Pocket Office Pool Blog

NFL Office Pool
Answers to common questions
I thought I'd take an opportunity to answer some common questions.  We receive several messages each year - normally at the beginning of the season - regarding how to run a pool, what to do etc.  Here's a brief synopsis.

Q: How do I run my pool online?
A: You need to create a Pool Admin ID.  This is done online on our site.  The Pool Admin ID is your own personal name for your pool - we recommend keeping it simple - one word, no spaces.  You'll need to create an administrative password at the same time.  Once you've successfully created the Pool Admin ID you need to enter it along with your password into the "Synchronization" area of the pool software that you downloaded.  This is key to allowing players to make picks online.  Then - you must synchronize your pool.  Synchronization does several things but it's important to understand what occurs and in what order.  First - any online changes are downloaded to the software - this is generally just player picks made since the last synchronization.  Second - all online information is deleted.  Third - everything from your local software is uploaded back to the server.  What this means is - your software (on your local machine) is the master database and is now in synch with the online system.  Any time you enter a new player or change player information - you'll need to synchronize.  Technically, if you have all your players information entered and have synchronized - and everyone makes their picks online - there's no need to synchronize unless you wish to print localized reports (they're slightly prettier).  However, if you have players that don't have internet access or prefer to turn in an actual pick sheet - you'll need to manually enter those picks - then synchronize for the rest of the players to be aware of that players picks.

Q: What does Locking the Week do?
A: In order to make picking games fair for everyone - when a week is unlocked - players can make their picks but cannot see anyone else's picks online.  Locking a week has no bearing on a local pool except to say that if the administrator locks the week he/she will have to unlock it to manage any picks.  Locks can be set in advance to occur at any time in the future on a specific schedule.  Once a week has been locked - players cannot make any changes and they then can see everyone else's picks. 

Q: My machine crashed - how do I get my pool data back?
A: This happens far too often.  My first recommendation is to synchronize regularly - and to make local backups.  The software has a built in backup facility which will allow you to backup to any location  you wish.  Having a local backup is the best solution.  If you don't have a current local backup and use the online facility - you can use our built in Recovery Tool.  The Recovery Tool is located in the Synchronization area.  To utilize it - you will need to enter your Pool Admin ID and password but DO NOT SYNCHRONIZE!  Go to the Recovery Tool - Click Recover and the software will attempt to download all your player information and picks.  There are some nuances to the recovery tool - you may need to reassign your players to your pool (locally) and then resynchronize - but in general it should pull everything down.

Q: Can we exclude certain games (Thursday)?
A: Yes.  Players can pick fewer than the number of games in a given week.  It is important for your users to not pick a specific game.  If they inadvertently pick a game you don't want picked - you may adjust those picks in the pool administration software.

Q: What does Season Points mean?
A: This is asked a lot!  Season points is very simply the total number of points selected for the Tie-Breaker games subtracted from the number of points scored (or difference if you're using that option) for the Tie-Breaker games played.  This causes confusion because while the numbers are correct on Tuesday after the Tie-Breaker game has been scored - once you make a new set of picks for games not yet played - the season total is now offset by that new amount.  We can guarantee that the math is always correct.  If you add all tie-breaker points selected by a particular player and subtract out the number of points scored for the tie-breaker games - that's the number.