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Controlling Player Permissions with Contest Statuses

By Justin Wool   |   August 30, 2018

One of the most important features of running an online Grid Contest is controlling what your participants have access to, and more importantly, are forbidden from doing. With the latest features released here at SBPS, contest commissioners have a wide array of options when it comes to these permissions.

Locked Contest vs Open Contest

The most fundamental option regarding your contest is the Contest Status, which can either be “Locked” or “Open”.

As the name implies, a contest with a current status of “Locked” means that the boxes within the Contest Grid cannot be modified or reserved by any players. Only the commissioner has the ability to change the box text, remove a player from a box, or add a player to the Grid if the contest is “Locked”.

There are a few reasons for when a commissioner might want to change the status of a contest to “Locked”. The most obvious case is when the commissioner is about to draw the coordinates for the contest. You certainly don’t want participants to see what numbers they’ve been randomly given, determine they’re not great numbers, and then remove themselves from the contest or change their box text such that you cannot recognize who they ever were.

It is also possible that you didn’t sell out the entire grid. You don’t want to draw the coordinates and then have additional players run to reserve the best available squares, now that they know what the coordinates are for each square in the grid.

An “Open” contest is simply the opposite of the above. While the contest remains “Open”, players have the ability to reserve additional open squares and, depending on the other settings described below, may have the ability to edit the text in the boxes they already own.

Player Modification Permissions

As indicated above, players have the ability to reserve new squares if the contest has a current status of “Open”.

To give players even more flexibility, commissioners can set the contest with Player Modifications “On”, which allows players to actually change the box text of the boxes they own, as well as remove themselves from an owned box entirely.

Many commissioners in the past have requested this ability, as players constantly misspell their names or don’t follow instructions that the commissioner provides, such as “Put the uniform number of your kid in each box you buy.” Turning this feature on allows players to make the changes themselves, rather than the commissioner needing to do it.

However, for the same reasons described in the previous section, commissioners may not want people to modify or delete boxes they own, especially after the coordinates have been drawn or after the event is over. The last thing you’d want is for the Super Bowl to end, and all the people with losing squares to simply remove themselves from the contest before you had a chance to invoice them for any unpaid entry fees.

I would recommend leaving the Modifications “ON” until it’s time to draw the coordinates, and then turning them “OFF” and setting the Status to “LOCKED” for the remainder of the contest.