Prediction League Rules
1. General Information
I am not going to handle more than 32 players. Not that I expect to get this many people to join, but there needs to be a certain cutoff just in case. If there's a run for the prediction league, longtime VGC members and people who participated in last year's prediction league will be chosen over newbies. But again, I don't think there will be that much interest.
I will enter all predictions, results, standings and playoffs in a Google spreadsheet. The link will permanently reside at the top of the first post in this thread and will also be posted in the weekly updates for results and standings throughout the thread.
2. Weekly Predictions
2.1 Deadline: The official deadline for predictions is one hour before kickoff time of any given game, because VGC lacks proper timestamps. Usually any predictions that were submitted between the official deadline and kickoff time will also be accepted, but there's no guarantee that they will be verifiable as being submitted in time, so try to not push your luck too far. In case you miss the Thursday Night Game (which is bound to happen to some people) or any of the following games, it/they will be recorded as a loss for you, but you can still predict the remaining games of the week. You are allowed to change your already submitted predictions before a deadline, but you must make a new post, because VGC has no notifications that a post was edited. Preferably you quote your previous predictions and point out what you want to have changed.
2.2 Reminders: You will receive a PM notifying you about the start of the prediction league. I don't want anyone to quit because they happened to miss the first week. People who are about to miss a second week in a row will also receive a PM. Beyond that, there won't be any reminders.
2.3 Predictions: Predictions can be posted in this thread or you can send me a PM, if you prefer it that way. The second post in this thread will contain a table with all games for each given week and I plan to update it on Mondays, so each week you have about three days to post your predictions. It's also allowed to drop a short post with your Thursday Night pick and make the rest of your predictions later. Quote the second post of this thread or copy-paste the table and fill in your predictions. Put down a "1", if you think the team listed first will win, or a "2", if you think the team listed second will win. If for whatever reason you think a game will end with a tie, write down a "T".
2.4 Tie-Breaker: For the Monday Night Game you have to predict by how many points the team of your choice will win. This serves tie-breaking purposes for the weekly contest. The Monday Night Game will always be in the bottom right corner of the table in the second post and marked with "by X". For example, if the matchup is CHI-DET and you think that Detroit is going to win by 7 points, you enter "DET by 7". In Week 16 and 17 the tie-breaker game will be chosen by me. It's going to be a game where a lot is at stake, preferably for both teams involved.
2.5 Changing Your Predictions: As pointed out in 2.1, you are allowed to change your predictions before a deadline. You must make a new post (or send me a PM) for it to be accepted. However, you are NOT allowed to force a tie in the weekly results with a change. The spreadsheet with everyone's predictions can be viewed by everyone and after the second batch of Sunday games someone might want to adjust their Sunday Night and Monday Night predictions to be in a more favorable position for the tie-breaker. This is a gamble in and of itself, because the chances to gain are usually equal to the chances to lose, hence why it is allowed. Taking the safe path and forcing a tie will not be accepted, so your initial prediction will remain intact with or without my notice.
2.6 Cheating: Anyone who gets caught cheating, whether that is on one, several or all games in a given week, will go 0-X for the week ("X" being equal to the number of games during the week in question).
3. Weekly Results
3.1 The Winner: The player who predicted the winners of the most games correctly wins the week in the prediction league.
3.2 Tie-Breaker: If two or more people predicted the most games correctly, whoever predicted the winner of the Monday Night Game correctly comes out on top. If there's still a tie, then the person who made the better prediction for the points differential between the two teams of the Monday Night Game wins. - Example 1: CHI-DET ends with a win for DET by 10, Guy A predicted DET by 7, Guy B predicted DET by 12. Guy B wins, because he was off by only 2 points while Guy A was off by 3 points. - Example 2: CHI-DET ends with a win for CHI by 7, Guy A predicted DET by 7, Guy B predicted DET by 12. Guy A wins, because he was off by only 14 points while Guy B was off by 19 points.
