Thursday, October 01, 1998


Rules for Officially Sanctioned Zoom (Waterloo Edition)

Table Of Contents

1.0 Introduction
1.1 What is Zoom?
2.0 The Game
2.1 The Preamble
2.2 The Words
2.3 Infractions
2.4 Calling Infractions
3.0 Game Types
3.1 Open Zoom
3.2 Elimination Zoom
3.3 Tournament Zoom
4.0 Songs
5.0 Advanced Zoom Play
5.1 The Words
Glossary of Terms
Appendix A: Tournament Guidelines
Appendix B: Zoom King of the Ring — Past Championship Teams

1.0 Introduction

Zoom is a game for at least two players. Five is immeasurably better, six to ten is optimal. More than ten often results in overly long periods of inactivity for most players. It takes time: a good Zoom session will occupy an entire evening. Zoom is a social game, it is a gentlemen's game, but above all, it is a drinking game. Besides the players, heroic amounts of beer are required.

1.1 What is Zoom?

Zoom is essentially an ongoing conversation, a verbal game of tag or hot potato, within a group of players. The players sit in a circle of sufficient circumference to allow each player to easily see all others. The list of words that may be used is finite and well-defined. The game is started by one player reciting the preamble. At any given time, it is exactly one player's turn to speak (unless players are engaged in an advanced version of multi-session Zoom). The conversation continues until: a player speaks out of turn, uses an illegal word, misspeaks a word, or violates the rules associated with the word spoken. This player must drink, and is then responsible for restarting the game. If more then one player misspeaks the person that caused this occurrence is granted respect and gets to start the next round.

2.0 The Game
2.1 The Preamble

a) Any game of Zoom must begin with the preamble. There are only two correct ways to begin any session of Zoom.
i) When starting the first game the correct preamble to speak is, "Zoom the Zoom prepare to consume...Zoom (looking at the person you wish to Zoom)."
ii) If the game is being continued, for whatever reason, the correct preamble is, "Resume the Zoom, prepare to consume…Zoom (looking at the person you wish to Zoom)."

b) It is customary for the most experienced or most respected player to start the first round, however, any mutually agreeable method may be used to select the first player to preamble.

c) It is the player whose infraction ended the previous round that must preamble for the next round. In the case of multiple infractions, it is the player that spoke prior, and in essence caused the two players to infract, that starts the next round. This is called respect since they managed to cause at least two players to infract.

2.2 The Words

a) This is the complete list of words used in officially sanctioned Zoom play. Each word has a verbal and a visual component. That is, each word has a way it is pronounced and certain limitations as to what you may do while speaking the word. The words and meaning are as follows:

Zoom (Zoo-mm)
i. The person you look at, whether they are looking at you or not.
ii. You must look at the player for the entire length of the word.

Schwartz (Shh-war-t-sss)
i. Back to the person who just spoke to you.

Vittamin (Vv-it-a-min)
i. The person to your immediate right.

Profigliano (Pro-fig-lee-ann-oh)
i. The person to your immediate left.

b) Zoom is the only word that requires you to look at the person you are speaking too. You can look wherever you like for the other three words because it is the responsibility of the other players to know where the game is within the circle and if the word spoken is directed at them.

c) Another commonly used term that is not part of Zoom play but exists during the lulls in action is ‘Social’. When someone calls a ‘social’ everyone must acknowledge the ‘social’, raises their glasses, call out in one voice ‘SOCIAL’ and take a healthy swig.

For words used in advanced zoom play please refer to section 5.0 of this manual.

2.3 Infractions

This is a list of common infractions and their meanings that could occur during a game of Zoom. Unless otherwise stated the outcome is a stoppage in play, the player committing the infraction must drink and start the next round. Examples are cited where further clarification may be required.

a) Failing to speak the preamble in its entirety
i. One cannot stop speaking the preamble once they have begun.
ii. No matter what happens do not stop until you have Zoomed someone. Example – If you are on fire, finish the preamble, then stop drop and roll.

b) Taking too much time to respond
i. You must respond as quickly as possible.
ii. Depending on the general skill level of the group of players this time frame can vary.
iii. 'Rookie Time' (a longer then normal time span for response) is often rewarded to those who are new to the game.
iv. This is left to the discretion of the others in the circle.
v. If you take too much time to respond to the initial Zoom spoken directly after the preamble an 'Ace' is awarded to the person that caught you off guard.

c) Speaking out of turn
i. If you speak and it is not your turn you have committed an infraction.

d) Mispronouncing a word
i. The words should be stated clearly and correctly.
ii. Allowances should be made for regional accents.
iii. Multiple syllables cannot be separated by more than the briefest pause.
iv. Vowels count.
v. Intonation and accenting are up to the speaker. Example – "PRO-fig-li-ano",
"pro-FIG-li-ano" and "profigliano?" are all legal.
vi. As this game does involve consuming alcohol, people may begin to slur their words as the game progresses. No provision for this should be allowed. It is the duty of the player to try harder or remove them self from the game. If it is deemed that the slur is just too ridiculous, an infraction has been committed and should be called. It is the duty of a good Zoom player to make such a call to uphold the integrity of the game, despite the risk involved if a verdict of "woo" is returned.

