Are there any good scoring systems for running a NCAA bracket pool?
March 14, 2007 1:10 PM   Subscribe

MarchMadnessFilter: Are there any good scoring systems for running a NCAA bracket pool?

I'm running a bracket pool in my dorm, and I was just looking for a good way to score it. There will be probably 20ish people, at a 5 dollar buy-in. Any scoring system will do, but I really want to find a way to incorporate upset-wins into the points system.

Thanks in advance!
posted by zacharyseibert to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All the pools I've ever been involved in have just been counting the
number of games where you've called the winner right.

I guess you could do something like adding up the seeds of the
correctly called games, that would give a higher point value to the
people in the pool who call upsets.
posted by hobgadling at 1:47 PM on March 14, 2007

Here is my father-in-law's system. He has about 48 people in his pool:

For each correct pick in… You will receive…..
Round 1 1 point
Round 2 3 points
Round 3 6 points
Round 4 10 points
Round 5 15 points
Round 6 20 points
Winners will be determined by TOTAL POINTS.

Winner - LARGEST total # of points 45%
2nd place – 20%
3rd place – 15%
4th place – 10%
5th place – 5%
6th place – 5%
LAST PLACE: entry fee
SECRETARIES: 2x entry fee* (*they keep track of all the entries)
Ties Share
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:02 PM on March 14, 2007

'round these parts, the pool is such that you get an increasing number of points per round. First round correct guesses garner you 2 points, 3 for the next, 5, 10, 15, 28.

For upsets, you could just add 50%, which might help with tiebreakers.

The other interesting, but more luck-based, game that they have going is to have everybody pay to get a team based on a lottery. You get a team, and you win by lasting to the end. However, to make it a little less luck-of-the-draw (i.e., picking a bad seed kills you immediately), if you have the favored team, you have to win by at least the expected spread posted on web page * (espn or such). So, if you have the losing team, but they lose by less than the expected spread, you go on to the next round, as the other team.

If this is confusing, I could try to explain it better (if you're interested).
posted by that girl at 2:08 PM on March 14, 2007

Best answer: My pool is:

Round of 32: 1 point
Sweet 16: 2 points
Elite 8: 4 points
Final 4: 8 points
Final Two: 16 points
Champion: 32 points

Also, participants must provide a guess for the total number of points to be scored in the championship game.

Tie breaker is closest (without going over) to the point total in the championship game.

Prize breakdown is

1st: 60%
2nd: 30%
3rd: 10%

We had 80 entrants last year.
posted by diggerroo at 2:15 PM on March 14, 2007

Holy crap, I have never seen any system used other than the one digerroo recommended, and I'm shocked that it took 4 posts to get it out there. Sometimes it's tens of points instead of singles, but it's essentially the same thing.

Anyway, I'm not saying that one's right and all the others are wrong; the point is, people entering your pool may already anticipate a particular scoring system (I strongly suspect it will be that one) and so you should at least check with them all before you just pick a random one that rewards upsets or whatever.
posted by rkent at 2:22 PM on March 14, 2007

Any scoring system will do, but I really want to find a way to incorporate upset-wins into the points system.

Let the people in the pool define what an "upset" is by their choices. For each game where you correctly pick the winner, the person gets a number of points equal to the number of people in the pool who didn't correctly pick the winner for that game.

(I've never actually done this, but I've always wanted to try this method.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:32 PM on March 14, 2007

Why not just use Facebook?
posted by k8t at 3:12 PM on March 14, 2007

Best answer: I've always had bonus points for upsets picked correctly when scoring the first round only.
Usually, the bonus is double the regular 1st round pts from 2pts to 4pts.
No real reason for this. It was how the first pool I ever entered was set up. I liked the idea and incorporated it into the pools I have run.

However, since most pools are strictly an increasing points per round scoring system, you should make sure that everyone knows the rules and scoring system before they give you their $, regardless of how you set it up.
posted by shakobe at 3:32 PM on March 14, 2007

In the one I run every year, for picking a correct game the number of points you get is the seed number of the winning team times a bonus multiplier that doubles every round (as in diggerroo's system).

It rewards upsets, perhaps too much for some, but it's a lot of fun.
posted by dfan at 5:58 PM on March 14, 2007

The way I score my pool is with a multiplier system. You get the number of points equal to the seed of the winner you chose correctly, multiplied by the round multiplier:

Round 1: 1
Round 2: 2
Round 3: 3
Round 4: 4
Round 5: 5
Round 6: 6

So if you pick the 1 seed in the first round, you get 1 point. If you pick it in the championship game, you get 6 points. If you pick the 15 seed in round 1, you get 15 points, etcetera.

This system favors picking upsets over picking the winner, I never really like pools where you essentially have to pick the champion to win. You can adjust the multipliers so that the championship does matter more, say 1/2/4/8/16/32 or something...
posted by jckll at 8:39 PM on March 14, 2007

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