3.3 Tie-Breaker Part 2: It won't be applied to players outside of the top 5 for the week. Everyone outside of that range who is tied with someone else will be simply listed as the same rank for the week in alphabetical order.
3.4 Prediction Points (PP): The top 5 each week will be rewarded with prediction points (7, 5, 4, 3, 2). In case of a tie, points will be split evenly. For example, if two players are tied for third, then the PP for rank 3 and 4 will be combined and divided by 2, giving each player 3.5 PP for the week. All players who achieve a top 5 worthy record for the week, but land outside of the top 5 due to the tie-breaking procedure will be rewarded with 1 PP. This means that if the fifth ranked player had a record of 11-5, then everyone below him with a record of 11-5 will also get rewarded.
3.5 Perfect Result (PR): Any player, regardless of their record for the week, has a chance to snatch 1 PP for predicting the winner and the points difference of the Monday Night Game correctly.
3.6 Perfect Week (PW): If a player manages to predict the winners of all games in a given week correctly, he will be rewarded with 3 PP. If more than one player happens to have a perfect week, then all of them will get the full value of points. PP for perfect weeks will not be split up like the points for the top 5.
4.1 The Rankings: Players will be ranked based on their amount of correctly predicted games over the course of the season. Whoever predicted the most games across 17 weeks correctly wins the prediction league.
4.2 Tie-Breaker: If two or more players are tied, then the prediction points come into play. Whoever has more of them will rank higher in the overall standings. - If there's still a tie, then the player who managed to achieve the most weekly #1 spots comes out on top. - Next step: Higher amount of #2 spots. - Same procedure for the ranks 3 through 6. - Perfect results have no weight in this tie-breaking procedure, neither do perfect weeks. - If there's still a tie, then it remains a tie for the time being. Players will be listed as the same rank in alphabetical order.
4.3 Tie-Breaking Procedure in Week 17: In the final week of the season all ties will be broken. If the above steps don't lead to a result, then the player who ranked higher in the Week 17 predictions comes out on top. - In case this happens to have been a tie between these players as well, we'll go back to Week 16 and so on and so forth. There will be no tied positions whatsoever at the end of the season, because the seeding for the playoffs needs to be determined.
5.1 Bonus Round: Basically, the playoffs are a bonus round at the end of the season. We will have a winner of the regular season prediction league as well as a winner of the playoff round.
5.2 Number of Contenders: The default number is 16, but I can easily adjust to playoff modes with fewer people, in case that we don't manage to reach 16 eligible players.
5.3 Eligible Players: The top 16 players of the regular season who have not missed more than two full weeks of predictions are eligible. This means you are allowed to miss a total of 32 regular season games (12.5%). Once you missed 33 or more, you won't be able to qualify for the playoffs anymore.
5.4 Seeding in the Wild-Card Playoffs Round: Highest seed vs. lowest seed. #1 vs. #16, #2 vs. #15 and so on and so forth. The winner proceeds to the next round, the season ends for the loser.
5.5 Predictions: You have to predict the results, not just the winners of the four games. In other words, predictions have to be made in the same way as for the Monday Night Games. You have to send me your predictions via PM. Well, technically you can post them in this thread, but why would you want to let your opponent know what you are predicting? In case I am eligible for the playoffs, a third person will receive both mine and my opponent's predictions to make it fair game for everyone involved.
5.6 The Home Field Advantage: The higher seed in each matchup will enjoy a home field advantage in the playoffs. It will only apply in a tie-breaking procedure, otherwise it is useless. It is calculated as follows: The higher seed's correctly predicted regular season games minus the lower seed's correctly predicted regular season games (Example: Records of 185-71 and 168-88 means 185 minus 168 which equates 17), and the higher seed's PP minus the lower seed's PP, divided by 2, always rounded up if the result has a decimal. (Example: 13 minus 8 equates 5, divided by 2 equates 2.5. Result rounded up to 3). These two numbers will be added up (Example: 17 plus 3 equates 20). - If the lower seed's PP are higher than the higher seed's PP, then the value for this number will be set to 0. After all, it's called a home field advantage, not a home field disadvantage.
