In the timeless TV show Seinfeld, Jerry famously called George a “chucker”. They were playing a pick-up game of basketball, and George wasn’t getting passed the ball. The reason is because every time he got the ball, he would “chuck” a shot up.

In Bible Quiz, there are certain teams that are chuckers, too. On almost every single question, these teams will fly on the second word. Often, they will get questions, because a high percentage of questions can be hit there and answered correctly. However, these teams never can consistently win because they aren’t hitting for key words.

Now, I know more than a few teams that fit this mold. Most experienced coaches will tell you that quizzing this way is not a pattern for success. Why? First, because too many questions require a key word that comes just a little later. Second, because even if you can hit that early and know where the question is going, on Regional or National level difficulty, you can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to spit the entire completion and answer out in 30 seconds. Finally, the biggest reason this strategy is faulty is because generally these teams don’t master the material as well as others.

My more pressing concern is teaching my team to quiz against these teams. It can be maddening when every question is getting wailed on. These teams can usually be successful at the District level, but as the questions get more difficult, they almost always fade.

There are three keys for winning games against chuckers:

  1. Don’t Panic

    Your first instinct is to speed up to try and beat them to questions, but most often if you hit ahead of them you are not going to get the question right. Instead, you just keep playing your game. Eventually, the tide will turn against these teams.

  2. Keep the pressure on

    You need to practice making the right hits. There are lots of questions that are designed to be hit on the second word. You can’t just let all of those go to the opposition. You need to practice being aggressive on the right kinds of questions.

  3. Take advantage of mistakes

    Believe me, a chucking team will give up lots of turnovers, so you need to be prepared to capitalize on those mistakes. Take everything they give you, and let them dig their own grave.