‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Split Over Idea To Change How The Buzzers Work

There have been a lot of changes to Jeopardy! over the last few years, and now fans of the game show are suggesting another one. A Reddit thread started a discussion among Jeopardy! fans who have a suggestion about how to make the buzzer contestants use more fair. 

How Do ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Buzz In?

Jeopardy! contestants make use of a buzzer while they play the quiz game. First, the host reads the clue in full. After the host says the last syllable of the clue, a crew member offstage presses a button that lights up the side of the gameboard. This lets the contestants know their buzzers are “armed’ and ready to ring. 

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The first contestant who buzzes in after the clue has been read gets the opportunity to answer. However, if a contestant attempts to buzz in before the clue has been read in full, their buzzer signal is locked for a quarter of a second—a significant chunk of time when it comes to the lightning-fast rounds of the game show. 

One Reddit User’s Plan For A New Buzzer System

While this might seem like a fair way for the contestants to answer Jeopardy!’s questions, some have argued that the system isn’t fair for players who have trouble getting the hang of the buzzers, or just simply aren’t as quick as other players. 

One Reddit user provided their proposal for a new, more fair way for contestants to buzz in: “The question will be read in full, but players can signal that they want to answer during the period when the question is read. Once the question is done being read, and the lights come on as before, anyone who has signaled while the question was being read has an even chance of being called on.” 

Others Disagree: ‘I’m Okay With Returning Champions Having A Slight Edge’

However, many were not a fan of this plan. “Allowing a computer to randomly select which of two players buzzed in simultaneously as the one to answer first seems like a complaint waiting to be filed,” one person wrote. 

“Just like home court advantage in sports, I’m okay with returning champions having a slight edge,” someone else said. “Also everyone gets a practice game at the podiums before they play for real, so it’s not like anyone truly comes in cold. I see buzzing in as part of the game personally.”

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There is no official plan from the Jeopardy! showrunners about a change in the buzzer system, but it looks like most fans of the game show are fine with the way contestants buzz in now. 

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