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Tau Trivia

To play Tau Trivia, click here!
But please make sure you read the material below.

Table of Contents

Tau Trivia for the Real World is a daily/monthly trivia tournament for Taus (and their friends and family-members). We make use of a website that offers these sorts of tournaments for free, a cost that fits into the operating budget of the Alumni Association quite nicely. They require registration, but you receive no junk mail or anything else that you wouldn't want... just access to the daily tournament.

Tau Trivia for the Real World was begun some time in late 2004 or early 2005 by alumnus Jason Padron (2001). For various reasons, he was unable to keep up with the maintenance of the tournament, so Pete Lenz (1989) took over in the spring of 2006 (something he is wont to do).

Getting Started:

The set up is pretty simple:

  1. use the link above (or here) to go to the private Tau Tournament on the Fun Trivia website.
  2. register as a new user, choosing a screen name and password (only one per player, please). Choose a user name that will let your brothers and sisters know who you are... maybe fill out the profile, too.
  3. login and play every day!!!!

Okay, you don't HAVE to play every day. But the best way to remain competitive for the monthly tournament is to play every day. Playing on whatever days you can is still fun for you and can throw all sorts of variability into the monthly tournament for the more regular players.


The Daily Game
  • Each day ten items are randomly drawn from the pool of questions that were selected for that month's tournament.
  • All players have to answer the same ten questions.
  • Scoring
    • For each correct answer, a player gets 100 points.
    • One point is deducted for each second that it took the player to answer all ten questions
    • Daily rankings are based on this score (which can range from 0 to over 900)
  • A new game starts at roughly 11pm central standard/daylight time, but from 11 - 12 central time, there appears to be the potential for glitches, so playing around this time is discouraged.
  • Also, try not to play between 3.45 and 4.45 am central time... the site does a database update around 4am and locks everyone out... if you are in the midst of play, however, the clock will still be ticking... causing your points for the day to be zero in most cases.
  • The results of each daily game are shown on this page (as well as the trivia site's page, of course).
The Monthly Tournament
  • High scorers of the daily games earn points towards the monthly tournament scoring.
  • Anyone who plays in a daily game is included in the monthly tournament scoring.
  • Points earned on a given day toward the monthly tournament are based upon the number of players on a given day. See table below.
  • One can see the progress of people in the monthly tournament by going to the site's "Standings" page for the Tau tournaments.
  • The top players at the end of the month will be listed on the Hall of Fame page (you may need to log in to see it)
  • It appears that players with daily game scores of zero DO get included in that day's point determination for the monthly tournament, but the display doesn't present it that way.
Monthly Topic Selection
  • Monthly topics are selected by the Tournament administrator, Pete Lenz (1989), either on his own or with input from participants (the latter is, by far, the preferred option).
  • Pete is happy to accept suggestions for tournaments. The main caveat is that, since we are working through a website run by other folks, not every topic one can think of will have many, if any, questions, much less enough questions to permits a month long tournament. They have a lot, but not everything. And, since they are a "family friendly" site, naughty stuff is very limited.
  • Monthly tournaments are generally themed in some way (see the list of upcoming and past tournaments for an idea of themes that have been played or are upcoming.
  • While the majority of questions will be faithfully applicable to the topic, the creative addition of a small number of "sort-of-on-topic" questions to the pool will often take place. For example, if the topic were "cats" any of the following would be considered fair game: cats (the animals... this would comprise the majority of questions), Cats (the Broadway production), Red Dwarf (the British sit-com that had a humanoid cat as a main character), Bobcat Goldthwait, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe... etc...
  • We should point out that, although Pete chooses the question pools for the tournaments, he does not have access to the questions ahead of time and so may legitimately participate in the tournament without enjoying any kind of edge on his peers.

How the games are scored:

The method used for generating points for the monthly tournament is a little complex, so we shall spell it out here in more detail.

The winner of each daily game is awarded a number of points equal to the number of players... thus, if 10 people play on Monday, Monday's winner gets 10 points; if 25 people play Tuesday, Tuesday's winner gets 25 points; if 75 people play on Wednesday, Wednesday's winner gets 75 points.

People coming in below first get points based on a percentage of the winner's points. In order, the players in 2nd - 10th places get points equal to 90%, 80%, 75%, 70%, 65%, 60%, 55%, 50%, 45% of the winner's points. People in 11th - 20th place get points equal to 20% of the winner's, 21st - 30th = 15%, 31st - 40th = 10%, 41st - 50th = 5%. If more than 50 people play, any players in 51st place or worse get no points at all.

In cases where two or more people tie on a given day, the person(s) who played earlier in the day is(are) given a higher rank. This also applies to people who might earn zero points in a day... they are ranked according to the order of play, earlier being placed higher, and they do earn points commensurate with their ranking (although the site's daily display makes it appear that they do not).

Below is a table with a few sample games and the points one might expect to get for a given placing. The X-axis (the row on the top) shows the number of players in a hypothetical game, the Y-axis (the column down the left side) is the placement 1st - 51st. The scores in the grid are the scores one could expect for a given placing (Y-axis) in a game of a certain number of players (X-axis):

Number of players in game
Place %  8  10 15 20 35 48 60
1st 100% 8 10 15 20 35 48 60
2nd 90% 7 9 14 18 32 43 54
3rd 80% 6 8 12 16 28 38 48
4th 75% 6 8 11 15 26 36 45
5th 70% 6 7 11 14 25 34 42
6th 65% 5 7 10 13 23 31 39
7th 60% 5 6 9 12 21 29 36
8th 55% 4 6 8 11 19 26 33
9th 50% 5 8 10 18 24 30
10th 45% 5 7 9 16 22 27
11 - 20th 20% 3 4 7 10 12
21 - 30th 15% 5 7 9
31 - 40th 10% 4 5 6
41 - 50th 5% 2 3
51st + 0% 0


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