The World Cup begins with the group stage, with eight groups of four teams. Each team plays once against the other three teams in its group. The top two teams from each group qualify for the knockout round, which takes the form of a traditional group of 16 teams.
You can wait for the knockout round to begin and simply have players fill out that bracket, like in NCAA basketball tournaments. But that takes the fun out of the previous games. Alternatively, you can incorporate group stage matches by having players predict group winners and runners-up before the tournament begins, then fill in their brackets from there. Those who correctly predict which teams advance in the correct finishing order will have a much better chance of success in the group. Points could also be awarded for selecting the correct group winners and runners-up.
As a third (and probably the best) option, you can combine a traditional media group with a scene group. Ask each participant to choose the winner and the second from each group; entries receive three points for correctly choosing the winner or runners-up of a group and one point for choosing a team that qualifies for the knockout stage but in the wrong place. For example, if you choose the Netherlands to win Group A and pass, you receive three points. If you pick the Netherlands to win Group A and they advance as runners-up in the group, you get a point. Some pools require you to choose the full group stage standings and then award an additional point for each team placed in the correct position; if you choose Qatar to finish fourth in Group A and the host country does, you will get a point.
These points from the group stage carry over to the more traditional bracket stage, where points are awarded NCAA tournament style. (Four-eight-12-16, to give an example, for round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final, and final wins.) Participants do not fill the bracket until the group stage is complete. completed and the 16-team bracket has not been completed. .
Since the Men’s World Cup has 32 teams, it works best with exactly four or exactly eight people. Each participant takes turns forming a team until they are all caught up. Each victory of one of your teams is worth two points, a draw is worth one point and a defeat is worth nothing. The most points after the tournament is over is the winner.
Alternatively, you can award three points for wins, two points for a penalty shootout win, and one point for a penalty shootout loss or draw. You can also award more points for wins in later rounds, or a bonus for champion selection. Some draft pools also award one point per goal scored, with bonus points for shutouts.
This Reddit thread from four years ago offers more complex variations of this type of pool.
The USMNT World Cup roster is out. Here’s who made the cut.
This type of pool starts by grouping each team according to their odds before the tournament. For example, favorites Brazil, France, Argentina, England and Spain are worth one point; Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium are worth two points; Denmark, Croatia and Uruguay are worth three points; and so on in the list of teams. You would have to determine the groups yourself; World Cup odds provide a starting point.
Each player selects five teams, and each team gets points for wins (and half points for draws in the group stage) for each result based on their assigned value. In other words, picking high-value long shots correctly leads to more points for surprising early results, but could leave competitors with no teams left at the end of the tournament.
Points multiply for wins in the knockout rounds, and the player with the most points at the end of the tournament wins.
Each participant chooses one team per day, or maybe one team every other day. If that team loses, you’re out of the pool. A win or a draw keeps you alive. Players can only choose a team once. The last one standing is the winner.