Home field advantage = (correct picks of the higher seed in the regular season - correct picks of the lower seed in the regular season) + ([PP of the higher seed - PP of the lower seed] /2)
5.7 The Winner: Whoever predicted more winners of the Wild-Card playoff games correctly proceeds to the next round.
5.8 Tie-Breaker: If both players predicted the same amount of winners correctly, then the points differentials (meaning how far the players have been off with their predictions) for all four games will be added up. For the player who holds the home field advantage, the number of his HFA will be substracted from his points differential total. In other words, this player has more room for error in his predictions. After the HFA is applied, the player who is closer to the number 0 is the winner. - If there's still a tie, then the player who holds the HFA (in other words, the higher seed) goes to the next round.
5.9 Failure to Show up: If one player of a matchup forgets to submit any predictions while the other player predicts at least one game, then their opponent basically earns a bye week. If both players forget to submit any predictions, then both will be eliminated. Instead the best loser (the lucky loser) of the current playoff round will move on.
5.10 Lucky Loser: This rule will only be applied under special circumstances. Either in a playoff round that starts with fewer than 16 players, or in a situation where both players of a matchup fail to show up. In order to determine a lucky loser, the results of all losers in a given playoff round will be compared. Highest record and best points differential total are the things that matter. Players who enjoyed an HFA will have their non-HFA points differential total used in this comparison. - If there's still a tie, then the higher seed will go to the next round.
5.11 Divisional Playoffs Round: Highest remaining seed vs. lowest remaining seed. The rules are exactly the same as in the Wild-Card Playoffs round.
5.12 Championship Games: Highest remaining seed vs. lowest remaining seed. The rules remain largely the same, the exception being that the calculated HFA will be divided by 2 (the result will always be rounded up if it has a decimal), because there are only two playoff games instead of four.
5.13 Super Bowl: The two remaining players duke it out. No home field advantage for the higher seed. Predict the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII and by how many points they will win. Tie-breaking procedure, if both players picked the winner correctly or incorrectly:
1. Better prediction for the points difference between the two teams.
2. Better playoff record. All playoff predictions of the two players will be tallied up and compared. First the record, then the points differential totals without applying any HFAs. The holder of this advantage will be announced prior to the Super Bowl.
3. Better regular season position. In other words, the higher seed wins.
6. Bracket Predictions
6.1 General Information: Bracket Predictions are another separate contest in this prediction league. The deadline is the kickoff of the season opening game. Usual rules for submitting predictions apply. Changes can be made before the deadline, but a new post is required.
6.2 Brackets: Here is a list of what a full bracket prediction contains:
1. Rankings of the eight divisions (32 entries).
2. AFC playoff teams (6). Your four predicted divisional winners will go into this by default.
3. NFC playoff teams (6). Same as above. I should add that seeding doesn't matter.
4. AFC teams in the divisional playoffs (4).
5. NFC teams in the divisional playoffs (4).
6. AFC teams in the championship game (2).
7. NFC teams in the championship game (2).
8. Super Bowl teams (2).
9. Super Bowl winner (1).
That's a total of 59 predictions.
6.3 Scoring: 1 point for each correct entry, so a possible maximum of 59 points. As mentioned in the list above, playoff seeding will be irrelevant. It's hard enough to predict playoff teams as it is.
6.4 Tie-breaker: If two or more people are tied, then the player who predicted the Super Bowl winner correctly comes out on top. If that doesn't break the tie, then the preceding playoff round will be the difference-maker (i.e. who predicted more teams in that round correctly). This step is repeated until the tie is broken or till there are no preceding playoff rounds. In case of the latter, it will remain a tie.