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We're organising an event where one of the activities is that visitors get different assignments for which they will get points, and then, at the end of the event, the person who has scored the most points will get a small prize. Now I'm wondering whether I could use "scoring contest" for this? I've checked both my bilingual and my monoloingual dictionaries without any luck; when I google "scoring contest" I get a lot of hits, but none that make me certain I can use it in this context. If "scoring contest" doesn't work, what would you suggest instead?

The point is precisely that participants score points for the various assignments, and not for doing the assignments well, but just for doing them – the word we use in my own language translates as "score hunt" or "points hunt". Simply using "contest" seems to imply that the contest is about doing something specific, and doing it well (e.g., "who can build the biggest sand castle?"; "who makes the best pie?" etc), whereas this is really just about collecting points...

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    "Scoring contest" doesn't really make sense, because all contests are scored, and when you say "X contest" it means "a contest where contestants are scored on their ability to do X". I think most of the Google results you have found for scoring contest refer to scoring as meaning "writing a film score".
    – stangdon
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 15:57
  • @stangdon Yes, you're absolutely right :) And a few in a football context as well (which obviously refers to scoring goals). But what would you suggest I use instead? Or is your point that there is no word other than "contest" for this? Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 16:52
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    @stangdon I've edited my OP now, to make it a bit clearer Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 17:08

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So we're looking for an equivalent term to "scavenger hunt", but where it isn't a race to find things, but a race to complete as many activities as possible.

I can't think of a term like that, nor even come up with one that clearly has that meaning.

So in your position, I'd invent a completely novel word, like "Funathon" or "Crazy Race", and then describe to the participants what that entails. Having a novel name can even make it more fun to participate in.

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  • Exactly! That's exactly what it is. I'll think about inventing a new word for it – thanks! Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 17:43

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