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Don's Football Pool Rules

Welcome to the 2012 edition of Don's Football Pool!!! We are back for a 15th season running this pool. If you are new to our pool, this may possibly be the best football pool you will ever see! If you have played in this pool before, you know it is the best. This pool features a twist that tests your confidence in your picks. There will be weekly winners, as well as a season-long competition.

In addition to the Confidence Pool, we have three other pools that you can join if you want. During the regular season, we also have the Survivor/Margin Pool. And for the post-season, we have two different pools for the playoffs: The Playoffs Pick'Em Pool and the Playoffs Rank'Em Pool.

Information on all four of these pools is provided below.

CONFIDENCE POOL

As noted above, this football pool involves more than just picking the winners of the NFL games. This pool format asks participants to demonstrate their prognostication prowess by assigning each pick a confidence factor. For example, assume there are a full 16 NFL games on a given weekend (i.e., no bye week for any team). First, you select the teams you think will win. Then you assign each pick a confidence factor point-value between 1 and 16 which represents your level of confidence in the pick, with 16 being extreme confidence and 1 being very little confidence. Note that you must use every number from 1 through 16, and you can't use any number more than once. It is easier than it sounds. Trust me!

Scoring

Following the completion of the games, you will receive the point-value (i.e., confidence factor) for each game winner you correctly predicted, with 136 points being the maximum value if all 16 games are correctly picked. If any game ends in a tie (i.e., after overtime), you will receive half of the points (rounded up to a whole number) you assigned for the confidence factor for that game. The actual weekly winners will be determined by his/her total points and not how many games were accurately predicted. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers each week. In the event that two or more players have the exact same number of total points after the conclusion of the games, the tie will be broken by determining which person correctly picked the most game winners. If still tied, the pool money will be split.

Since there are 32 NFL teams, and every team has a Bye week, there are several weeks during which four or six teams have open dates and do not play, resulting in only 13 or 14 games those weeks. During these Bye weeks, the assigning of confidence factor points will vary slightly. We will always use 16 points as the maximum value, but during these Bye weeks, the 1-point and 2-point values (and 3-point values, when there are only 13 games) will not be used. Consequently, the confidence factors will range from 16 points down to 3 points (or 4 points, when six teams have byes). Each pool participant will automatically receive credit for the 1, 2 and 3 point values not used.

The point totals for each of the 17 NFL weeks will be tracked and totaled during the season. Each participant will drop his/her worst three weeks from the grand total. Therefore, if you are unable to participate some week (resulting in a score of zero for that week) or you just have a bad week; it won't necessarily count against you for the season total. The individual with the highest point total (over his/her best 14 weeks) will be declared the season winner and the next highest point totals will take second, third, fourth, fifth places, etc. Again, prizes will be awarded to the top players as noted above. In the unlikely event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be the total number of correct game-winner picks during the season using only your 14 best weeks. If still tied, the pool money will be split.

Making and Changing Weekly Entries

When filling in an entry form, you do not have to make a pick for each game prior to updating. All that is required is that you complete the form prior to the start of the earliest games scheduled for a given week. (Take note of games played on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday) All games will be locked from that point forward for the week.

Remember when you make a pick, you must also assign a confidence point value to it as well. Remember that each number can only be used once.

Locked Games

All weekly games are locked at the start of the earliest game for a given week.

Times displayed on the schedule are Eastern.

You may change your pick for any game up until that time when games are locked. This includes changing your confidence points.

You can delete your entry, if desired, provided no games for that week have been locked.

Entries must be completed on time. Once a week is locked, you may not change your picks for any games. If you either forgot or are unable to pick a particular game, it will be counted as a loss. If you forget an entire week of picks, you will receive a score of ZERO for that week.

The Administrator may make exceptions for extenuating circumstances on an individual basis. By participating you agree to abide by the above rules and accept any decisions made by the Administrator.

If you have trouble accessing the site, logging in or otherwise completing your entry, please contact me at Don@DonsFootballPool.com for help.

Cost and Payouts

The total cost for the 2012 NFL season is $100.00 (based on 17 NFL weeks at $5.00 per week, and a $15.00 entry fee to cover PayPal charges and administrative costs). Of the $5.00 weekly fee, $3.00 will be applied to the weekly prizes and $2.00 will be withheld for the season-end pool. For example, if 50 people enter, $150.00 (i.e., 50 x $3.00) would be paid to the weekly winners, and $100.00 (i.e., 50 x $2.00) would be placed in the season-end pool.

During each of the 17 NFL weeks, cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in the weekly competition and the weekly pool will be split as follows: First Place = 50%; Second Place = 30%; Third Place = 20%. Using the example above (e.g., 50 players, $150 pool), the weekly pool distribution would be First Place (50%) = $75; Second Place (30%) = $45, Third Place (20%) = $30.

Cash prizes will also be awarded to the top ten people (based on a minimum of 50 participants) in the overall season competition. The 6th through 10th place finishers will win $100. The remaining season-end pool will be split as follows: First Place = 30%; Second Place = 25%; Third Place = 20%; Fourth Place = 15%; and Fifth Place = 10%. Therefore, in the above example (i.e., 50 players), a total of $1,700 (based on $100 per week x 17 weeks) would accrue in the season-end pool, and the distribution would be: First Place = $360; Second Place = $300, Third Place = $240; Fourth Place = $180; Fifth Place = $120; and Sixth through Tenth Places = $100. If we have fewer than 50 participants, then only the top five places will be paid, at the same percentage distribution.

[Please note that the above payout amounts are examples only. The actual amount to be paid out will depend on how many players we actually have. In 2011, we actually had 75 players.]

