Durham University

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Durham A.jpg
Durham, UK
Current President or Coach Kai Madgwick
National championships none
NAQT Page link

Durham Quiz Society is a student organization at Durham University, in the north of England. Like most UK quiz societies, it hosts weekly buzzer practices and pub quizzes across Durham's 17 (and counting) colleges.


Although a society had existed in some form for many years, with Durham entering some tournaments including several iterations of BSQC, it became a regular society on the UK circuit in the 2021-22 season under co-presidents Jack Griffiths and Emily Mitchell, encouraged by Oxford Brookes alumna and Law Masters' student Tya Raikundalia. Durham A lost by 5 points to Imperial A, 310-315 in the final of British Novice 2021, and Durham's University Challenge team then narrowly lost to Warwick A in the Winter Novice final two months later. They sent 2 teams to BSQC, with Durham A finishing 8th, and Durham B placing 17th and winning the bottom bracket. Durham signed Sam Moore from Princeton and Chicago, whose name was recorded as Sam Cooke at ACF Regs until it was edited in May 2023. Sam indeed does not know much about history, however does know biology as Durham A's science player.

Durham's quiz society massively expanded in the 2022-23 season under president Kai Madgwick, and started to hold buzzer practices. They had enough players for 3 teams to attempt to qualify for BSQC 2022-23, having sent two teams to British Novices 2022 who finished joint 3rd with each other. Durham A appeared at all student tournaments in the season with the exception of C++, although with Sam Moore soloing ACF Regionals 2023. The A team of Michael Kohn, Kai Madgwick, Sam Moore and Harry Scully (in his last student tournament) upset Edinburgh A to claim joint 4th place at BSQC 2023, their highest showing, and beat Warwick on the final tossup twice, once at BSQC 2023 and once at MRNA II. Durham's novices won the Spring Novice 2023 (a mirror of Canadian Novice) competition, beating York in the final.

Whilst Durham Quiz Society is not affiliated with the University's sometimes bizarre University Challenge selection criteria, the university has enjoyed considerable success on the show. Durham currently lies in joint 3rd place in all-time wins at 3 wins, with the most recent win coming in 2023 in a team featuring quizbowl players Harry Scully (likened to Brad Pitt by Twitter) and Alex Radcliffe, now at KCL.

A Durham team consisting of Michael Kohn, Kai Madgwick, Sam Moore and Isaiah Silvers won the 2024 ACF Regionals, beating Oxford A in an advantaged final. This was the first non-novice tournament win for Durham. The same team placed highly at 2023 ACF Winter, losing the final to Edinburgh A.

The next iteration of Durham's novices once again won Winter/Spring Novice 2024 in York, beating Warwick in an advantaged final.

Current Players

Durham is also noted for its significant number of LGBTQ+ quizzers.

Notable Former Players