This page is a complete guide to running your own session of team building Jeopardy.
Team Building Jeopardy challenges employees to a battle of knowledge through a quiz-show format. Jeopardy is one of the most popular game shows of all time. Many of us grew up shouting answers at the television and fantasizing about competing on the show. Not to mention, the game has some pretty memorable sound effects. While most of us will never meet host Alex Trebek in person, we can fulfill our game show dreams by playing a spirited round of the game at home.
By the way, we have an entire list of fun team building games for the office to try, too.
This article includes:
- How to setup a game of team Jeopardy
- Rules and guidelines
- How to play team Jeopardy
Note: Jeopardy®️ is a registered trademark of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
How to setup a game of team building Jeopardy
Some organizations choose to hire a team building company to facilitate Jeopardy for them, but setting up and leading this game is a simple process.
1. Build a game board
The first step to setting up a game of Jeopardy is to build your game board. The most common platform for office Jeopardy is a slideshow software such as Google Slides or PowerPoint.
You can create your game board by following these steps:
- Design a slide with question categories and point totals for the first slide.
- Form question and answer slides, ordering by category.
- Link question slides to the point value slide on the first page.
2. Select your categories
Teams choose Jeopardy questions by selecting categories. You will provide six categories for your game. When choosing your categories, you can maximize the game’s educational potential by opting for industry specific topics. For instance, a medical practice might choose categories relating to rules or procedures, while a customer service department might highlight responses to specific situations.
Categories do not need to be work-specific, though. The object of team building Jeopardy is to facilitate interaction between players, so you can choose any topics you think may encourage group discussion and negotiation. Feel free to use the options on the lists below, or come up with your own alternatives.
Five of the most common Jeopardy categories:
- Potpourri, or miscellaneous
Five interesting Jeopardy categories:
- Social media history
- Heroes and Villains
- Puns and wordplay
- Coffee facts
- Gordon Ramsey Insults
You can also mix your categories to be a blend of work and non-work topics.
Note: You have an opportunity to bolster your shyer and less connected team members by choosing work or non-work categories in the outlier members’ areas of expertise.
3. Write your questions
Questions are the heart of Jeopardy. Ideally, you should select questions that incite conversation and inspire thought. Each category contains five questions of increasing difficulty.
Once you pin down categories, you can start searching for questions. If your categories are industry specific, then you can use office resources like guides and colleagues for inspiration. If you opt for general categories, then you can search for questions online.
Some sites offer premade Jeopardy questions, which is a convenient option if you are in a rush. You can find material for original questions by searching for the category and the word “facts.”
I recommend gathering all your questions, ordering each by level of difficulty, and assigning point values accordingly.
Once you decide categories and collect questions and answers, you can input all information into your game board.
4. Ready your equipment
Loading and testing your equipment is often an overlooked step, but an essential action. I have witnessed many a game of office Jeopardy delayed by a faulty projector or an updating laptop. Your team may grow bored or frustrated if you stretch out the meeting due to malfunctioning technology. You should research what cables or software you need to project your presentation and ensure you gather all necessary materials. I suggest setting up your technology at least half an hour before the meeting to give yourself time to troubleshoot. If for some reason your equipment does still glitch, then the best course of action is to move on to other activities or agenda points while you fix the issue so as not to waste the group’s time.
Rules and guidelines of team Jeopardy:
- Choose the category and the point value. For instance, “I will take American History for $400.”
- Discuss the response with teammates.
- Phrase all answers in the form of a question. For example, the reply to “the capital of Belarus,” would be “What is, Minsk?”
- If the team answers correctly, then the team earns the assigned point value and chooses another question.
- If the team answers incorrectly, then opposing teams have a chance to steal. If the stealing team answers correctly, then that team earns the points. If no teams answer correctly, then no teams earn points, but the turn shifts to a new team.
- Double Jeopardy means that a designated question is worth up to twice the assigned point value. Teams can bet up to twice the question’s points. If the answer is correct, then the team earns the points, but incorrect answers lose points.
- Once teams answer all questions on the board, teams compete in Final Jeopardy. All teams wager a certain amount of points up to the team point total. Teams write the answers and give to the game leader, or reveal the answers simultaneously with other teams. Correct answers earn the amount of points written with the answers, while incorrect answers lose those points.
- The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
How To Play Team Jeopardy
Because Jeopardy is a popular game show, you and your employees likely already know the rules. Nevertheless, here is a quick rundown of how to play team building Jeopardy.
1. Split your group into teams
Traditional Jeopardy has three contestants, but you can divide your group into two to four teams. Teams can range anywhere from three to twelve people. The larger the group, the less likely each team member participates equally, so be sure to cap your team size so that every member can contribute.
2. Decide team turn order
There are a couple of ways to decide which team plays first.
- Read a question, and the first team to “buzz in,” and answer correctly chooses to play or pass.
- Think of a number between one and ten and ask teams to guess
- Flip a coin
- Refer to work-related metrics like “team with least call-outs,” or “team with most seniority”
- Use a random generator program
If you play with more than two teams, then you will want to determine the order for all teams to eliminate confusion.
3. Allow teams to pick questions
The winning team picks the category and point value. You read the question. Allow teams thirty seconds to respond. If the original team answers correctly, you will award the appropriate points. If the answer is incorrect, opposing teams have a chance to steal. You can allow stealing teams an extra fifteen seconds to discuss.
After teams answer a question, remove the corresponding point value from the board.
If your application does not automatically tally points, be sure to keep track of points throughout the game, or appoint an official scorekeeper.
4. Double Jeopardy
You can designate one random question as a double Jeopardy question by marking the question slide. This question is worth up to twice the normal value. Teams can bet any number of points up to the question’s value. For instance, if a question is worth $800, a team can bet any value up to and including $800. Correct answers earn the designated number of points, but incorrect answers lose those points.
5. Final Jeopardy
Once the group answers all questions on the board, all teams will play Final Jeopardy. At this point, You will hand out paper and pens so that teams can write down answers. Each team also writes down a bet of a certain amount of points. Teams can wager all points, or just a portion.
Teams reveal answers at the same time. Groups who answered correctly win the bet number of points. Groups who chose incorrect answers lose the designated amount of points. The team with the most points wins.
Final thoughts on team building Jeopardy
Team Jeopardy encourages coworkers to pool knowledge. The majority of the group must agree on an answer very quickly, but the game still practices negotiation and persuasion skills.
Workplace Jeopardy also fosters leadership and cooperation, and can serve as an effective training tool. These are just some of the common benefits of team building.
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