As we did in past seasons, all payouts will be handled electronically on-line through PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/). Also, all payouts will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount.

Entry fees must be paid in advance and received by me no later than Friday, August 31, 2012. Absolutely no entries will be accepted after August 31, 2012.

Survivor/Margin Pool

This pool is separate from the weekly picks pool. If you choose to participate, you must enter prior to the first week. The entry fee is $20.00.Entry fees must be paid in advance and received by me no later than Friday, August 31, 2012. Absolutely no entries will be accepted after August 31, 2012.

The pool runs over the entire regular season. Each week, you must pick one team among those playing that you think will win its game. You can use each team only once.

This pool is actually a combination of two similar yet distinct pool formats described below. You make only one pick each week, that pick applies to both the survivor pool and the margin pool.

Survivor Pool

The goal of the survivor pool is to outlast your fellow players. If your team wins, you survive and continue on to the next week. If your team loses, you are eliminated.

Note that if you do not make a pick for a given week, it counts as a loss. If the game ends in a tie, it is considered a loss. In the event all active players are eliminated in a single week, those players will be reinstated and continue to the next week.

When only one player remains, he or she wins the pot. If more than one player survives to the end of the regular season, they will split the pot equally.

Margin Pool

The goal of the margin pool is to pick the team you think will win its game by the greatest scoring margin. If your team wins, the point difference is added to your total. If your team loses, the point difference is subtracted from your total.

If you do not make a pick for a given week, it counts as a loss and your point total will be deducted using the greatest losing margin among all games for that week.

Whichever player scores the most points at the end of the regular season wins the pool. In the event of a tie, the number of correct picks will be used as a tiebreaker. Should two or more players still be tied, those players will split the pot equally.

Additional Notes

Even if you are eliminated from the survivor pool, no one is ever eliminated from the margin pool so don't forget to make a pick each week.

The Survivor/Margin pot will be distributed between the two pools as follows: 50% will be awarded to the winner(s) of the survivor pool while the other 50% will be awarded to the top three winner(s) of the margin pool. Payouts will be awarded to the top three Margin Pool finishers and will be split as follows: First Place = 50%; Second Place = 30%; Third Place = 20%. If there is a tie, the combined payouts will be split equally among the tied players. There is no tiebreaker in the Margin Pool.

Making and Changing Survivor/Margin Picks

As with the weekly pool, you may make or change your pick for the survivor/margin pool up until all games for that particular week are locked. If you pick a team playing an early game, you cannot change that pick once that game is locked. Likewise, you cannot pick a team whose game has been locked.

You can make your picks in advance for upcoming weeks. Note, however, that when you make a pick, that team is no longer available for use in other weeks. So if you later decide you want to use that team in a different week, you'll first need to change or delete the existing entry for it.

Playoffs Pick'Em Pool

The playoffs pool works similar to a weekly pool with some minor differences. As with the regular season, we will use the confidence factor method. However, there are only 11 games total (4 Wild Card, 4 Divisional, 2 Conference, and the Super Bowl). So, we will only use numbers 1 through 11 (thus a perfect score would be 66 points). You will be able to use each confidence factor one time only, but you can use them for any game.

Entries are broken up into individual playoff rounds:

  • Wild Card Games (four games)
  • Divisional Playoffs (four games)
  • Conference Championships (two games)
  • Super Bowl

Once the Administrator has set the opposing teams for each game in a round, you can make your picks for those games. As with the weekly pools, you can make or change any pick until those games are locked.

All games for a given round are locked at the start time of the first game in that round.

After all games in the current round have been decided, the Administrator will set the games for the next round. You must then go back to the entry form and make your picks for them.

After completion of the Super Bowl, payouts will be awarded to the top three finishers and will be split as follows: First Place = 50%; Second Place = 30%; Third Place = 20%; In the event that two or more players have the exact same number of total points after the conclusion of the Super Bowl, the tie will be broken by determining which person correctly picked the most game winners. If still tied, the pool money will be split.

If you choose to participate, the entry fee is $10.00. Entries for this pool must be completed no later than Friday, August 31, 2012.

Rank'em Pool

This pool is different than the Playoffs Pick'Em Pool in that you will rank each playoff team using confidence points, BEFORE any of the playoff games start. Confidence points range from one to the number of playoff teams. (12 Teams)  Each team must be assigned a value and you may use each value only once. Your rankings will be locked at the beginning of the first playoff game and cannot be changed after that.

For every game a given team wins, the points you assigned to that team are added to your total score. So you want to assign the highest point values to the teams you think will win the most games and go the farthest in the playoffs.

After completion of the Super Bowl, payouts will be awarded to the top three finishers and will be split as follows: First Place = 50%; Second Place = 30%; Third Place = 20%; If there is a tie, the payout will be split equally among the tied players. There is no tiebreaker in this pool.

If you choose to participate, the entry fee is $15.00. Entries for this pool must be completed no later than Friday, August 31, 2012.

ENTRY FEE SUMMARY

As discussed above, there are four pools to choose from. In order to participate in any of the three secondary pools, you must play in the main regular season Confidence Pool. The entry fees are as follows:

  • Confidence Pool - $100
  • Pick'Em Playoff Pool - $10
  • Rank'Em Playoff Pool - $15
  • Survivor/Margin Pool - $20

You can play the Confidence Pool and any, all or none of the secondary pools... it is your choice. The total cost for the 2012 NFL season will be between $100 and $145 depending on how many pools you want to play. If you choose to play all four, the total entry fee is $145.

IMPORTANT: All entries for all pools must be completed
no later than Friday, August 31, 2012.