If gambling were legal, I'd do this with money at stake.
April 2, 2008 4:34 AM   Subscribe

I like playing in sports-related picking contests with friends. In the fall, I play in a football pool in which each participant picks every NFL game against the spread, and the winner is the person who has the most correct picks over the entire season. Right now, I'm in a couple of NCAA basketball pools. What other contests like these can I organize?

I like that these contests don't involve a lot of skill or time. The football pool is perfect, because picking against the spread is like predicting the outcome of a coin toss. We have people in the pool who know nothing about football, and last year one of them won second place. The basketball pool is good too, because any idiot can pick most of the higher seeds, maybe pick a few upsets for fun, and win the pool.

Full-fledged fantasy sports are way too complicated (You have to draft players, keep track of who's playing well, who's injured or on a bye week, make judgments about which free agents are worth picking up, etc.). Casual fans would not want to play these games against hard-core fans, because they would be at a disadvantage. And I don't want to scare off casual fans.

Something like this idea is a step in the right direction, but still a little too dependent on skill over luck, as each contestant would have to judge how good each home run hitter will be. (In case you don't feel like clicking on the link: it's a sort of fantasy baseball lite, involving home runs only).

I should clarify that I'm willing to looking to organize and run something, not to join an existing game. So, what other ideas for games does the hive mind have? Something baseball-related would be nice, as that season is just starting up. But it doesn't have to be sports-related. Maybe something politics-related? Or the weather?
posted by Dec One to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We do the same thing in Australia with Aussie Rules, and call it footy tipping. There's nothing to stop you doing it even though you may know nothing about it (hell, I know barely anything about it). It might even be kinda fun to start supporting a team just because you like the sound of it. 'Go the Kangaroos!', 'No! Go the Swans!'.

This site seems to know a bit about it.
posted by twirlypen at 4:50 AM on April 2, 2008

Oh, and in regards to your title, we usually do have money at stake. It ranges from a fairly casual office competition with $5 person through to crazily huge internet games with thousands of dollars for the winner.

Hey! At the end of the season you could even watch a game of our strange, strange football and laugh at how ridiculous it is.
posted by twirlypen at 4:52 AM on April 2, 2008

Four words: America's Next Top Model
posted by loiseau at 5:07 AM on April 2, 2008

The National Hockey League playoffs are slated to begin soon. Typically, an NHL playoff pool would require that you draft players; however this does requires some knowledge of players/teams that may beyond your scope.
If your friends aren't familiar with hockey (Hurricanes?...anyone??) you could have a pool that people would just pick the winning teams for each playoff round (either game by game, or by series), which anyone could play. Lots of info on the intraweb to help out, also.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 6:11 AM on April 2, 2008

We did an NHL playoff pool last year at work that involved picking winners for each round. I admit I don't remember all of the details (not a hockey person) other than it seemed to take a long time for the pool to play out. I am pretty sure we only picked winners and did not do a draft.

Also, college bowl winners is good. We used something on the Sports Illustrated website where you chose the winner of each bowl and a confidence value. It automatically calculated the scores and winners.

Sorry for the vagueness, I don't organize these...
posted by cabingirl at 7:10 AM on April 2, 2008

Which new television series will last the whole season, which will be the first to be cancelled, etc.
posted by box at 7:46 AM on April 2, 2008

Fantasy Movie Moguls Sort of like box's suggestion but movies. I'm losing in my league right now. But I won last season.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:43 AM on April 2, 2008

Oh and The Iowa Electronic Futures Market.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:46 AM on April 2, 2008

Well, the olympics are coming up. There should be a wealth of possible pools there.

Who can most closely guess the medal count of the top n teams?" could be good. I guess you could go all analytical, and look at each country's chances in every sport. Otherwise, you can just look at past medal counts and say, "hmmmm, I bet USA will get this many, China will get this many, Russia this many, etc"

And then there's each individual sport, and many different tournament formats.

Or you could choose several individual competitions, and have people pick who will win each. The winner is the person with the most right answers.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 11:57 AM on April 2, 2008

NASCAR? 43 drivers every week. Pick a finishing position, and do a plus/minus to determine weekly winners. IE Kyle Biffle finishes 4th. You picked him for 8th, that's a plus four for you. (or is that a minus four? My gezintas are confusing my divisors)
posted by Gungho at 12:51 PM on April 2, 2008

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