Pools Panel and Bad Weather - Should I
What happens to Football Pools when it Snows?
People have been asking me whether to enter the football pools when the weather is bad and a lot of matches are
postponed due to snow, ice or floods. And if they enter, how does it affect their chances of winning the football
Well the answer is – ‘It depends…’
However, I will give you some basis on which to decide
whether to enter.
Reasons for Postponement
There is usually a lot of frustration
amongst players, clubs and fans when football stadiums with efficient (and expensive) underground heating are not
used in very bad weather. In the UK, the matches are usually postponed not because of ground conditions but because
the Local Authority and Police force consider that there is a significant Health and Safety Risk outside the ground
– roads, pavements/sidewalks and so on.
What Happens to the Pools Entry?
The good news is that it stands. The ‘Pools Panel’ is brought into play. This is a panel of a few leading football
pundits (the names Tony Cascarino and Alan Hansen may ring some bells) who decide the outcome of the matches. The
panel is part of an agreement between the football pools companies so that all pools companies will have the same
results for postponed matches (note that this is a different situation to Void matches).
How does the Pools Panel Decide?
I don’t know for sure – it’s a bit like the jury system in England. However, we can be pretty sure that they don’t
roll dice or toss a coin. They will analyse the matches and team form carefully, and then decide the outcome. This
is not a problem for the obviously one-sided matches (or are they)? Our key area of interest is those matches where
the teams are likely to draw, and this is why you must have a good system for measuring team form – or use somebody
Is this Good for the Pools Player?
Yes and no (don’t you just hate that answer)?
Yes, because our approach to winning the football pools should be based on team form.
No, because there is still the question of score draw versus no-score draw, which the panel would have to
decide. This is likely to be decided on the basis of the defensive quality of each team, and their ability to score
goals. These facts are easily available on football statistics sites.
So, what’s the Answer?
My view is that you should go ahead and place your pools entry.
If you are using a solid, proven form-based approach to making your selections (such as footballpoolswizard
here), then the odds will be no worse (and perhaps better) for you than on a regular week. Of course, the score
draw versus no-score draw question still remains, but then we face that every week anyway when we seek to identify
the teams which are evenly balanced.
Do remember though, that if you are using a form-based approach to entering, and the bad weather continues for
several weeks, then you should be basing your decisions on the known team form, and not on latest Pools Panel
Finally, it is always possible that the Panel do toss a coin occasionally, when they cannot agree. After
all, there is an element of chance in the pools.