Sunday, September 7, 2008


When I first started hunting, NOP (Number of People) was the fad, used by many CoCs as the top tie-breaker. On the surface, it seemed fair to negate the advantage of teams having more passengers in the vehicle, for after all teams choosing to run four have additional brains & extra pairs of eyes, right?

Wrong! Let me tell you why, in my opinion.

Firstly, this regulation actually disadvantaged teams choosing to run four for the sake of team unity. In those days, it was common for teams to take advantage of this regulation, by strategizing to run three purposefully especially for the historically "easier" CoCs. Why you ask? Clearly at the end of the day, when teams do tie on perfect scores the team running with less passengers will win. Extra pairs of eyes would also become less of a factor during these hunts, and the teams running with less heads will have all the time in the world to seek out the signages.

Secondly, the trendy term of "resourcefulness" widely accepted in the hunting circles, but shunned by a few. Would you still consider it a disadvantage for teams running with less heads, if, being resourceful they choose to collaborate with fellow participants from other teams? Or being resoureful, they choose to employ those not hunting to help crack that challenging toughie or that mind-boggling treasure, that could be crucial in deciding the final positions? Call me old-fashioned, but I follow the old-school value of pride, winning through your own pair of hands or heads for that matter!

Thirdly, with the internet boom and fairly affordable mobile internet rates offered, is it really a disadvantage running with less heads? Back then when internet mobility was rare, it was the norm for teams to carry loads of books (a full set of encyclopedia for example) in the trunk of their cars. And an extra team mate could help with the reference, or provide an extra angle to general knowledge. But these days, most teams, have discarded these cumbersome books in favour of a hand-held internet device.

Gladly, NOP, is no longer the fad these days, with many CoCs deciding to replace this regulation with other fairer tie-breakers. But we still see NOP popping up now and again. No disrespect to CoCs, but I hope that one day, NOP will totally vanish from our hunting terminology.

Share with me your opinions.


Claire said...

My 2-cents as a hunter:

Whether having 4 to a team is more advantageous than having 3 members, I'd think that depends on the hunt. If it's a "spot-the-tiny-signs" hunt, then yes, an extra pair of eyes at the location makes a HUGE difference, if that extra pair of eyes belongs to a hunter too.

But in some hunts which are relatively "less tough", having 3 or 4 members do not make much of a difference, in my humble opinion.

That said, I, too, do not fancy having "Number of Persons" in a team as a tie-breaker. There are better tie-breakers available...

BlogCe5nT said...

Treasure hunts should be about promoting integrity and not perfecting the art of abusing it.

As pointed out, the NOP + "Level of Hunt" combination is what makes the entire game/sport contentious. So, it will be in everyone's interest to take it out of the equation once and for all.

I really hope to have seen the last days of NOP as tie-breakers.

I applaud those COCs who have made efforts to deliberately avoid the use of NOPs though they have used them in the past - and encourage those who are still struggling - to make the effort to exclude them totally. Just break your ties with NOP - and let other ways make the ties work!

After this, we can then then move on and concentrate on promoting NOP as "No Outside Persons"!

Cornelius Koh said...

In the circumstances given in the above post I can agree that adopting the NOP as a tie breaker isn't such a good idea. But perhaps depending on the format of the hunt, teams might still find at least some advantages having more passengers.

One possible scenario is where limited time is allocated for the hunt, against severals tasks to be executed by teams. We have all been in situations where the number of passengers does matter. Sometimes, especially when running short on time, for example, a team might find it better to split up into halves of 2 members each, i.e. 2 will do the walk hunt on the ground floor; the other 2 will tackle the 1 flr. Or perhaps 2 will do the games while the other 2 scan the closeby sector for the answers. It is debatable whether a new team will actually perform better if they split up though.

It is inconclusive whether a team comprising only 2 or 3 will be substantially disadvantaged in such hunts, but I'd imagine there must be a difference, especially for the new teams.