PHOENIX, Arizona, July 6. BY popular demand, here is the Swimming World Olympic Prediction post. Our friend Aquanaut has volunteered to help run the contest, as our users battle for ultimate swimming prognostication bragging rights.
Here are the rules for the contest:
1.) Readers each predict the gold, silver, and bronze medallist for each of the 32 Olympic swimming events for London 2012, together with a winning time prediction for each event precise to 1/100th second.
2.) Predictions close before the Olympics start.
3.) Each reader posts his/her full set of predictions on the Reaction Time comments section of this Olympic predictions article.
4.) We will follow the honor code for predictions. Once the deadline for predictions is made, no edits should be made to your prediction comment.
5.) For the winning time prediction, for each event, a reader would score 50 points if his/her prediction was within +/- 0.5% of the actual Olympic winning time (e.g., for a men's 100m freestyle winning time of 47.00, a reader's prediction would need to be between 46.77 and 47.23 to claim the 50 points).
6.) For the medallist predictions, for each event, a reader would score 5 points for each medallist he/she correctly predicts (i.e., if that swimmer finishes in the top 3, he/she scores 5 points). If the reader correctly predicts the position of that swimmer (gold, silver, bronze) then he/she would get 10 points. So, for correctly predicting all three medallists in the correct order, a reader would score (3 x 5) + (3 x 10) = 45 points. If he/she did predict all three medallists in the correct order, he/she would also score 5 bonus points to take it to a round 50 points maximum for the medallist predictions for each event.
7.) For each reader's predictions, for each event, the score for the winning time prediction would be added to the score for the medallist predictions, to yield a total possible score of 100 points for each event. Each reader's scores for each of the 32 events would then be aggregated to yield an overall Olympic swimming prediction score for each reader, with a maximum possible total of 3200 points across all 32 Olympic events (16 male; 16 female). Unless ties occur in some Olympic events, which would affect the overall possible points score (see below).
8.) For any ties in Olympic swimming events, the medallist prediction points are simply allocated as they would have been had that swimmer occupied that medal position alone.
9.) Given the administrative burden, each reader participating in the contest first calculates his/her own overall score across the 32 events. The top three overall scores are then submitted for independent verification.
Here's a worked example to illustrate the proposed scoring:
Example Olympic final result
Men's 100m Fly
G: Phelps, 50.34
Winning Time prediction scoring
So, to get the 50 points for the winning time prediction, a reader's prediction would have to be within +/- 0.5% of 50.34, so within 0.2517 either way (i.e., 50.34 x 0.005), so between 50.09 and 50.59. So a prediction of 50.52 would score 50 points, but a prediction of 50.64 would not score any points.
Medallist prediction scoring
So, if a reader had made a perfect prediction:
He/she would score 5 points for each swimmer for predicting Phelps, Cavic, and McGill as the correct medallists, so 15 points in total. He/she would also score 10 points for each swimmer for predicting the correct positions for Phelps, Cavic, and McGill, so a further 30 points in total. That totals a perfect 45 points, so he/she would be awarded the bonus 5 points, for an overall score of 50 points for the medallist prediction for the men's 100m fly.
So, for a more complicated example, if another reader had predicted:
Then he/she would score 5 points for correctly predicting Phelps as a medallist, and a further 10 points for correctly predicting him as the gold medallist. The reader would also score 5 points for predicting Cavic as a medallist, but not a further 10 points in this case as he/she predicted his position incorrectly (bronze instead of silver). So, in total, this reader would score 20 points for the medallist prediction for the men's 100 fly. In both examples, the winning time prediction points would then be combined with the medallist prediction points (50 or 0, depending on the prediction) to yield an overall event prediction score for each reader.