Editor’s Note: This post was written by Seth Wilson, a Private Events Manager for Sporcle Live and a Pub Trivia host. He also happens to be a 12-time Jeopardy! champion, so he knows a thing or two about trivia.
Trivia for Team Building
Q: What is the uniform a jockey wears in horse racing called?
Shortly after I graduated from college, I found myself regularly playing pub trivia in a local watering hole that had a summer trivia league. The winner of the league qualified to play in a tournament for a cash prize, and also won a coveted trophy: a John Stockton Starting Lineup figure on which someone had long ago scrawled the words BAR TRIVIA CHAMPS in Sharpie. At the time, I wanted it more than a Fabergé egg. My teammates were four similarly hyper-competitive young people with nothing of real consequence to occupy our frontal lobes. The team had one rule: if you talked the group out of a wrong answer, everyone got to punch you once in the biceps. Until this moment, I don’t think it’s occurred to me how weird it is that a group of friends took turns slugging each other in the arm in service of winning a John Stockton figurine, but nobody questioned it. I was also listening to a lot of Tom Waits at the time, so it was a weird summer in more ways than one.
Now, I know what you’re asking: did we win the league? Reader, we did. And I’m not writing this article to gloat about winning a trivia league nearly a decade ago (well, at least not primarily for that purpose) but also to point out that I’ve never played on a more effective trivia team. That wasn’t because of the threat of corporal punishment; truth be told, the rule was never actually enforced. As far as I remember, the only time anyone even came close to blows was when a basket of chicken wings was knocked off the table during a spirited debate about what you call a jockey’s uniform (see above). We worked so well together because when somebody went out on a limb, we knew they were really certain they were right, and we learned to trust each other’s areas of expertise. You know, like a team.
Now, I would never advocate for adopting the arm-punch rule for a team building trivia event in the workplace. I’ve written before about the benefits of playing trivia as a hobby, and having sore biceps isn’t one of them. But Sporcle Live can set up a recurring team building event for your office that will give your employees the chance both to blow off some steam by playing a game while also engaging in some fun and sneaky effective team building.
How Sporcle Live Trivia Can Help Office Team Building
This article illustrates both the less-than-stellar reputation of the term “team building” and its importance in creating an effective workplace. Often, when people hear “team building” they imagine doing awkward icebreakers and trust falls. With a trivia game, though, you’re giving people a chance to engage in an activity that’s 1) intellectually stimulating, 2) social, and 3) allows them to work together without being hokey. Even better, nobody is put on the spot. Teams have to collaborate to succeed in the game.
The Sporcle Live format is even more conducive to group bonding because, with two hour-long games, you can have people mix and match teams and circulate. We also can set up recurring events for your office so that you can have monthly trivia days to look forward to. So start planning your Sporcle Live private event today!
In future installments of this piece, I’ll discuss the importance of repetition to succeeding in anything. And if you need a John Stockton trophy for a prize, I have one you can borrow. If you can win it from me in a game of Trivial Pursuit.