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The NMA Blog Cups 2022-23

It’s the third year I’ll be running the cups, with just a minor tweak this year.

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final
Could your team win a (virtual) trophy this year?
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Last year we ran two cup competitions, and I will do the same again this year. The two competitions will be very similar to last season, using Fantrax NMA-11 league teams and scores.

The one change for this year is that since the season is split into pre- and post-World Cup, with a month-long pause from mid- November to mid-December, I will align the early season Blog Cup so that it finishes in GW-16, the last week before we adjourn for World Cup (scheduled for November 12th). So it will start and finish a little earlier than last year, meaning we are nearly due to start already! The post World Cup part of the season will feature the NMA-11 Cup identical to last year (well, I can only hope it is really identical since my team won it last year!).

The “Blog Cup”

A weekly-rankings cup will take place between GW-4 and GW-16. In this hotly-contested competition, all teams in Fantrax NMA-11 as of GW-4 will start, with a preset number of teams surviving each week based purely on that week’s scores (no head-to-head). Progress will take place as follows:

Blog Cup 2022 Schedule

Week number Who takes part? Who qualifies?
Week number Who takes part? Who qualifies?
Week 4 All teams top 130 teams
Week 6 130 qualifiers top 90 teams
Week 8 90 qualifiers top 65 teams
Week 10 65 qualifiers top 48 teams
Week 12 48 qualifiers top 32 teams
Week 14 32 qualifiers top 20 teams
Week 16 20 qualifiers 1 winner

I will make one tiny change from last year, to reduce irritation: The teams that qualify for the next round will include all teams that tie the final qualifying score. So in week 4, at least 130 teams will qualify, but if two or more are tied for 130th place, all will go through. Last year I used the head-to-head tie-breaking criteria to decide who made it through, but that seems unduly harsh! Oh, and it’s a bit less work for me, so it’s literally a win-win!

NMA-11 Cup

Then from GW-22, in February 2023, I’ll run our NMA-11 Cup, which is loosely based on the English FA Cup. This is a head to head knockout competition; I publish the draw ahead of each round, and the higher-earning team from each pair survives to the next round.

In this competition, like the FA Cup, higher-tier teams earn byes early and then enter the competition in later rounds. So our NMA-11 league positions at the conclusion of GW-20 will determine who qualifies to each tier. This is how the cup qualifying will look:

NMA-11 Cup qualifying

Week 20 positions Equivalent league Entry gameweek
Week 20 positions Equivalent league Entry gameweek
Top 20 teams Premier League 28
Positions 21-44 Championship 28
Positions 45-68 League 1 24
Positions 69-92 League 2 24
Positions 93-156 Non-league 22

Each even-numbered game-week starting with GW-22 will be a cup week, as follows:

NMA-11 Cup schedule

Gameweek Cup Round Number of teams
Gameweek Cup Round Number of teams
22 Qualifying 64
24 Round 1 80
26 Round 2 40
28 Round 3 64
30 Round 4 32
32 Round 5 16
34 Quarter-finals 8
36 Semi-finals 4
38 Final 2

In the case of a tie, the winning team will be decided as follows:

1) Team that scored more goals

2) Number of goals conceded per minute played

3) Team that was saved earlier

Tiebreaker 3 wasn’t needed last year and is just there in the very unlikely event that two identical teams come up against each other. Thanks to commissioner Jeff for adding the stats that make it easy to work this all out!


I hope you’re looking forward to the cups this year, and remember that you only need to perform well in the cup-weeks to win, so everyone has a chance! Let us know in the comments how you’re feeling about this years competition.