Pasted below is the original e-mail I sent out concerning this year's World Cup pool.
Firstly, for some of you, it's been a while. I hope this e-mail finds you well.
Basically, I can't find a World Cup pool to my liking. I feel like a good world cup pool should:
1. Encourage participants to follow more games
2. Allow participants to follow the teams they like (and root against the teams they don't) without punishing them too harshly
3. Require little effort to enter
4. Encourage people to watch games they otherwise wouldn't have
5. Reward people for picking sleepers (poorly regarded teams that do well)
6. Reward people for picking teams that go deep into the tournament (especially the last few teams left)
So, with help from some other folks (Joe especially) I designed a pool of our own. The premise is simple: you pick 8 teams, and the better they do, the better you do.
I've divided the team into 8 groups of 4, and you pick 1 team from each of these groups:
Now, if you want to participate, but don't really care about the details, go ahead and pick one team from each group, send me their names, and wait for my score updates! For the nitty gritty of the scoring system, read below...
Firstly, you are probably wondering how i came up with these groups. I took the average ranks from 3 different world rankings (they vary wildly, as international soccer rankings are pretty hard to do) and lined them up end to end (ranking them 1-32). Then i just took the top 4 teams and put them in a group, the next 4 teams and put them in a group, and so on. The attached spreadsheet lays it out in details.
As for the scoring, it will be different for the group stage and the knockout stage.
3 points for a win
1 point for a tie
3 bonus points for making it to the Knockout Stage
4 points for each team that makes the quarterfinals
8 points for each team that makes the semifinals
12 points for each team that makes the finals
16 points for the team that wins the world cup
Additionally, the scoring will be weighted in order to give more points for picking lesser teams.
1x points for teams in Groups J and K
2x points for teams in Groups L and M
3x points for teams in Groups N and O
4x points for teams in Groups P and Q
Thus, picking the best of the worst teams can pay big dividends.
The world cup starts Friday, so i'll need your picks by tomorrow night. The more the merrier, so pass this along to other folks that might be the least bit interested. Also, since we live in different parts of the world, we'll just have to make this free to enter. I'll mail an exciting prize to the winner. Send me an e-mail if you have any questions.