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Contest Idea: Winning/Losing Axes

By Justin Wool   |   August 30, 2018

As an alternative to the traditional Grid Contest where one team is fixed on the Top Axis and the other team on the Left Axis, commissioners should consider this fun alternative: the team that is currently winning goes on one axis, with the losing team on the other axis.


If you’ve participated in a Squares Contest before, you’ve probably noticed that the only place the next winning box could be is in the same horizontal row or vertical row as the current winning score, depending on which team scores the next points in the game.

This general concept makes the contest less exciting - at least in the short term - for the vast majority of the boxes. This is because those boxes need not only one score, but at least two very specific scoring changes for the winning box to move from the current fixed vertical or horizontal line into the line that contains their box.

If one of the axes is reserved for the team currently winning, and the other for the team currently losing, a scenario of a lead changing score could actually flip the two teams entirely, meaning the current winning square could jump across rows AND columns, putting a lot more boxes in play as the game progresses.

With this structure, following the winning boxes as teams score points often results in tracing boxes all over the grid, rather than focusing on just a few hot rows or columns.

It doesn’t change the likelihood that any particular box will win, but in a game like football, it dramatically lessens the possibility that the same box will continue to win, because the box for 10-7 is no longer the same box as the one for 10-17.

So in the example above, a simple touchdown and field goal from the team initially losing 10-7 would reward a completely different box with the 10-17 score, because the winning team’s coordinates would change from 0 to 7, and the losing team’s coordinate from 7 to 0. Completely different box, completely different winner.