Steve Kidd's Quiz Pages

Bitch Slaps

Fundamentally bitch-slaps, the taking of points from other teams during a speed-quiz is 'wrong' and, more pertinently, arguably counter-productive.

I must emphasise to begin with:


A quiz is a quiz. If bitch slaps are employed it becomes a quiz/Diplomacy hybrid (Diplomacy is a conquest board game which might as well be called bitch-slap! IMHO it is terrific, albeit frustrating and divisive). In Diplomacy every player has equality of opportunity. In a quiz, however, this is not the case, for example, a team or player with one hand-set is at a measurable disadvantage relative to groups of friends who have several hand-sets.

Say a team/player 'A' has a 1 in 10 chance of being first with the opportunity to bitch-slap is playing against a team 'B' with four hand sets, each of these with a one in twenty chance of being first. Over the course of 20 questions team 'A' generally gets 2 bitch slaps, and dishes out say 20 points deductions (If the BS is worth 10 points) divided between two members of team B, leaving two other members of team B unscathed, whereas team A gets hit for 40 points. Week in, week out, more or less. A massive boost too people who go in mob handed, over and above the advantage they have of more hands making lighter work (all well and good). Not a quiz, it is now people make points make prizes. And before you say 'ah, but I had a grandma who smoked till she was 98' we are talking in general with examples. By and large.

More significantly, we have the fact that the better teams get hit the most. More often than not teams will bitch-slap the top team (s). Hey! Nobody likes a clever clogs, let's bring them down a peg or two, but at least we'll wallow in the schadenfreude of some twat quantifiably challenging our self esteem being fucked over.

And think about it. Can you imagine having bitch slaps in any other skill game? It's the Wednesday morning fiddle down at Brexit Golf Club - woah, you've scored a birdy at the short 17th - take strokes away from the leading player! How 'bout dah?

I will always endorse meritocracy. That is not to preclude good luck, co-operation and even cheating (though I don't approve of cheating). I will not advocate punishing people for being good. No matter how big the mob.

Bitch slapping is like hocking a greeny into someone's food. It might generate some vengeful pleasure. The kitchen staff may even find it hilarious. Hell, the loyal fans of the restaurant may even applaud that Anton Ego has got his comeuppance (Watch Ratatouilie and The Menu - great films). But it is wrong.


There are other ways to 'even-things up'. More importantly other methods are more inclusive. Bitch slaps do not really help the teams lower down the table

Within SpeedQuiz there is a facility called 'Fast-Tracks' which enables teams who are fastest on the buzzer to leap to the top of the table if the top team, (or top two or three, it is up to the host) get a question wrong, Used wisely, this can maintain everybody's stake in the game until very close to the end. Used wisely this can be exciting whilst not precluding teams winning, What is better for business? Keep all teams in the game or just the top few?. Whilst not being outright fair, it can bring that excitement into a game (which the most deserving team still get to win some, if not a lot of the time)

Nearest wins questions, again, used wisely can keep the top few teams in the game until the last, without punishing the best teams directly. -

Handicaps seem to work when applied fairly - badge of honour

I have seen hosts who penalise teams which get consecutive answers first - good idea!

Bitchslaps modified? The facility to 'give' points, or take extra points for oneself rather than more off an opponent can ameliorate the total nastiness of bitch slaps. Lowering the values can also move things in the right direction.

In conclusion - keep people interested - fast tracks in the last round bar the last few questions

If you want to piss the best teams off and not keep the lower teams in the game - Bitch slaps are just the ticket

Fast tracks reward skill with luck. Bitchslaps punish skill. You don't want to punish skill do you? If you do, don't grumble if you are governed by an idiotocracy (Unless you are an idiot).

Why should we even care? Because if humans can overcome their natural born instincts of tribalism and utilise our intelligence into cooperative problem solving we will increase our chances of survival as a species. But that is a whole other story.