when necessary

Next meeting: Council meeting on Sunday 10 December 2017. 8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

The meeting closed at 9.05pm


Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 25th June 2017 at 8:00 pm

1. In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Angela Houghton, Bill Thomas, Mark Kerr, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Brian Bates, Bob Wilkie, Jim McGrath , Bill Morris and Brian Thompson.

Apologies: Were received from Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson and Jon Stitcher

2. Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting

3. Matters Arising: There were no matters arising not covered by today’s agenda.

4, Chairman’s report: Chairman had nothing to report

5. General Secretary’s report: Gen Sec thanked all for attendance at Finals and Presentation Evening and congratulated the winners. The missing President’s Shield and Presidential Challenge trophies had been located. He reported that all but Liverpool had advised on the length of their 2017-18 season (see Area report).

6. Treasurer’s report: The Treasurer was absent but had sent the balance sheet. He pointed out that he still had not received fees from Liverpool or Warrington QLs for 2017-18.

7. Assistant General Secretary’s report: Position Vacant

8. Area reports:

Liverpool

Liverpool Chairman reported that 31 teams are expected to take part in 2017-18 having been joined by a team from the former Northern league. Discussions were being held as to how best accommodate our new team. He said that meetings had been held to plan improved setting and vetting of LQL quizzes.

Ormskirk

Ormskirk Secretary was absent but reported that he anticipated 19 teams in 2017-18, when all games will be played using the 2 attempt format. From 2017-18 all matches in the Ormskirk Quiz League should be played in venues approved by the League. If a temporary move, even for a single match is required, this must be approved beforehand.

He announced that Ormskirk will be entering a team in the President’s Shield. The contact is Bill Gerrard and he intends to use the Abbey Hotel in St Helens as a home venue.

He hoped that the 2018 local Mimir heats would be played by all leagues in the same week as had been the practice in the past. (See Competitions)

Southport and Formby

S&F Secretary was absent but Bill Thomas informed the meeting that there would be 18 teams in 2017-18 due to having been joined by 2 teams from the former Northern league. He also reported the sad passing of long-time S&F player Don Bennett.

Warrington

Warrington Secretary reported that there would be 14 teams in 2017-18. At their AGM they had passed a Duty of Care resolution and had decided to retain the 8.45pm start time.

Wirral

  1. Secretary was absent, as was the Chairman, but the latter reported that there would be 26 teams in 2017-18 in two divisions. He confirmed that Wirral would be re-entering the President’s Trophy and continuing in the President’s Shield competitions. The Trophy team will be run by Jon Stitcher and the Shield team would be run by Steve Lomas and both played at Thingwall Recreational Centre.

9. Competitions:

President’s Trophy. The re-entry of Wirral 1 had prompted discussions with most leagues and had resulted in the following proposal, that the Competition schedule be changed to 5 evenings each attended by 4 teams each team playing 2 games. The absent league would set both quizzes. The sets would be sent electronically and the host league would provide officials to run 2 games simultaneously and refreshments. The new schedule would not allow for postponements or rearrangements. Following discussion it was agreed to adopt this schedule. Liverpool was given early notice that their 2 sets would be needed for the first evening on 27 September.

Action: Gen Sec to circulate details of the revised schedule

President’s Shield. The welcome addition of Ormskirk 2 to the Competition would mean a rearrangement in the schedule.

Action: Cliff would work on the rearranged schedule

Merseyside Challenge Cup and Plate. Bill Thomas agreed to coordinate the competition again in 2017-18. League Secretaries were asked to confirm entrants by Saturday 9 September 2017, the day before the next Council meeting, when the draw would be made.

Mimir. It was resolved that all local Mimir heats must be played in the week of (and preferably on) Wed 7 February 2018. Also, if the Gen Sec was not notified of a League’s MQL qualifiers by the end of Monday 12 February 2018 then that League’s places in the MQL heats would be made available to anyone present by drawing lots on the evening of those heats.

10. Rule Change Agreed at AGM:

  1. 24 now gives each League the discretion to advance the start time of all of their matches by 15 minutes to 8.30. The Gen Sec asked to be informed by any League who decided to do this.

Gen Sec pointed out that during discussions at the AGM, Rule 2 concerning the make-up of the Council was not being followed precisely. There should be specified members of the Council representing each League and the teams therein.

Action: Gen Sec to seek nominations from the League secretaries to address the issue.

11. Question Setting 2017-18:

Cliff reported that he had only today received season dates from the Leagues. He would be working on the schedule over the next few weeks and would attempt to be as equitable as possible in terms of the number of sets requested from the larger and smaller Leagues. It was likely that there would be an increase in the number of sets that are needed.

