(Article posted by David Brian on behalf of its author, CreweGuy)
Quite late last season in the chat we were remembering the old blog cup that Nik used to run, and I suggested that I could run something for the last part of the season based on Fantrax’s NMA-11 league scores. With the number of managers we had, starting with 128 teams meant that we needed seven rounds, so a plan was hatched to run more or less every other week from then on. Of course the Covid-19 suspension got in the way, but once we restarted I was able to complete the cup. It culminated in the final in week 38 won by regular contributor stallexpress. The feedback post-season has been positive, and since I’ve been asked, I’m happy to run something again next season. But this time we have a break to think it through, so the question is, what format should it take?
One of the biggest problems with eliminations is that you quickly lose the majority of competitors – it’s great if you’re still in, but most aren’t. In reality there are several styles of competitions, and it would certainly be possible to run more than one competition over the course of the season. Indeed, Nik used to do that. I’ve been involved in other leagues with quite complex competitions that try to mirror the Champion’s League or the Europa league with pool play that means everyone is involved longer before eliminations kick in (and out).
So what would people like to see? I’m not promising I could do everything, but what I did didn’t take too long, so I can certainly manage a bit more.
For last season I went for a head to head competition. The obvious alternative would be a ‘top half of scores progress’ format which was how the original blog cup worked. This probably rewards success more fairly (in a head to head competition you can lose with the second best score overall – or win with the second worst score overall), but loses the personal interest aspect where you keep looking at your opponent’s score in the hope that they aren’t racking up too many points.
I seem to remember there was an early season quick blast competition, based on top scores overall, with more than two teams left for the final – this can be done over about five rounds regardless of numbers. For a head to head system, you need to end up with a number that keeps dividing by two – hence 128 this year (there were about 160 teams in the league scoring points but not many over 100 were being actively managed). If we have similar numbers next year, doing an early season quick blast followed by a later season head to head would be quite feasible. If we have much greater numbers I might need to revise my plans!
As for more elaborate competitions, a Champion’s league competition could take a format like this: initial qualification comprises the top 64 teams in the league, then a seeded (top 32 vs bottom 32) head to head round over two legs to whittle down to 32 teams, then 8 groups of 4 teams head to head (6 more rounds), then last sixteen, quarter and semi finals over two legs (6 more rounds) leading to the final. That’s 15 rounds in total.
To really go the whole hog, a Europa league could run in parallel to this, with the next 32 teams plus the 32 knocked out of the Champion’s league first round going head to head over two legs in a similar way to the champion’s league, then 8 groups of 32 teams leading to 24 qualifiers (only the bottom team loses out) – joined by the 8 3rd-placed teams from the champion’s league to give a last 32 – then two legged rounds of last 32, last 16, quarters, semis and the one-off final. That works out as a total of 17 rounds.
We have 38 weeks in total, so if we did the last two competitions they could run from week 14 leaving 6 blank weeks following each round (the Champion’s league would have a longer gap while the Europa round of 32 was running). That just about leaves room for a simple cup (I’m sure we don’t want a round nearly every week), but we could certainly fit in one simple blog cup in the first 13 weeks without rushing into things – say 5 rounds with the top 50% + ties going through each time, using weeks 4, 6, 8 ,10 and 12 – the winner being the top scoring remaining team in week 12 (if there’s a tie there would be tie-breakers as for the head-to-head matches).
Or we could just do the 5 round simple cup slightly later, followed by a (probably) 7-round cup like this year later in the season.
So before I commit to anything, let me know what you think – what sort of competition do you enjoy most – if indeed you want anything!
What kind of Blog Cup Competition should NMA run this year?
This poll is closed
Head-to-head (I like to know who I’m beating)
Overall top scores proceed to next round (The best players should be rewarded)
Other (explain in comments)
I don’t like Cups; don’t bother with one