- It is expected that the Question Person (QP), officials and players taking part in a match will be familiar with the rules of the MQL
- Whenever possible, the QP should read through the questions just prior to the match after
- ascertaining that the questions are for the match intended and not for any other match
- allowing each captain to check the seals of the envelope
Should any anomalies be found, e.g. in the number of rounds, missing answers etc. this should be reported to the captains and an agreement on how to proceed to be arranged. Such agreements, under normal circumstances, would be binding on both teams.
- A player should commence to answer his/her own question within 10 seconds of the completion of the question. He/she may be allowed to continue after ten seconds to complete an answer, but if obviously taking too long, may be told to finish by the QP at the QP's discretion.
For bonus and pass over questions, the above note applies but the time limit is five seconds.
If clarification is requested by any player, the clock should be stopped and restarted after such has been given.
- One point should be given for a correct answer given after ten seconds, but before fifteen seconds, by the original answerer. Should two or more players answer, the QP will allot points (or otherwise) on the first answer heard.
- If no points are awarded to the original team asked, the question must be passed over, even despite the original reply being close to the correct answer. For this reason, the QP should refrain from comment such as "a little more" or "go on", when remarks can indicate to the other side that the answer, although incorrect or insufficient, is quite close. Silence on the part of the QP should indicate to the answerer that the answer should be developed.
- a) The QP can only accept an answer which substantially corresponds to that on the paper, even if he/she is quite sure that a different answer given is correct. If the first team give a different answer, the question should be passed without comment or discussion to the other team. When both teams have attempted the question, the QP should read out the "correct" answer and award points only for that answer.
- If either team is dissatisfied, the two captains should be asked to agree on how the points should be awarded. If they cannot agree, the QP's decision must stand. Aggrieved teams should be reminded of the protest procedure in Rule 33.
- A surname will normally be acceptable as an answer to a question, unless the setter has clearly indicated that further name or description is required (see point 9 below)
- If the setter has underlined part of an answer on the paper then whatever is underlined must be included in the response from the player. If it is not, then the response is incorrect and should be passed without comment.
- If a QP is uncertain about whether a response is correct, it is generally safer to say “incorrect” and pass the question. Once the question is dead then any query can usually be resolved by the captains of the two teams.
- No matter how detailed rules and notes for guidance may be, occasions will arise which will require the QP to use some discretion. Whenever possible, the QP should consult the team captains before making a decision. The watchword should be impartiality.
- QPs may 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.