Here they are: The full, twice-revised TQBR Prediction Game rules.
1. How to know when/where to play. When I do a post labeled “Preview and Prediction,” which I usually do on Wednesday or Thursday for weekend fights but occasionally on Friday or Tuesday, the game is on. In the comments section is where you’ll do #1.
2. Make your prediction. Pick the winner(s). If you want to make up a silly fantasy team name for yourself for the life of the trial run, go for it — just make sure you remind us of it every single time, so I don’t confused about who predicted what.
3. Be specific. Don’t just say who you think will win — say how. Give us “8th round knockout” or “split decision.” This isn’t mandatory, but you’ll be hurting yourself if you don’t do it because of #5 and #6. For the purposes of the contest, a KO is a KO; it doesn’t matter if it’s technical or a boxer retiring or whatever.
4. Deadline. Predictions must be made at or before 11:59 p.m. ET the day before the fight. This is strictly enforced.
5. Scoring points. If you correctly pick the winner of the fight, you get 500 points. If you correctly call an upset — that is, picking a winner who is widely regarded as the betting underdog — you get an extra 100 points. If your prediction is the closest to the actual result, you get an extra 100 points. There can be ties. If you say and three other people say “unanimous decision” and the result is a unanimous decision, three people get 100 points. If you predict a knockout in the 6th and someone else predicts a knockout in the 8th and the knockout comes in the 7th, both of you get 100 points. If you aren’t closest to the actual result but correctly pick a KO or decision, you get 50 points.
6. Losing points. You can’t lose points. This is like the ACT test, not the SAT test. Wrong answers give you 0 points. So, if you’re stumped, just guess. The worst thing that happens is you get lucky and get it right. Draws are worth no points, so you might as well commit, too (although if you honestly think it’ll be a draw, feel free to say so after you pick your winner for game purposes).
7. Standings. We’ll do periodic updates on standings. Not every week, I’d imagine, but maybe after every two fights. Because math is hard.
8. Length of game. It’s a dozen fights, like 12 boxing rounds. The game will start over every 12 fights. In the event that the twelfth fight comes on a multi-fight weekend, the game might go into extra rounds.
9. Moderator’s discretion. Some unforeseen circumstances may require nullifying a fight’s picks, such as if one fighter substantially fails to make weight but the opponent goes forward anyway. Additionally, if the scores are close going into the final fight weekend, participants may wish to make their picks privately. The moderator reserves the right to nullify a fight’s picks under unusual circumstances, and to allow finalists to give their picks via e-mail.