Trans-Canada Championship Match
July 23, 2000

To our knowledge, the Trans-Canada Championship Match of Sunday, July 23, 2000, was the first-ever quiz bowl match held over the telephone (a Canadian invention).

The two teams in this match had won the two Canadian tournaments that weekend:

The match was moderated by Julie Stahlhut of NAQT. The questions were written by NAQT with Canadian content added by Gabe Desjardins. Power tossups were not used. The game was untimed, with 20 tossups.

Technical notes

The moderator made a three-way call to both Vancouver and Waterloo from her home in Michigan.

The team in Vancouver had won VETO the previous day, and did not have a buzzer system. They had two players, one with a cordless phone and one with a wired phone. To signal on tossups, they used different buttons on the wired phone, Peter choosing the 3 and Tara choosing the *.

The team in Waterloo had just finished the regular part of WETO, so they had a buzzer system which they used on tossups. They also had two players, each with his own phone. A third phone was set up with its receiver next to the speakers of the buzzer system.

The moderator did not seem to have trouble discerning which came first, a telephone tone from Vancouver or a buzzer from Waterloo.

It took a good deal of discussion to finally agree on this system for buzzing in on tossups. Originally I thought of using only phone tones: one site would use the 3, and the other site would use the *. Since there were only two players at each site, they could press the same button on the same phone, and they would know who buzzed in first. The trouble was that the moderator could not distinguish the two different tones well enough.

Before playing, we tested the system of Vancouver tones and Waterloo buzzers by having the moderator read some easy tossups to both teams.

To avoid requiring a phone for every player, larger teams might want to use a speakerphone. This would have the added benefit of allowing other people in the room to hear the match. But it could also cause new problems, because speakerphones do not allow two-way simultaneous communication. If you're talking into it, then you cannot hear the people at the other end(s).

A larger team may also find it helpful to have a sub-moderator at the same site, to designate players on tossups and to make sure everything else is running properly. On the other hand, having another person on the phone could make the game that much more unwieldy.


After the first 10 tossups, FARSIDE in Vancouver led Conglomerate in Waterloo, 155 to 40.

Conglomerate recovered in the second half, but not enough to surmount FARSIDE's lead.

Final score: FARSIDE (in Vancouver) 250, Conglomerate (in Waterloo) 155.

Tossups (+10/-5): Peter 9/1, Tara 0/0; Victor 7/1, Tim 2/3.
Bonus averages: FARSIDE 18.3, Conglomerate 9.4.

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