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UKFF Football Predictions League 2013-14

Fog Dude

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So it's that time of year of again. If anything, with no Olympics to delay the start of the English season like it did a year ago, this is actually pretty late. There are only 8 days until the first card of the season goes live, but there aren't usually many new entries after the first week or so of a sign-up thread's appearance either.


Despite that, the Italians still haven't released their fixtures for the forthcoming campaign. Nevertheless, let's get straight on with this. Here's how it all ended up back in May. I make no apologies for a slightly revised copypasta from the equivalent thread from the past 2 years:


If you've played before, you know how this works. Just bump this thread declaring your interest in participating (a simple "I'm in" will do) and PM me three D2D team choices. If you're a noob at this or a returning player from years ago, the first part of those instructions should be straightforward, but the second part requires some explanation.


First, the fundamentals: most weeks consist of one set of ten matches (the "card"), everybody posts their picks in the thread and you can earn 3 points for an exact score, and 1 point for any other game where you got the correct result. This should mean you can score a maximum of 30 points. In practice, double figures in any single week is considered pretty damn good. Besides that, there are 'double', 'treble' and 'bumper' rounds along the way with more than ten matches to pick. In addition, there are various way of earning bonus points, of which D2D has become the main one for a good few seasons now, and has generally worked well. There used to be a 'Big 4 Gamble' too, but with the idea of a 'Big 4' in flux the last few years, we scrapped that.


Basically Dare2Disagree ('D2D' for short) was Seph's idea when he ran this, but I've carried it on to make things interesting. Roughly every other week, depending on the number of players, it'll be someone's turn to bet on 'their' team - ideally the club you support, but this obviously isn't possible for the very top teams. It's also first come, first served, which is why you need to send me at least 3 picks (unless you're super quick) as possible D2D teams, in order of preference. And that's all done via PM only so we don't know whose team is whose, however obvious it may be, or which week they'll be called on to make their guess. (e.g. If Nicko plays, he'll clearly go for Norwich, but we have to wait until his 'turn' at D2D for that to be confirmed.)


The game in question will be one of the usual 10, so the prediction will be visible to everyone else and ideally made as early as possible so the rest can decide if they'll agree or disagree with the person whose turn it is. If the D2Der is correct, he gets bonus points for everyone who disagreed with him. Exactly how many bonuses was the subject of some discussion at the end of the last campaign. I'm inclined towards decreasing it back to 2 points from 1, given how pivotal the D2D round of the reigning champion, stunstone316, proved last time out. The incentive for other players to disagree is that if they're wrong, everyone who disagreed gets bonus point(s) instead. The twist is that there are of course 3 possible outcomes to a game, so if the D2Der goes for a home win and the actual result is a draw, anyone who went for an away win will still get the bonus(es) even though they scored 0 from the match as an ordinary fixture.


Sorry I made it sound so complex, don't want to put off potential new players too much. I never used set restrictions on what D2D teams people can ask for, but as of last season I've felt it was necessary. Your three or more choices may consist of the following:


No more than 1 international team (i.e. you have to select at least two club sides), who must be still involved in World Cup qualifying;

Any EPL, FL or Conference (National/North/South) club;

any SPFL or Highland League club, or another Scottish club that is definitely in the Scottish Cup;

Any club from the top 3 tiers of the French or German league system;

Any club from the top 2 divisions of any other European league (except 'B' teams); or

Any top-flight club from the rest of the world.


Women's teams are not allowed. New caveat this time: no more than one team from a country that runs their seasons according to a 'summer' calendar.


An experiment with a midweek round some years ago ended in cheetah69uk being threatened with a points deduction, which would've cost him the title that season had it been upheld. For that reason I'm not inclined to try it again.


I came up with 3 slight rule changes after much thought the summer before last, and they've all stuck: the bonus point 'yielded' to everyone else if someone gets 4 or more exact scores will only apply when the player in question is already at the top of the table; if you succumb to a name-change mid-season you might be disqualified, so try to get that out of your system before the first table goes up, or else wait until the following summer; international rounds now consist of 12-game cards, since it's tough to fit the home nations and best of the rest from Europe and the world into just ten matches.


Speaking of internationals, that's the one time (other than Good Friday) I have had to allow Friday fixtures for the past 3 seasons, and will continue doing so unless FIFA/UEFA go back on their decision. In those cases I try to post the thread a bit earlier, sometime on Tuesday instead of early Wednesday. Fortunately this is only a problem 3 times per season, but that's also the reason you can't pick 3 national teams as your D2D choices. Even Saturday lunchtime matches moved for TV are normally considered to start unreasonably early, while games put back to Monday night normally get bumped from the card too.


My travelling days seem to be over for now, so I shouldn't have any major problems with connections and the like this year. Nevertheless I'm grateful to anybody who offers to be on standby in case there are unforeseen troubles or absences. As always, feedback - in particular about the number of points D2D should count for - and questions are welcome because I'm sure something of the above is unclear, if anyone's bothered to try to read the wall of text that it's become.


I'll probably bump this in a week's time in case there hasn't been the usual early flurry of interest. New players are welcome to join until the end of August, which this year will be Week 5. Tell me if I've forgotten anything, and take it away fellas!

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