12. AOB:

Rule Group

  1. a suggestion at the AGM, the Gen Sec asked for volunteers to form a group to Review the MQL Rules. Dag Griffiths, David Hodgson and Derek Moody agreed to join the group. Ideally two more members representing Liverpool and Wirral would be welcomed. The group was to appoint its own spokesperson and to report its recommendations to Council at the meeting on Sunday 10 December 2017.

TV and Radio Appearances

We had asked if Leagues could inform the MQL about any members making an appearance on TV or Radio. Good luck to the following;

Cliff Houghton Warrington Mastermind

Derek Moody Warrington Mastermind

Jon Stitcher Wirral Mastermind

Eddie Davies Southport & Formby Pointless

Festival of Quizzing

It was suggested that MQL should run an annual Festival of Quizzing similar to that run by QLL. Members were asked to consider the format and date for such an event.

Diamond Jubilee

MQL will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2019. The council intends to form a Jubilee group at the next meeting to begin planning events.

 

Next meeting: Council meeting on Sunday 10 September 2017. 8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Cons Club on Sunday 23rd April 2017 (commenced 8.02pm)

Attendees; Frank McFarlane, Cliff Houghton, Angela Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, Peter Deakin, Brian Thompson, Brian Bates, Bob Wilkie, Bill Thomas, Jim McGrath, Paul Davitt, Mark Kerr and Chris Quinn representing eleven teams.

 

The Chairman asked for a moments silence for the following members of the MQL who had passed away in the last year;

Ken Smith (Northern and former President of MQL)

Tony Grieco (Ormskirk)

Charlie Gallagher (Liverpool)

Norman Dugdale (Wirral)

Barbara Rouse (Liverpool)

Ronnie Woods (Northern and former President of MQL)

 

1. Apologies for absence.  Apologies were received from Bookworms, Groundhogs, Dag Griffiths, Bill Morris, David Hodgson and Jon Stitcher.

 

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.
 

4. Chairman’s Report.  The Chairman thanked those who continue to organise the MQL and to all who run the constituent leagues.

 

5. General Secretary’s Report.  The General Secretary reported on the outcomes of 2016 and 2017 competitions and thanked all who had played, set questions and supported the events.  He noted that from the start of next season the two attempt format would be used in all team competitions throughout the MQL.

During the season there had been a number of comments posted on Facebook that many thought contravened rule 50.  The General Secretary thanked those who had undertaken the task of moderating the Facebook content for their work in dealing with this matter.
The General Secretary thanked all the League Secretaries, the Webmaster and in particular the question distributors for all their hard work throughout the year.

(A full version of this Report can be found on the MQL website)

 

6. Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer was not present but he had sent the audited financial statement for the season which was circulated.  His notes were read out and reported.  In summary they included;

The actual operating loss for the season was in fact just over £300 when all claims are paid.  Additional expenditure this year included the purchase of a laser printer and a retirement gift for Brian Cunningham.  The Treasurer recommended that, as the reserves are still healthy the fee to MQL remain at £25.00 per team.  The auditor had asked about the whereabouts of Northern League funds and was told that they had been donated to charity.

 

7. Assistant General Secretary’s Report
The Assistant General Secretary post had remained vacant throughout the year with its role having been carried out by the General Secretary and the Question Distributors. 

 

8. Election of Officers.
The President took the chair for the election of the Chairman,

Chairman: Frank McFarlane                         Prop; Cliff Houghton                       Sec; Angela Doyle

Deputy Chairman: Cliff Houghton             Prop; Frank McFarlane                  Sec; Brian Thompson
General Secretary: Brian Thompson        Prop; Angela Houghton                 Sec; Paul Davitt
Treasurer: Dag Griffiths                                 Prop; Angela Doyle                         Sec; Jim McGrath

Deputy General Secretary:                          temporarily vacant (although the role was to be the

subject of discussion at the next Council Meeting

All nominees were duly appointed nem. Con.
Auditors (appointed):                                    Paul Davitt and David Hodgson.

 

9. Election of President.  The Chairman thanked retiring President Jim McGrath as his 3 year term came to an end.  He then proposed Angela Houghton as the next President, seconded by Bob Wilkie.  Angela accepted the nomination and was duly appointed.

 

Vice Presidents: All current Vice Presidents are one year into their three year term.  The following were proposed and added to the list.

