The NPL Rules

Don’t talk about Fight Club.

You knew this joke was coming. Why are you surprised?

1. Head to Head Play

a. One player is designated as AWAY, the other player is designated as HOME per the schedule. The NPL schedule will give each player an equal amount of HOME and AWAY games, totalling 14 games on the season. Home and Away status have no impact on anything other than the Monday Madness Tiebreaker.

b. Each player will submit 10 picks. Why 10? Because of the 14-16 games each week, only 10 of them are close to competitive each week. The easy games are tossed out and the more competitive games are kept. The 10th pick will be the Monday Madness Tiebreaker pick. This pick is usually a Monday Night Football game, but that is not always the case.

c. Each player will submit a Monday Madness Tiebreaker score. This score is the player’s prediction of how many total points will be scored during the Monday Madness Tiebreaker game (again, usually MNF, but not always). The Home player will submit an even score and the Away player will submit an odd score. If the player fails to submit a score appropriate for their Home-Away status, their score will receive an automatic one-point increase to make it appropriate to their Home-Away status.

d. The player with the most correct picks in a week is the winner of the head-to-head match-up. If the players have the same number of correct and incorrect picks, the Monday Madness Tiebreaker will determine the winner.

2. Scoring

a. The scores mean nothing. Scores do not have any impact on the game results or season standings. They are simply a “NFL-like score” for each head to head match up. These are calculated from the correct and incorrect picks and Monday Madness Tiebreakers.

b. Correct picks are worth 6 points, incorrect picks deduct 3 points. A player that scores 7 correct and 3 incorrect has a base score of 33 points. A score modifier is applied that helps randomize the scores, so they do not all look the same. This is 1-3 points (at random) added to the winning player’s score, and 1-3 points deducted from the losing player’s score.

Billy has 7 correct, 3 incorrect for a base score of 33 points.

Sally has 5 correct, 5 incorrect for a base score of 15 points.

Billy gets a random modifier of 2 points added to his total. Sally gets a random modifier of 3 points deducted from her score. This gives a final score of 35-12 in favor of Billy.

c. The Monday Madness Tiebreaker adds or deducts points from a player’s score. In the event that both players have the same number of correct picks and incorrect picks, the Monday Madness Tiebreaker will apply. The difference between a player’s predicted total and the actual total scored is added to their opponent’s score.

Billy has 7 correct, 3 incorrect, and his MM score is off by 21 points.

Sally has 7 correct, 3 incorrect, and her MM score is off by 12 points.

Both Billy and Sally have a base score of 33 points. Billy gets 12 points (the MM difference for Sally) added to his score. Sally gets 21 points (the MM difference for Billy) added to her score. This gives a final score of 54-45 in favor of Sally.

3. Failure to Submit Picks

a. Failure to Submit Some Picks. If a player fails to submit all picks, any pick that is left blank will be marked as DNS (“Did Not Submit”). Partial pick submission is only possible via offline picks (text or email) – the online pick submission tool does not allow for any picks to be left blank. The Commish will contact any player that failed to properly submit all 10 picks when offline picks (text or email) are being manually entered. This can be the day the picks are received or the morning of the games. Failure to submit picks is entirely on the player that submitted offline picks.

b. Failure to Submit All Picks: The Safety. The Safety is included to make their opponents earn their wins, just as their division rivals have to earn their wins against those that are actually submitting picks. If a player fails to submit picks during the week, they will trigger the Safety. They will be gifted five picks all favoring the biggest underdogs of the week. The remaining five picks will be listed as DNS (“Did Not Submit”) and will all count as incorrect. The best record a player can achieve with a Safety is 5 correct, 5 incorrect, with an MM score of 85.

c. Safety-TIE. In the event of a tie involving one or more players that utilized the Safety:
1) One player does not submit picks (The Safety) and ends up with the same number correct as their opponent: The victory defaults to the player that submitted their picks. The non-submitting player will be given an MM score of 0 or 85, whichever is furthest from the actual total in the MNF game.
2) Both players fail to submit their picks and both utilize the Safety: The game will be decided by the Monday Madness Tiebreaker – the Away player will be given an MM score of 99, while the Home player will be given an MM score of 0. The average MM score is 45.86, so this gives a slight home field advantage. If you are an Away player and believe that this home field advantage is unfair, you are always welcome to just submit your fucking picks.

d. Removal from the NPL. A player that fails to submit picks three times in a row or four times over the course of a season will be removed from the league and replaced by a new player or by an automated system like an odds calculator. Failing to submit picks is unfair to other divisions in the league that have to earn each of their wins. We don’t like to do it – we understand life happens – but pick submission is open for a 75 hour window and takes 45 seconds. It’s not that hard.

4. Scheduling

a. General Scheduling Pattern. Each year, a player will face each of their divisional rivals twice (6 games), players from another in-conference division once (4 games) and one like-placed player from each out-of-conference division.

Billy finished 3rd in the Mystic Division last season.

Billy will face each of his division rivals twice (6 games) and each player in the Prophet Division once (4 games), and he will face the 3rd place team from each division from the opposing conference once (4 games) for a total of 14 games.

b. Conference Schedule. Three cycles of general match-ups make up the In-Conference schedule. When the cycle is complete, the Home and Away designations are flipped for the next three cycles.

The In-Conference Schedule Rotation:
Cycle 1
Prophet vs Foreteller
Psychic vs Mystic
Augur vs Sage
Oracle vs Auspex

Cycle 2
Mystic vs Prophet
Foreteller vs Psychic
Auspex vs Augur
Sage vs Oracle

Cycle 3
Prophet vs Psychic
Mystic vs Foreteller
Augur vs Oracle
Auspex vs Sage

c. Interconference Schedule. A player will face a like-placed opponent from each out of conference division. The player that finishes first in the division in the previous season will face the players that finished first in their division that same year. 

Billy finished 3rd in the Mystic Division last season.

Billy will face the 3rd place finisher in the Oracle, Augur, Auspex, and Sage divisions for his interconference games.

d. Home and Away. Each player will have seven (7) home games and seven (7) away games. Every effort will be made to make sure players that play an opponent at home one year will play that opponent on the road the next time they face each other.

5. NFL Oddities

a. Tie game. In the event that an NFL game ends in a tie, both players picks will be marked as incorrect. A player may submit “TIE” for any game on the schedule in offline picks (text, email) but cannot select a tie in online submission.

b. Forfeited game. In the event that an NFL team is forced to forfeit a game by league ruling, the team that gets the win will be marked as the victorious team for the purpose of correct or incorrect. This only applies to games that are forfeit during or before the schedule game time, and not games that are retroactively forfeit for NFL rule or policy violations (i.e. the Patriots are dirty cheaters, so in Week 11, the NFL strips their Week 3 victory over Miami from them, giving Miami the win)

c. Cancelled game. In the event that the NFL cancels a game on gameday, the game will be treated like a tie. See 5a. Rescheduled games’ results will not be retroactively applied (i.e. if Seattle’s and Arizona’s Week 3 match-up is cancelled due to the impending climate disaster causing instant-death heat, but it’s reschuled for their Week 9 Bye weeks, the Week 9 game result will not matter to the NPL’s Week 3 results.

d. Delayed game. In the event that a game is delayed by the NFL for reasons, the NPL will wait until Wednesday night for the NFL to figure their shit out. If the game is completed before Wednesday night, the result will be entered as completed. If the game is not completed by Wednesday night of that week, the game will be treated like a tie. See 5a.