2020 Season - Prediction Contest

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by cpthomas, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's about 6 weeks to the beginning of the season, so time for me to set up the programs for the 2020 Prediction Contest. Wow, time flies! Blissett is the returning regular season champion and thus the Shield bearer. The dreaded robot is the combined pre-season/regular season/playoffs champion.

    We had a little discussion after the dust settled about possible changes to the scoring system. I have a possible change for the regular season we might consider, based on the following table:

    upload_2020-3-5_23-19-20.png

    The table shows, of all the predictions last year, the % (and underlying number) that met each of the scoring categories. The highlighted numbers are a scoring system that approximates the percentages. In other word, the scoring system is an approximation of how hard it is to get each category right. The 4.0 - 1.7 - 0.8 - 0.6 possible scoring system compares to the 3 - 2 - 1 - 1 we've been using. Or, as an alternative that's a little simpler to remember and a little more aesthetic, the change could be to a 4 - 2 - 1 - 0.5. With these "simpler" points, regular season scores would go down about 15%, so the point spreads between competitors would shrink a little, but it shouldn't be by a lot. In terms of the proportionality among the pre-season, regular season, and playoffs prediction score spreads, I don't think it would make a big difference. Or, we could stay with what we've had for the last couple of years.

    Any thoughts about this or about other potential changes? SiberianThunderT, you're the expert on this, what do you think?
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Hi. I don't have the time to ponder on the potential changes right now, but I just answered to acknoledge the creation of this thread and to subscibe to it to remain updated.

    As the shield bearer, I feel my personal opinion as a responsability :p: so I'll quietly think about it in the next days.
     
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  3. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #3 cpthomas, Mar 6, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
    Scratch the earlier table, here's a revised table after some corrections:

    upload_2020-3-6_10-15-47.png

    In this table, the % of Correct Goals Scored for At Least One Team Predicted column includes both games in which the right number of goals was predicted for only one team and games in which the right number was predicted for both teams. In other words, roughly 50% of the time a predictor is going to get the score right for at least 1 team. The yellow highlighted numbers use that column's 50.2% as the base and represent the relative difficulty of the other predictions in relation to that. The bottom row rounds off the highlighted numbers to the nearest half.

    A simpler alternative would be a 5 - 2 - 1 - 1 score system. This would be exactly the same as the last few years, except it would increase the points for getting the exact score from 3 to 5, reflecting the difficulty of getting the exact right score. Applied to the 2019 predictions, the score spread for the regular season predictors would be in the same ball park as the combined score spread for the pre-season and playoff predictions. My inclination is we should go with this simpler alternative, to give a better reward for the much more difficult task of getting the exact score right. This would have resulted only in minor changes in the 2019 standings from the score system we've been using -- Blissett still would be the Shield bearer.
     
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  4. CoachJon

    CoachJon Member+

    Feb 1, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks for pondering and working to enhance the contest. For me, picking winners was my favorite part. My goals scored predictions were mostly pulled out of thin air. So having the WLD part have the least weight is a little disappointing. Regardless, I do think the 5-2-1-1 system is a good way to go.
     
  5. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With a 5-2-1-1 system, the points earned in each category in 2019 would have been:

    Exact score correct (5 points per correct prediction): 575

    Goal differential prediction correct (2 points): 564

    WLD prediction correct (1 point): 566

    One team's exact score prediction correct (1 point): 639 (if changed from 1 point to 0.85, would be 543, which probably would be better)
     
  6. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    I am still pondering, but I am not sur if I like a so big gap between exact prediction and the rest. In the end, it is true that it's the most difficult prediction to nail, but it's also true that, most often than not, there probably is quite some luck involved in telling a 3-1 score apart from a 3-0 one.

    I guess exact score should be rewarded, but not in a way that punishes so harshly those who went close to it compared to who actually nailed it.

    This is independent from the data @cpthomasshowed about the rankings of last year not being so much affected by this change than one could figure; it's more of a "philosophical" objection: is there really a 3 points gap between nailing the score and nailing the goal difference? A draw is a draw, for instance: we reward 3 points more who could tell a 0-0 from a 1-1? Is there really a 4 points gap between a correct W/L/D prediction and an exact score?

    if it was me I'd go with something at least slightly tame, be even just a 4-2-1-1, although not completely justified by stats.
     
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  7. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I can see an argument -- against 5 for the exact score -- being that getting the exact score isn't a matter of skill, it's simply a matter of luck.

    Another argument is that the current 3-2-1-1 as worked fine, so let's not change it.

    PS - I haven't made a final, final decision yet, but I think I'll be using Robot Version 2 for the coming season. Version 2 still will be based on historic results, but with a very different approach that could be better or could be worse. It will involve absolutely no human intervention, so strictly the Robot.
     
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  8. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If others want to do a prediction contest, its getting close. I think with tomorrow being the roster freeze date, we can start making predictions then or Monday as rosters come out. My question though before that is about if the point system needs to change.
     
  9. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    My prediction is that at least three teams (would have said two but there is already one) will have to withdraw or even close down due to infections. It is too early to restart play. It is only sports and it is not worth risking the heath of anyone just to play a game.
     
  10. CoachJon

    CoachJon Member+

    Feb 1, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I vote with sticking to the 3-2-1-1 at this late hour.

    Holding my breath that nothing major changes, we have rosters and schedules, I will jump in with my predictions for Sat June 27 through and including Wed July1 (the first 'week').