e) Inadequate visual component (AKA ' wandering eyes')
i. Eye contact cannot start on one player and end somewhere else while speaking the word Zoom.
ii. Visual contact must be made for the entire pronunciation of a "Zoom"
iii. It is the responsibility of all players to make sure they can see everyone else. "I could not see", is not an acceptable excuse.
iv. It is completely legal to Zoom someone who has turned away from the speaker.

f) Zooming a Zoom
i. You cannot Zoom a Zoom.
ii. If someone Zooms you, you cannot Zoom them back, but you are free to Zoom anyone else in the game.

g) Three in a row (AKA 'shuffle board')
i. No word may be used three times in a row.
ii. The player using the word for the third time is the person who is charged with the infraction.

h) Tennis
i. Speaking the same word two times consecutively to the same person is considered tennis. Example – you say Vittamin, the player on your right says Profigliano, and you say Vittamin again. You have played tennis and have committed an infraction. You are free to say the same word as long as more then one player has spoken since your last turn.
ii. It is not tennis if you speak a different word that has the same effect. Example – you say Vittamin, the player on your right says Profigliano, and you say Schwartz. You have not committed an infraction. Yes in this case Schwartz has the same result as saying Vittamin again, but since it is a different word it is not considered tennis.

i) Overuse of 'Social'
i. Overuse of the 'social' results in social calling privileges being revoked.
ii. This is decided by the group using the 'Woo' and 'Boo' system.

2.4 Calling Infractions

The 'Woo' and 'Boo' System
i. Infractions are often subtle, and sometimes blatant.
ii. Any player can call an infraction.
iii. If the majority of players agree that the infraction was committed, the player called must drink. If not, the caller(s) drinks.
iv. The prescribed technique for taking this poll is for someone to say "Verdict?" and everyone responds with either "Boo" (with a thumbs-down) or "Woo" (with a thumbs-up).
v. This verdict refers to the actions of the player being called for the infraction, not to the merit of the caller's call.
vi. How much to drink? Zoom is a gentleman's game, and the rule of thumb is "a healthy swig".

3.0 Game Types
3.1 Open Zoom

Open Zoom is the standard form of Zoom played. The only rules that govern it are those set out by the nature of the game itself. This is often considered non-competitive Zoom, though in reality no game of Zoom is non-competitive. No scores are officially kept, though individuals tend to keep personal scores for bragging rights later in the night.

3.2 Elimination Zoom

Elimination Zoom, also known as strikes or simply elimination, is played with a system of strikes. When an infraction is committed a strike is awarded to the player committing the infraction. Each player is allowed only three strikes. Periodically, in between rounds, all players must show their strikes to the group. This is accomplished by displaying on your fingers how many strikes you have. Keeping track of strikes is done in accordance with the honour system. If any player acquires three strikes they must leave the Zoom circle. No players may enter a game of elimination Zoom once it has begun. The game must be played out until there are two players remaining. These two players must then continue playing in the much dreaded two man Zoom, until one player has acquired three strikes. The remaining player is deemed the winner.

3.3 Tournament Zoom

Please refer to Appendix A for complete tournament structure.

4.0 Songs

Throughout any session of Zoom depending on what has occurred there may be a song or "smart ass" comment that accompanies a stoppage in play. Below is a list of commonly accepted songs and phrases, but is by no means an exhaustive list. Use these as a starting point and create your own to compliment regional values.

a) Three Zooms in a row
i. "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom let's go back to my room, so we can do it all night, and you can make me feel right."
ii. Zoom Zoom Zoom (the Mazda ad song)
iii. "All I wanna do is Zoom a Zoom-Zoom-Zoom and a boom-boom."

b) The player that is Zoomed off of the preamble doesn't say anything (AKA 'Ace')
i. "One, two, three, ACE."

c) Someone is not paying attention and has missed their turn
i. Someone makes telephone ringing noise, the person says hello, and very promptly the person ringing the phone says Zoom…drink.
ii. "You've got mail!…Zoom"
iii. (make passenger pigeon noise and motion as if releasing the bird)…"Zoom!"
iv. "Telegram: Zoom (stop) Drink (stop)"

d) Playing tennis
i. "Oh my God, it's Pete Sampras ladies and gentlemen!" (specific tennis player may vary)
ii. "An-na Korn-a-cov-a (specific tennis player may vary. Make the stereotypical female tennis player 'grunt' often while speaking)

e) Any other infraction (provided it is not overused)
ii. "It's like I told you before, ohhhh, you can't do that."(Beatles lyric)

5.0 Advanced Zoom Play

Advanced Zoom play should not be attempted without proper supervision, as it has been known to cause severe intoxication if players are not up to the challenge.

