Rules discussion - Ideas for the future (Wall of text alert)
First and foremost, I want to thank those of you on this board who have worked to make the contest something that is worth putting time into. Without the predictive efforts of you guys the contest wouldn't have much point
Secondly, I want to make it clear that I do not believe the contest is broken. I also want to make it clear that I am not complaining about the work I put in. I'm happy to do it to facilitate the contest. However, that doesn't mean that the contest cannot be improved.
Thirdly, this is not my contest. I do not own it, I am simply the current manager.
So I've had discussions with a few individuals (Augustus cheif among them) about the state of the contest and what we can do to continue to make it interesting and exciting for participants.
There's a few categories for the ideas:
Tools to allow users to better view past picks and trends
- One of the ideas I've had for a while is something that gives a user (you) better access to what you've done in the past. This would both give you the ability to look and see how many points you got on a given game as well as check out what others have picked.
- This would also remove some of the work on the host of the contest as users would no longer have to ask "Did I get credit for game x?" (perfectly valid question btw, I screw up sometimes). They could simply look it up and no.
- There would also be the idea of adding some reports to this allowing users to look up most popular picks, points getting trends and historical standings.
Currently the only thing stopping me from doing this is time. It wouldn't take much to dump the excel data into a database, but once I have it there I'd need to build a simple web form to look up and report on the data. I have no issues doing this, but I'm not going to spend the time if it's not valuable to people.
So the question is: Would something like this interest you? Would you use it? What features would you like to see?
Also: Is there someone out there who *wants* to do this for next year? (If you enjoy writing stuff like this, knock yourself out, I can give you a simple data format and you can truck away)
Modifications to the rules
First, here's the rules:
Originally Posted by Rules
1. Post the team which will win and by what score and who will score first Leaf goal. Write anything else you like so long as you make clear those three variables. If you pick the correct team you will receive 1 point. If you pick the correct score but the wrong team you will receive 2 points. If you pick both the correct score and the correct winning team you will receive 4 points. 2. 3 points for the name of Maple Leaf who scores the team's first goal of the game. The Joepeps!! rule: If you expect a shutout, pick the opponent player who scores first. But if a Leaf does score, that pick will not be counted. 3. If you pick everything correctly (team, score, goalscorer) - aka "Grand Salami" - you will get 8 points and the envy and resentment of all other players. 4. Picks must be made and posted by puck drop on game day. 5. Picks must be made in the prediction thread -- if you post them anywhere else, including the game day thread, they will not count. 6. No if...then picks (Detroit 8-2 if Giguere, Toronto 2-0 if Gustavsson, or Kulemin gets goal if he plays, otherwise Kaberle). 7. If want to modify your pick be sure to do so as an edit in the post of your original pick, Check that you haven't accidentally made two different picks in the same thread - you'd be surprised how often that happens. In those cases neither will count and you will have a "0" for that game. 8. Please don't waste my time and server space with ridiculous picks - these are not particularly kind to your reputation for high wit and will be ignored by me anyway, now and forever. 9. Scoreless shootout caveat: In the case of a scoreless shootout (0-0 through OT) the counted goal will be the first Leaf shooter to score. In the event no Leaf shooters score, the first opposing shooter to score will count under the Jeopeps!! rule
One of the things mentioned by a couple of users was the idea that "programmed" picks take some of the fun out of the game. What I mean by programmed picks is just the rote stuff rather than actual predictions. The extreme of this is what I did for 3/4 of the season. 3-2 Leafs, Kessel. I put 0 thought into this, it was just the default pick for the games and never changed until 3/4 of the way through the season when I got bored.
In the end this 3-2 Leafs, Kessel pick got Flare Knight to 10th place. Not bad for a pick that required 0 thought (No offense Flare Knight )
More generally there's a certain way to approach picking. The average NHL game has ~5.5 goals (Leafs games averaged 5.93 goals this season), meaning the average score is 3-2, with the odd 4-3 game thrown in there. Given that more than half of teams lose more 50% or more of their games (due to OT losses, 9/15 in the east lost half or more and 8/15 in the west) it's better to pick the opposition to win unless they're not a very good team/the leafs are on a roll. This year the Leafs finished 2 points below "500" but lost 47 games compared to winning 35. With nearly 1/4 of games going into OT, it also makes sense to keep with 1 goal game predictions and they're dramatically more common.
In addition, when the Leafs have a dominant goal scorer (Kessel this year) it makes the most sense just to go with him all the time instead of actually trying.
What you end up with is a small set of simple picks that lead to large numbers of points. 3-2 Leafs Kessel, 3-2 Opponent Kessel, 4-3 Leafs Kessel, 4-3 Opponent Kessel.
That's not very fun, but how do we fix it? One is by adding an OT/SO clause to the rules, the other would be to add which team scores first (in addition to the first Leafs goalscorer)
Well here's a couple of rule changes that I propose:
OT/SO status would simple be another criteria to pick
Thus scoring will be:
Winning team - 1 point
Correct OT/SO status - 1 point
Correct score - 2 points
Correct scorer - 3 points
Match any 2 - +1 point
Match any 3 - +1 point
Match all 4 - +1 points
This would mean:
- Predicting Kessel scoring first and the Leafs winning, but getting score/OT wrong would mean 4 points still (3+1).
- Predicting the Leafs winning 3-2 in SO but getting the scorer wrong would mean (1 point winning team + 1 point OT/SO + 1 bonus point matching 2 + 2 points correct score + 1 bonus point matching 3 = 6 points)
- Predicting the Leafs winning 3-2 in SO but the Leafs win 3-2 in OT would mean (1 point winning team + 2 points correct score + 1 bonus point matching 2 = 4 points)
- Predicting a Grand Salami would mean (1 point winning team + 1 point OT status + 1 bonus point matching 2 + 2 points correct score + 1 bonus point matching 3 + 3 points correct scorer + 1 bonus points matching 4 = 10 points)
The combined pick of score and OT status would be taken together as the new "score" status. Functionally a pick of 3-2 Leafs OT, is a different score than 3-2 Leafs SO and 3-2 Leafs regulation.
Scoring would be that if I pick the Leafs to win 3-2 in OT and they actually win 3-2 in regulation I get the same credit as if I had picked the opposition to win 3-2. Functionally, if I get the OT status wrong I don't get credit for picking the right team.
What these options do? They force a little more thought into the game. You're required to think if the game will go to OT or a SO.
Team scoring first clause
In addition to picking the winning team, score (potentially OT status), and first Leafs goal scorer you would be required to pick which team would score the first goal in the game. If you did not at this, the winning team would be default.
For example, if I believe the Leafs will win 5-3 with Kessel scoring the first goal but the Sabres will open the games scoring I would predict something like
5-3 Leafs, Kessel, Sabres score first
This would be added as simply another scoring criteria, worth either 1 or 2 points
So, what are thoughts on these. What, if anything, can or should we do to improve the contest?
2013 NHL suspensions tracker - Here
2013 Maple Leafs Regular Season Prediction Contest Winner - Phion Keneuf
2013 Maple Leafs Playoff Prediction Contest Winner - Mess
In a previous Prediction thread, I suggested to actually ban the 3-2 Leafs Kessel option as, like you mentioned, so many were picking that (for good reason) but it leads to less enjoyment of the game. In the Prediction results thread, I was going to suggest doing something like not being able to use the same pick twice in a row, or something like that, but that would mean a ton more work for you. Also, people would still abuse the system by alternating 3-2 Leafs Kessel and 3-2 Other team Kessel. That again...is still not fun.
For the options you suggested, my fear is that it's essentially still going to lead to 3-2 Leafs Kessel picks.