    ...reserving the option to modify my predictions prior to game time June 27...........
    HOME-AWAY
    NC - 1 POR -1
    CHI - 1 WAS - 2
    HOU - 2 UTA - 1
    OLR - 1 SB - 2
    POR - 2 CHI - 1
    WAS - 2 NC - 2

    Allons-y! (S/O to Evelyne Viens)

    PS. It may make sense to divide the games into "rounds" First four, next four, etc. It would be better to have the first round results before predicting the next round.
     
  11. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Are we doing overall prediction ladders as well? For the "season"?
     
  12. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This makes sense to me, too. Also I'm fine with keeping the points the same, considering the time before the tournament starts. I think at one point there was just talk about changing it.
     
  13. CoachJon

    CoachJon Member+

    Feb 1, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Perhaps for the 'overall season' we predict the 4 semi-finalists, 2 finalists, and winner. Before the games start, without scores, and leave the score predictions to the actual games.
     
  14. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    For the ladder part, It indeed makes sense for me to restrict ourselves to predict semi-finalist, finalists and winner.

    I am not sure I have gotten how the single matches predctions should be divided: weeks? Rounds? Maybe I should give a more attentive look to the schedule, that I admit I didn't thoroughly study so far... :cautious:

    Anyway, expect my predictions to be posted in the next days leading to the tournament.
     
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  15. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For the single match predictions, the rule in the past has been you simply must post the predicted match score before the match begins. So, it is by game, not week or round.

    I am really busy doing work related to the NCAA soccer season, so I am having trouble getting motivated. I guess I still have a couple of days.
     
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  16. Chris Mahr

    Chris Mahr New Member

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Mar 6, 2019
    Which NWSL team will be the first to fire the head coach this season?
     
  17. Blaze20

    Blaze20 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Seattle Reign FC
    Sep 22, 2009
    Club:
    Philadelphia Independence
    None. It’s a one month tournament during a pandemic. Just they mere fact that a team can compete at all is a success. Anything after that is gravy.
     
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  18. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    If a team had any real desire to protect their coaches or other staff or players they would pull out of this premature money grab of a tournament before it even starts. The lack of concern for the health of players and staff shows that nothing is on the minds of the league except trying to make some money.

    Teams should fire anybody that puts players in danger and this will put players in danger both from the virus and from too little training time and too little time between matches.

    We (The US) just set a new record for infections in a day and there are sports leagues opening up? This is simply reckless disregard for the health of everyone and borders on a criminal action.

    All it takes is one player/coach/official that is a contagious carrier without symptoms and boom we have dozens infected. Remember there is even a chance that someone can be contagious and not even test positive for the antibodies and have no symptoms.

    I know it seems hypocritical but this is going to happen even though it is a stupid action so I will watch as much as I can as I really enjoy watching women's soccer but I do so with the ever present belief that it is too soon for play to be happening.

    No sports leagues should be playing until there is a viable vaccine that has been distributed at least through all elements of the population that will be participating.
     
  19. Smallchief

    Smallchief Member+

    Oct 27, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    #19 Smallchief, Jun 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/feature...eres-what-to-watch-in-the-nwsl-challenge-cup/

    538, the premier statistical site on the internet (IMHO), has published the odds on each NWSL team's probability of winning the challenge cup. 538 has (naturally) NC as the most likely to win, and gives the Courage a 27 percent chance of winning.

    I think 538 is underrating the Courage. I'd give them a 40 percent chance of winning. My guess for other teams: Chicago, Portland, and Reign 15 percent each, Utah 5 percent, and the other three teams 3.3 percent each.

    I am suppressing the thought that 538 must be desperate for material these days to pay attention to the NWSL. But,hey, maybe it works out well for NWSL -- cause there aren't any other sports to watch on TV. Let's hope so.

    538 updates daily its calculation of the likely vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Today it is Biden 50.6%, Trump 41.1%.
     
  20. CoachJon

    CoachJon Member+

    Feb 1, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My gut tells me that the players and staff and direct support host personnel are less at risk doing this tournament than if the season had been abandoned in May and everyone had been sent home to live their lives without soccer or soccer training. They are benefiting from being “bubbled.” Witness the few who left the bubble in ORL.
     
  21. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I would hardly say 538 is desperate for stuff. I check there fairly regularly and I've seen PLENTY of NBA & MLB articles come and go over the past few months despite those leagues not even being active. So I'm actually a little disappointed they haven't covered NWSL (or MLS) in that same time.
     
  22. Smallchief

    Smallchief Member+

    Oct 27, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    That was tongue in cheek on my part. It's a rare moment of attention for the NWSL on a major website. May we see more such moments.
     
  23. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Not sure how to exactly parcel out my predictions; in a sense, it would seem to make sense to predict this whole "batch" of first matches, until Wednesday the 1st of July. But it would also be optimal to know the first result of a team before predicting its subsequent match.

    If I predict the first 6 matches right now, would I be allowed, for instance, to change my predictions for Tuesday's or Wednesday's matches after seeing the results from the week-end? :cautious:

    Anyway, I try a prediction until Wednesday anyway (I order the team as I see them listed on the NWSL website; by the way, on the website the upper bar still shows the matches that should have happened in April: I know this Utah tournament isn't technically "NWSL season", but at their place I would tear down from the website that old schedule):

    NCC 1 POR 1
    CHI 2 WAS 1

    HOU 0 UTA 1
    OLR 1 SBFC 1

    POR 2 CHI 2
    WAS 1 NCC 1
     
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  24. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, in the past, we've allowed predictions and changes until said game starts.
     
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  25. 59Amerinorsk

    59Amerinorsk Member

    Chicago Red Stars
    Norway
    Mar 31, 2017
    NCC 2 POR 1
    CRS 2 WAS 1

    HOU 1 UTA 2
    OLR 2 SBFC 2

    POR 1 CRS 2
    WAS 1 NCC 1
     
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