5.1 The Words

a) This is the complete list of words used in officially sanctioned Advanced Zoom play. Each word, as in regular Zoom play, has a verbal and a visual component. That is, each word has a way it is pronounced and certain limitations as to what you may do while speaking the word. The words and meaning are as follows:

i. Two players to your left.

i. Two players to your right.

i. The person you point at.
ii. Does not require visual contact.
iii. Can only be spoken if the previous player said Shooter.

b) None of these words contain a visual component. You may look wherever you wish. It is good to note that Scores can only be used if the previous player to speak said Shooter.

Glossary of Terms

Ashmore: A premature infraction call on yourself when no one else witnessed its occurrence. Named after Mike Ashmore who has the habit of calling infractions on himself again and again during a Zoom secession.

Black-hole: An experienced player who can't play. They know what to say but the words (and the game) can't escape the black-hole they create around them. Named for Keiren Tracey who played often and won never.

Guelph (or a Quiff): Speaking out of turn but not completing the word.

Lubarsky: The action of stopping the preamble before you have finished speaking it. The person that causes you to do this has Lubarsky'd you. It is possible to Lubarsky yourself.

Pollard: Too many Socials. Named for Chris Pollard, who called a social between every round and sometimes even during rounds.

Rookie Time: A longer then normal time span allowed for response.

Shaw-Zoom: A quick 'Zoom' followed by looking away quickly but completing the word 'Zoom' on your original target. Named for Ryan Shaw, who mastered this form of Zooming and made many drink because of it.

Stevey Spike: Getting so drunk you can't remember your own name. Also refers to spilling ½ of a keg (NEVER DO THIS). Named for Mike Kerigan (Spikey Mike), who drank so much he blurted out, "I'm Stevey Spike!" It is still not known who Stevey Spike is.

Trashwhore: "Resume the Zoom prepare to consume… Schwartz." Named for Mike Ashmore, who during his first preamble began the round with these immortal words.

Vittamin Bitch: The person to your right, if they cannot return a pass for extended periods of time.

Vittamin Rut: When a player only says Vittamin for extended periods of time. Usually ends up in tennis.

Wandering Eyes: When a Zoom begins on one person and ends on another. This is usually settled by a verdict.

Zoom King of the Ring: An annual tournament where teams of six gather to determine who is King of the Ring.

Z chromosome: Zoom is a game generally dominated by male players. Female players that can compete at this level are said to possess the Z chromosome. Named in honour of Lauren Bocking, Andrea Wilson and, most recently, Angie Potts (AKA Monty) -- all women who possess the Z chromosome.

Appendix A: Tournament Guidelines

(As adapted from the rules written by Alyson Woloshyn for use at the 2001 Zoom King of the Ring Championship)


· Each team must consist of six players.
· Each team must have a team name.
· Each team must have a team captain.

Player Eligibility

· All players must be familiar with Zoom rules prior to start of tournament – no rookie time will be given.
· Players may only compete on one team.
· Players must provide their own beverage of choice during the playing period.

Tournament Structure

· Clarification of house rules will be communicated to all teams on day of tournament.
· Four, 15-minute maximum length, rounds of Zoom will played: three round robin and one playoff.
· In each round two members of each team will compete against two members from each of the other teams.
· A player is eliminated from the round once they have acquired three strikes.
· A round is complete when only two players are left or time expires, which ever comes first.


· Scores will be given to teams based on the position in which their players leave each round.
· First person to leave the round will receive no points for their team.
· Second person to leave the round will receive five points.
· Third person ten points and so on and so forth.
· The last two people in the round will each receive one hundred points for their team.

Championship Round Scoring

· During the Championship round all points will triple.
· Each team will be required to send two people into the round.
· These people will be chosen at the tournament.

The team with the highest score at the end of the three rounds will be declared the Zoom Champions.


· Respect is given to a player who causes two of their opponents to make a mistake at the same time.
· Should a player receive respect they will receive five points for their team.

Tie Breaker

· Should two teams be tied at end of the championship round, the teams will play against each other in a one strike rally point match.
· The team with the last person in the round will win the championship.
· Should at the end of the rally point match one player from each team remain, the team that earned more respect during the rally point match will win the championship.
· Should the respect totals be the same the team with the highest average score per round will be declared the champions.
· Should both these be the same – the Zoom tournament has been taken too seriously and players should relax and have a beer.

Tournament Convener

· The Tournament Convener has the power and authority to make any rules that will improve the Zoom tournament at their discretion.
· They will also be used to settle disputes and set the Zoom code of conduct that will be communicated on the day of the tournament.

Appendix B: Zoom King of the Ring — Past Championship Teams

2001 – The Mighty Drunks
Members: Kyle (captain), Andrew, Andrea, Reuben, Timmy, and Brent

2002 – Team competition not held; tournament reverted to individual Zoom. After many attempts the tie could not be broken (as Oktoberfest departure time had arrived) and two champions were declared.
Winners: Kyle and Paul

2003 – No Competition Held

2004 – No Competition Held

2005 –

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