9/10 (Nine out of Ten)

Number of players: cast

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 2 minutes

How 9/10 works

This is a competitive cast game that can be played as either winner-takes-all (for groups <6) or as teams (for groups 6+)

Premise:

The cast is given one minute of speaking time to present their arguments on a given subject. The catch: only one improvisor may speak at a time. Improvisors compete to be the improvisor speaking when the clock reaches zero.

Gameplay:

Host takes a suggestion from the audience for a subject of debate. One improvisor is selected to stand downstage “in the box,” to deliver an argument about that subject. Host begins a one-minute countdown, and the Speaker begins.

AT ANY TIME, the other improvisors may yell, “CHALLENGE!” When this happens, Host stops the clock, and gives the Challenger an opportunity to explain why the Speaker’s argument is invalid. If the Host rejects the challenge, the Speaker may continue and the countdown resumes.

If the Host accepts the challenge, the Challenger takes the box, becoming the new Speaker, and the old Speaker rejoins the rest of the cast to await an opportunity to challenge a future Speaker.

When the clock reaches zero, the game is over, and the improvisor or team represented in the box wins.

Tips for playing 9/10

  • This game is great for opening or closing a show.
  • Allow the first Speaker time to develop a line of thought before challenging them. Giving them 7–10 seconds to speak before challenging them makes it much easier for the audience to understand the game.
  • At the beginning, keep challenges realistic. Point out errors, caveats, or biases in the Speaker’s argument.
  • As the game progresses, challenges may become more zany. You may challenge the Speaker’s grammar, character, or even make up entirely untrue counterarguments.
  • Host can accept or reject challenges arbitrarily.
  • The game is enhanced when Host justifies every acceptance or rejection immediately.
  • This game relies on frantic pacing—there is no forgiveness for hesitation in this game.

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