Moderating Games

If you are reading this, then thank you very much for helping us out by signing up to moderate a game. We believe that watching a quality MIMIR-format quiz match from the reader’s seat can be just as fun as playing, and it’s a great way to see quizzers from around the world in action. We want as many people as possible to have that experience, so we’ve produced this guide to help new readers get in on the action with minimal anxiety.

Before the Match

Videoconferencing Platform

First of all, as the moderator you will need to establish how you will be reading to the players. As mentioned elsewhere on the site, we recommend Zoom for ease of use, but other software is fine if everyone agrees to it. One advantage of Zoom, though, is that it enables the user to generate the link to the game room ahead of time. We recommend that you do this and email it to the players as soon as possible, as this will save everyone stress in the moments before the match itself.

Scoring Platform

Second, you will want to set up the scoring app. We use the WhoHe web-app developed by hero of quiz labour Will Jones, who also brought WikiQuiz into the world. You can find the app here. For Mimir's Well Quiz League Games, the scheduled fixtures spreadsheet has a link to automatically generate a complete scoresheet in Column L.

During the match

We strongly recommend that you, the moderator, share the window in which you have WhoHe open with your players. It is much easier for everyone, including the reader, if the players can follow the scores, bonus attempts and guessing order live and with a simple glance at their screen. Be careful that when sharing in Zoom you share only the window from your browser, rather than your whole screen. In this window it is the window in the bottom left, not the one on the top left. Doing this means you will be able to keep the questions open in another application, such as Adobe Acrobat or Reader, without players being able to see it.

Many are intimidated by the idea of reading, scoring and timing all at once. However, you need not be. Again, thanks to this app, it is very easy to do all of this simultaneously -- in fact it is probably easier than dividing the labour between people. The actions are simple, and help to keep the reader focussed.

As you can see, the main page on the scoring app makes the order of precedence for guesses accessible and obvious through use of the “>” symbols, and gives everyone clear sight of a timer at the top-right of the page.

The function of the main buttons is apparent. If a player answers a question correctly, you simply press “Correct”, if they pass press “Pass”, and if they get it wrong, you press “Wrong”. You should not use the Kill button, but in essence it just automatically passes 4 times. The "undo" button allows you to cancel the most recent input, which is useful if you accidentally click "Wrong" instead of "Pass", for example.

It is important to distinguish passes from wrong answers, since only the latter counts towards a player’s bonus attempts.

The player whose directed question it is has 30 seconds to answer, and they may ask for a repeat at any point in that time. Other players can only ask for a question to be repeated if they do so immediately. Please give people a warning 10 seconds before their 30 seconds is up. Full details on repeats are available here.

For bonus attempts, players get “a beat” or so to answer, which in the online context can be understood as about three seconds. If they don’t answer within that time, simply say “next” and the name of the next player in the order.

At the end of each round, please announce the scores and bonus attempts to all the players. While they can see them live if you are sharing the screen, this pause between rounds allows everyone to get ready and think about strategy.


If you have any ties, please break them at the end of the game using tiebreakers. Tiebreakers are easy to run, and tiebreaker questions are provided with each set. To carry out a tiebreaker, simply read the same tiebreaker questions to each player in turn, while making sure that the other players in the tie are not in the room at the time. Invite each player back to the room until all the relevant players have heard the tiebreaker questions. Repeat with the second tiebreaker set and numerical tiebreaker as needed. With the numerical tiebreaker the winner is the player who is closest to the correct answer. The difference from nearest the bull tiebreakers should be calculated using subtraction rather than as a % of the correct answer.

At the end of the game

First of all, congratulate all the players for a good match well played. Second, copy the URL of the whole scoring page and email it to so that we can update the results page. Please include details of any tiebreakers in the box on the scoresheet and in the text of the email.

Disputes and Errors

If one of the players “protests” a question, please contact us as soon as you can, via email or Facebook, and we will provide advice on resolving the issue. If you can do this during the game, it may pause the game for a second but does mean that we may be able to resolve any issues before players leave the online meeting.

Equally, if a reading mistake is made, please pause the game and contact us as soon as possible-the solution may depend on the game situation and we can assess this rapidly.

Accommodating ESL players

Mimir's Well competitions have players from dozens of different countries, many of whom do not have English as a first language. We do not want to put these players at a disadvantage, so we have adopted the following system.

ESL players may request that the questions be pasted into the chat, since it is generally easier to read rather than aurally process a second language. If this request is made, the moderator should paste all questions, not just those directed to the ESL player. The reader should post the question in the chat immediately after they finish reading the question. This does not change the rules for timing, there are still 30 seconds per question, starting when the question has been read.

Each week, we also generate non-English answers for the questions where we anticipate they will be useful.

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