Jim McGrath

As retiring President

Prop; Brian Thompson                   Sec; Frank McFarlane

 

Brian Bates

For services to and support of the MQL

Prop; Brian Thompson                   Sec; Angela Houghton

 

10. Proposals.

1. Duty of Care

The purpose of the Merseyside Quiz League (MQL) is to organise a Quiz League and other quiz based competitions for premises on Merseyside and the immediate surrounding area.  MQL operates non-discriminatory membership requirements, i.e. membership is open to all persons over 18 years irrespective of gender, disability, race or nationality, ethnic origin, creed, colour, social status and sexual orientation.

Proposed by the MQL Council                                   Seconded by Derek Moody (Warrington Sec)

 

This proposal was withdrawn

 

2. Start Times

An amendment to MQL rule 24: That the official start time for Merseyside matches is brought forward to either 8pm or at least 8:30pm

Proposed by Culcheth RBL (Warrington QL)        Seconded by Boffins (Warrington QL)

 

Culcheth RBL made a case giving reasons for an earlier start that included an aging league membership and some long journeys at certain times in the season.  In discussion it was pointed out that the 8.45 start time was a Match Rule and as such was, strictly speaking, already at the discretion of the constituent leagues (Rule 26).  A question was asked about security of questions with start times possibly varying by up to an hour.

In order to clarify the proposal, an amendment was suggested to the effect that “Local areas would have the discretion to advance the start of the game by up to 15 minutes”.

Prop; Peter Deakin                          Sec; Bob Wilkie

This amendment was carried;    For 8 votes          Against 2 votes                 Abstained 1

 

The proposal therefore became to amend Rule 24 to; All matches to start at 8.45pm with an allowance of 15 minutes.  Each constituent League has the discretion to advance this start time by 15 minutes with the same allowance.  Should matches be delayed more than the allowance then the non-offending team have the right to claim the match.

This proposal was carried;            For 8 votes          Against 1 votes                 Abstained 2

 

3. Council Quorum

This was ratification of an amendment to MQL rule 16: that a quorum for a meeting of the MQL Council should be 5 persons. This should include 2 officers and 3 out of the 5 areas should be represented. 

Proposed by the MQL Council                                   Seconded by Brian Thompson (Gen Sec)

 

The existing rule 16: That a quorum at a MQL Council meeting be three officers plus three council members to represent at least three areas in total.  On two occasions, because of this rule, the Council has been unable to conduct business. In discussion it was pointed out that the number of members of the Council dictated by Rule 2 far exceeded the existing quorum, however it was also noted that attendance was not mandatory.  It was felt that the reiteration of Rule 2 to all League Secretaries would be useful.

This proposal was carried;            For 10 votes       Against 0 votes                 Abstained 1

 

The date for the 2018 AGM was set for Sunday 22nd April.

 

The meeting closed at 8.50pm


Minutes of the Council meeting of the Merseyside Quiz Leagues held at Old Swan Conservative Club on Sunday 19th March 2017at 8:00 pm

  1. In Attendance: were Frank McFarlane, Dag Griffiths, Angela Houghton, Bill Thomas, Mark Kerr, Chris Quinn, Cliff Houghton, Angela Doyle, Derek Moody, David Hodgson, Bob Wilkie and Brian Thompson.

Apologies: Were received from Peter Harris (Aigburth Swans) and Brian Bates

  1. Minutes of previous meeting: accepted as a true record of the meeting
  1. Matters Arising: There were no matters arising not covered by today’s agenda.
  1. Chairman’s report: Chairman asked for a few moments silence to mark the sad passing of
  • Former MQL President, former Northern Chairman Vice President and long standing member of the MQL, Ron Woods
  • Long standing Wirral and Liverpool player, Norman Dugdale
  • Long standing Liverpool player, Barbara Rouse
  1. General Secretary’s report: Gen Sec had nothing to report other than those items later in the agenda.
  1. Treasurer’s report: The Treasurer presented his balance sheet.  He pointed out that he still had not had any claim from Liverpool QL for preparation of sets.  Bob Wilkie reported that the copier from B&M had been disposed of.  The Treasurer proposed that 2017-18 fees remain unchanged.
  1. Assistant General Secretary’s report: Although the position of Assistant Gen Sec was still vacant, the Gen Sec reported that distribution had gone smoothly and thanked Cliff and Bob for their work.  Bob now had one or two spare sets in hand. 

Action: Forward the remaining Northern set for the Feeny Rendon competitions. (Ormskirk Sec)

  1. Area reports:

Liverpool Liverpool Chairman reported that 30 teams are expected to take part in 2017-18.  He outlined details of the LQL’s plans to improve their setting and vetting subject to the approval of the LQL AGM.  It was suggested that to assist in the analysis of sets, unanswered questions should be recorded.  

