Monday, March 02, 2009

University Challenge

I've been keeping fairly quiet about this so far, but I think I really should comment now. The Corpus Christi University Challenge team have now been disqualified from the series that they won.

Last year, I was captain of our college inter-collegiate quiz team, and we played against the same Corpus team that later won UC. They beat us, of course, but we gave them a fairly close match. I'm also the person who gets all the correspondance from University Challenge. It tends to arrive in December or January for filming the next summer, for broadcast the autumn and winter afterwards. So the Corpus team that won a few weeks ago would have been applying this time last year.

One of the perennial questions, which I usually have to scour the literature for, is whether you can only enter continuing students, or whether leaving student count too. Usually it's hidden away in a footnote somewhere that people have to be continuing students. In other words, if applying in 2008, they'd have to be students in the academic years 2007/8 and 2008/9.

Last year, the year Corpus entered and then won it and then got disqualified, I couldn't find that clause in any of the literature they sent me. We actually had a pretty good team - Corpus didn't beat us by a long way, and one of our students was leaving. I remember looking because I thought we'd stand a decent chance. But then it turned out that one of our key players couldn't make the filming dates, so I didn't bother entering.

In short then, I don't think that University Challenge specified that you had to be a continuing student that year. I think they just said you had to be a student at the time of application, which would make this whole situation somewhat farcical. I may be wrong; I may be misremembering stuff; that requirement might have been sent after application rather than before. But I certainly don't remember seeing it in the year in question, and I do remember looking for it.

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