Small version of the QuizSoc Logo Cambridge University Quiz Society

History of QuizSoc

The Cambridge University Quiz Society, despite being in its infancy, is a well-established part of University life in Cambridge. Oxford has had a quiz society for many years, and so in June 1999, Sean Blanchflower (Trinity), Robin Bhattacharyya (Trinity) and Olly Johnson (Christ's) created Cambridge's very own version to hold a variety of University-wide events.

The Society was pleased to host the British Student Quiz Championships in both 2001 and 2002 at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences. The Society regularly sends teams to both inter-university and open tournaments around the country, with Cambridge teams finishing as runners-up in each of the first four British Student Quiz Championships. In 2000, a Trinity team represented Cambridge and the UK in a tournament in Boston, finishing in the top half of the field despite most of the questions being on baseball and US senators! More recent visits include the slightly more tongue-in-cheek 'trash' tournament at St John's College, Oxford in 2004, with Cambridge's sides having mixed performances. Our Varsity history has seen some extremely unfortunate losses, including the infamous 'technical' defeat of 1999. Traditionally, the B team performs better in the Varsity match, with several strong victories over the years.

In each year of its history, the society has run the hugely-popular Intercollegiate Tournament in Lent term, with each year providing stronger teams as University Challenge style quizzing grows in the university. It also proves to be a focal point of the year, with over 100 people regularly taking part.

After a year of events including bar quizzes in Newnham and New Hall, and evenings of 'Fifteen to One', Sean and Robin passed the baton to Ajay Gudka (Catz) who presided over a relatively quiet year. In 2001, Matt Mayer (Downing) and Lawrence Drever (Christ's) took over the reins for two years, taking the society to new strengths and obtaining important sponsorship, as well as introducing Jon, Steve and Paul to the committee.

In 2003 a new committee was formed, with Darren Khodaverdi as President, who is remembered for raising the standard against which all University Society Presidents are now judged. Jon Griffith (Magdalene) adopted his role of treasurer, whilst Paul Kellaway (Fitzwilliam) took on the Mandelsonesque position of Committee Member without portfolio whilst Steven Burgess (Emma) snatched time away from the Archimedeans to be webmaster.

2004-2005 saw the welcome arrival of Christopher Handscomb (King's) as Secretary and Hannah Cahill (Fitzwilliam) as 'Women's Officer'. Paul was elevated to the exalted heights of 'Question Master' whilst Jon (now at Corpus!) continued as Treasurer. The committee initiated weekly Pub Quizzes at the Bun Shop which proved hugely popular. They also strove to increase the range of events run by QuizSoc by running quizzes for the University Development Office and numerous college JCRs. Finally, 2005 saw the introduction of the new website, designed and updated by the Secretary, Christopher Handscomb.

The committee of 2005-2006 saw an international element added to the committee with the arrival of Paul Beecher (Sidney Sussex) as 'Intelligence Officer' and Jacob Hupart (New York via Pembroke) as our very own 'International Affairs' officer. And finally, no quiz society committee would be complete without a president who upholds the fine tradition of not doing anything. Indeed, this year a president was elected who was not even a member of the University - Hayley West (Hughes Hall alumna) was a very welcome addition to the team.

2008-09 saw Simon Spiro (Pembroke) and Joshua Karton (Pembroke) take the helm with continued help from Dr Beecher. Quizzes continued at the Cricketers. The highlight of the year was undoubtedly the CU800 quiz, a special tournament between the university's departments to celebrate 800 years of Cambridge University, with a finals evening in the Union Society chaired by Clive Anderson. The year even saw the committee's appearance on the BBC Quiz Only Connect, progressing all the way to the final.

Simon and Paul continued the good work during 2009-10 with more popular evenings at the Cricketers and the return of the ICC.

The ICC and Varsity quzzes continued in 2010-11 under Alex Guttenplan (Emmanuel), Thomas Grinyer (Homerton) and David Murray (Homerton). The new committee of Alex Guttenplan (Emmanuel) and Samuel Cook (Selwyn) took over for 2011-12, with pub quizzes starting at the Mitre, following a brief stint at the Cambridge Union.

2012-13 saw a resurgent quiz society, with the new expanded committee of Samuel Cook (Selwyn), Dan West (Downing), Georgina Phillips (Downing) and Johann Kamper (Homerton), later joined by Andrew Chapman (Downing) and Nirali Patel (Selwyn) continuing the society's previous programme of events and adding in new ones, including the first Annual Dinner.

In 2013-14, the committee continued under the leadership of Filip Drnovsek Zorko (Trinity). It continued to run the ICC, sent teams to national tournaments and notably won Varsity for the first time in history, the team of Filip, Alex Guttenplan (Emmanuel), Anthony Martinelli (Caius) and John Gallagher (Emmanuel) triumphing over Oxford 420-395! Filip was also a member of the Trinity College team who won Series 43 of University Challenge, defeating Somerville College, Oxford in the final by a score of 240-135, the first in consecutive victories for Cambridge colleges.

2014-15 saw a completely new committee, very capably led by Tomas Kesek (St John's) and supported by Evan Lynch (Christ's), Oscar Powell (Peterhouse), Alastair Thomas (Churchill) and Rodrigo Lanza-Munoz (Emmanuel). The ICC was won by Oscar's Peterhouse team, defeating Christ's 270-210 in the final. It was the largest tournament in the society's history with 36 teams entering, a record that will hopefully be beaten in 2015/16!

Teams representing Cambridge entered national tournaments such as ACF Fall, Oxford Open, Minnesota Undergraduate Tournament and the British Student Quiz Championships, although we were unable to defend our Varsity title, losing to Oxford 420-255. Gonville and Caius were victorious in Series 44 of University Challenge, captained by Anthony Martinelli and defeating Magdalen College, Oxford 255-105 in the final, courtesy of a commanding performance by Ted Loveday where he answered no fewer than eleven starter questions!

The Constitution

We are required by the university to publish the constitution. It is available online here.