Buzzer Systems

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If you have read our guide on developing as a team, you know that time spent with your team on the buzzer is invaluable for improving recall, buzzer speed, and lateral thinking. There are several options for physical buzzers, websites you can use on your mobile phones, and the remote platforms Zoom and Discord. In this guide, we present the advantages and disadvantages of each method and the options that are available to you so that you can make the best choice for your team.

Physical Buzzer Systems

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The traditional way to practice is, of course, to use a physical wired buzzer set consisting of eight to ten buzzers. Practice sessions using physical buzzers have the advantage of minimizing distractions and being most similar to the way in-person tournament games are played.

However, these buzzer sets often cost hundreds of dollars. If your practices have more than ten players, you may have to buy multiple sets. The fact that the sets are wired makes them highly accurate in determining who buzzed in first, but they require time to assemble and disassemble. This year, there is the added concern over maintaining social distance. Many schools are prohibiting after-school activities of any kind. Here are some buzzer sets that are available.

Term Cost/Number of Buzzers
Anderson Officiator™ Table-top $265 for 10 buzzers
$280 with case
Anderson Officiator™ Hand-held $290 for 10 buzzers
$305 with case
Zeecraft Challenger I $465 for 8 buzzers
$530 for 10 buzzers
$580 for 12 buzzers
Zeecraft Challenger II $565 for 8 buzzers
$630 for 10 buzzers
$675 for 12 buzzers
Zeecraft Challenger III $675 for 8 buzzers
$740 for 10 buzzers
$785 for 12 buzzers
Zeecraft Discover $355 for 8 buzzers
$360 for 10 buzzers
$375 for 12 buzzers
Zeecraft Challenger Wireless $705-895 for 8 buzzers
$805-995 for 10 buzzers
$905-1095 for 12 buzzers
QuikPro Basic $289 for 8 buzzers
$399 for 10 buzzers
$428 for 12 buzzers
QuikPro Deluxe $489 for 8 buzzers
$569 for 10 buzzers
$618 for 12 buzzers
BuzzerSystems.com 10-Player Quiz System $320 for 10 buzzers
Buzzersystems.com Traditional Buzzer System: Box Buzzers $299 for 8 buzzers
$349 for 10 buzzers
$399 for 12 buzzers
Buzzersystems.com Traditional Buzzer System: Handheld Buzzers $379 for 8 buzzers
$449 for 10 buzzers
$519 for 12 buzzers
Buzzersystems.com Traditional Buzzer System: Handheld Buzzers with Big Lights $419 for 8 buzzers
$499 for 10 buzzers
$579 for 12 buzzers
Buzzersystems.com Line-Up II $595 for 8 buzzers
$675 for 10 buzzers
$750 for 12 buzzers
The Judge by Electramatic, Inc. Call (612)-781-9588 for more information

Web-based Buzzers, Zoom, and Discord

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An alternative to physical systems is to use a website on your mobile phone. Two options that will work on both Android and iOS devices are JustBuzz.in and BuzzIn.live. In both of these sites, the reader/moderator hits “Create” (on BuzzIn.live) or “Create room” (on JustBuzz.in) to receive an access code. The players can join the room using the access code and then use their phones as buzzers. The reader will be able to see who buzzed first. Note that the free tier of BuzzIn.live only allows for eight players to join a game at one time. JustBuzz.in has no restriction on the number of players.

A sample BuzzIn.live moderator page; moderators can see which player buzzed and the site uses the same lock-out system that physical buzzers use.

This is a free alternative to physical buzzers for in-person practices where every team member has a mobile phone with an Internet connection. For remote practices, though, it requires the additional setup of a platform in which the players can hear the moderator read the questions over an online voice chat. Many have taken this a step further and use Zoom or Discord to integrate the reading and buzzing functions into one platform. Players can hear the questions over the Zoom call or over a Discord voice channel and they can buzz in the chat channel.

This has the downside of introducing network latency, the speed of each player’s Internet connection, as a factor in determining whose buzz appears first when multiple players know the answer at the same time. For many teams, though, the benefits of having one platform that can be used to run a fully integrated practice session outweigh the disadvantages.

The Official AQBL Buzzers for Online Play

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As part of Ruleset B, all players at the ONCT are required to use our official game controller buzzer (or some other equivalent that can be held up).

While most buzzers will probably work with Discord, the only one that has been tested by the AQBL and is guaranteed is the Logitech F310 Gamepad. Luckily, these are also relatively cheap, costing between 15 and 25 dollars per buzzer. We also rent out sets of these buzzers for a nominal fee; contact us for details.

In order to use these buzzers, you also need the free JoytoKey utility, which can be downloaded here. It might nag you sometimes for a donation, but it is not necessary; it will work no matter what. Download the AQBL configuration file here and place it in the %userprofile%/Documents/Joytokey folder. Plug your controller into a USB port and it should work immediately. For support, [contact us].