[I’m playing in a Fantasy Tennis League this year, organized by my friend and sometimes-BAJTOTW-commenter Rob. I find myself referring back to the rules, which involves opening up an attachment, so I’m going to post them for my own reference and also anticipated someday-nostalgia. I haven’t followed tennis before, but Rob’s enthusiasm is contagious.]
Welcome to Fantasy Tennis League 2014! The concept is similar to other fantasy sports leagues, where contestants accumulate points based on the individual performance of professional athletes. In FTL, you select four tennis players per tournament. The better those four players perform, the more points you receive. Select different players each tournament, or stay loyal to your crew. You decide!
So what are you waiting for? Join now! I recognize that many of you are passionate about other sports (see, for example, Figure 1 [ed note: a photo of Beckie and me facepainted for a Northwestern game]). But imagine if we channeled that energy into FTL and sustained it at least through the clay court season. Those riding the FTL wave, whether along crest or trough, will surely experience tennis like never before: at a fever pitch. Be prepared to writhe uncontrollably on the floor at match point. Feel the sudden urge to “rush the net” during your Wednesday board meetings. And don’t be surprised if you succumb to Glossolalia on middle Sunday. In life, we struggle to achieve unbridled ecstasy and avoid uncommon anguish. But this year in FTL, we will all be perilously close to each!
Here’s how it works: the weekend prior to the start of each tournament, I’ll send you a PDF of that tournament’s draw (i.e., a list of all players and who they are scheduled to compete against). After intense scrutiny, you send me back a list of four players that you think will perform well. You receive points based on three criteria: (1) how well each player performs, (2) how high each player is seeded in that tournament, and (3) how much weight you assign to each player.
First criterion: Performance
Players who advance to the quarterfinal of a tournament receive 1 point in this category. Players who advance to the semifinal receive 2 points. A player who advances to the final receives 3 points. And the player who wins the tournament receives 4 points.
Second criterion: Seeding
Players also receive points based on their tournament seeding (not to be confused with their current world ranking), with points allocated on the basis of the following schedule:
1=1, 2=1.2, 3=1.4, 4=1.6, 5=1.8, 6=2, 7=2.2, 8=2.4, 9=2.6, 10=2.8, 11=3, 12=3.2, 13=3.4, 14=3.6, 15=3.8, 16 or above=4
Third criterion: Weight
The final criterion reflects how much weight you assign to each player’s performance (prior to the start of the tournament). Contestants assign one player with the top weight of 4 points, another with the second highest weight of 3 points, another with the third highest weight of 2 points, while the final player will receive the bottom weight of 1 point.
Your overall score is then determined by multiplying the points each player receives across the three criteria. For example, if one of your players is seeded 5th and makes it to the semifinals of that tournament (2 points), and you have given that player the top weight (4 points), that player would give you 14.4 points (1.8 x 2.0 x 4.0). Suppose also that the player you’ve given the next highest weight to (3 points) advances to the quarterfinals (1 point) and is seeded 14th
Continuing on, the player you’ve assigned the next highest weight to (2 points) is seeded 3rd points), but loses prior to the quarterfinals (0 points). This player gives you 0.0 points (2.0 x 1.4 x 0.0). And, finally, you give the bottom weight (1 point) to the top seeded player (1.0 points) who ends up winning the tournament (4 points). This player would give you 4.0 points (1.0 x 1.0 x 4.0). Overall, then your four players would give you 29.2 points (14.4 + 10.8 + 0.0 + 4.0) for that tournament.
At the end of the year, the contestant who has accumulated the most points across all tournaments will be declared the 2014 FTL Champion! (3.6 points). This player would give you 10.8 points (3.0 x 1.0 x 3.6).