Action: An exemplar scoresheet was to be created to show teams how to record these. (Gen Sec) 

Action: Amend Bob Wilkie’s postcode and include Cliff Houghton’s contact details in Handbook (Liverpool Sec)

  Northern Bill Thomas notified Council of the death of Vin Rainer.

Ormskirk Ormskirk Secretary reported that the main and mini league competitions were nearing completion with the end of season KO about to begin.  He anticipated 20 teams in 2017-18, when all games will be played using the 2 attempt format.

Southport and Formby S&F Secretary reported that the KO competition including a former Northern QL team was at the SF stage and the handicap competition was about to start.  He anticipated 17 teams in 2017-18.

Warrington Warrington Secretary reported a very close finish in both divisions.  A handicap league would complete the season.  He anticipated 14 teams in 2017-18.  Cliff reported that he had recorded an interview about the QL for Warrington Hospital Radio and would forward content to Chris Quinn for inclusion on the website.

Wirral Wirral Secretary was not represented. No report had been received.  Chris Quinn reported a very close finish was anticipated in Div I.  It was suggested that Wirral be asked to attend Council meetings on a more regular basis as this could help with quorum problems.

Action:  To include Cliff Houghton’s contact details in Handbooks.  (Wirral Sec)

  1. Competitions:

President’s Trophy.  A close comp had been won by S&F with Liverpool second.  Council welcomed the news that Wirral intend to rejoin the competition next season

President’s Shield.  Had been won by Liverpool 2b.  Wirral will remain in the comp next season

Presidential Challenge.  Had been won by Wirral.  A suggestion made by Clive Leech from Exiles, to extend the Challenge to include Trophy sides was discussed.  It was decided that the current comp worked well with Shield teams enjoying this end of season evening and it would remain as it was for the time being.  It was suggested that perhaps a similar comp could be introduced for Trophy sides in the future if desired.

Merseyside Challenge Cup and Plate.  Bill Thomas reported that the SF of both comps had been completed with Rainhill Victoria beating Oxton Cons in a close 9 round match.  They will play Collywobblers in the Final.  The Plate final will be an all Warrington affair with Woodlands playing Yarboroughs.

Mimir.  Area heats had been completed and produced the 32 qualifiers for the Merseyside heats.  All areas apart from Liverpool had confirmed attendance.  All sets were in.

Action:  Confirm Liverpool qualifiers (Gen Sec)

  1. Facebook Update

Mark Kerr reported that the site continued to be moderated, with anyone posting derogatory items being asked to remove them.  Some comments made in early February had been dealt with in this way. 

On a positive note, the family of the late Ronnie Wood had posted a message showing their appreciation of the number of members of the MQL who had attended Ronnie’s funeral.

Action:  Ask the moderators to repeat the rule about the 4 week embargo on the discussion of questions

  1. AGM 2017

The date for next month’s AGM had inadvertently been set on 30 April, which is the Sunday of the May Day Bank Holiday.  After discussion it was agreed to move it one week earlier to Sunday 23 April at Old Swan Cons Club.  The deadline for the submission of proposals was left at 2 April.

The Chairman confirmed that all members of the council were willing to continue in their current roles.

Action:  Find out which Vice President’s terms will be coming to an end this year and contact all League Secs and post notification of date change on the website (Gen Sec)

  1. AOB:  
  • Question Allocation. 

The Ormskirk Sec asked if distribution could be reviewed to avoid one area receiving quizzes set predominantly by another area.  He also asked if there could be more equitable demand on the number of sets that each area was asked to provide.  Cliff explained the rationale behind the current system and its plan to minimise the number of sets needed.  The constraints of home nights and shared venues needed to be taken into account.  If areas would be willing to submit a greater number of sets then more flexibility was possible.  We will look at this further once the 2017-18 requirements were known.

  • Score Averages.

The Ormskirk Secretary was thanked for providing the analysis of this season’s scores.  The Liverpool Chairman asked if the analysis demonstrated a measure of the balance of each set, but was informed that it does not.  He still asked if the information could be shared more widely.

  • TV and Radio.

Although those taking part may not wish to “blow their own trumpet”, appearances of players on Radio and TV quiz shows are very much of interest to the MQL.  Team and Area Secretaries were to be asked to pass on details to the MQL on behalf of the competitors.

Next meeting:  Council meeting on Sunday 25 June 2017.  8pm start at Old Swan Cons.

The meeting closed at 9.20pm