Ghoul Pool ’08 Rules

Well, I was going to have a somewhat complex set of rules involving a draft and a scoring system that was influenced by a person’s age and physical condition, but considering that a whole two people signed up for this so far, it’s probably best to keep things simple.

But you guys know me – I can’t make anything simple.

1. Eligibility

The object of the Ghoul Pool is to correctly predict as many well-known personalities from media, sport, science, and politics, who are likely to pass away during the calendar year of 2008. Due to the subjective nature of notoriety, the following ground rules are in place to determine who is eligible for selection:

    – The sitting President of the United States is not eligible. All other politicians, whether American or not, are eligible.
    – Convicts awaiting execution on Death Row are not eligible.
    – Fellow players are not eligible.
    – Fictional or Non-human entities (animals, TV characters, etc.) are not eligible.
    – Selections must be either readily recognizable by at least three other players; have a Wikipedia entry created prior to July 1, 2007; or be the main subject of at least three separate news stories since July 1, 2007, as reported by the Associated Press to be eligible. If a selection does not meet any of these three criteria, the player who selects it will have the option of either replacing it with a different selection or let it stand. In the latter case, if the selection’s death is not reported by the Associated Press, it will not count.

2. Ghoul Pool Draft

On January 1, 2008, all entrants are invited to send me an E-mail at with a list of TWENTY (20) selections of people who you believe to pass away between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008. Since the pool begins immediately at the start of the new year, it is in your best interest to submit your list as quickly as possible. Selections are to be ranked 1-20, in order of the likelihood you expect that person to pass away this year.

On January 2, I will randomly determine a draft order for each of the players in the competition. The draft will go for a maximum of ten rounds, with draft order reversing itself on each round. (Hence, the player who selects first in the first round selects last in the second round, and vice versa.) This will balance out the inherent advantage of selecting first in each round. Once the order is determined, I will go through each player’s list and assemble up to ten selections for each player, with the stipulation that no person can be on more than one player’s list. If a selection on a player’s list has already been taken, I will skip it and continue to the next player on that list.

The draft will continue until either each player has a list of ten players, or one player’s list has been fully exhausted. In the case of the latter, the selections to that point will be posted, and the draft will be suspended until each player submits a supplemental list of TEN (10) additional names. In the event that less than half of the players submit their list within 48 hours, the draft will cease with any picks made in that and future rounds being nullified.

On July 1st, 2008, a supplemental draft will be held, in which players will submit a list of TEN (10) names. Selection order will be made in reverse order of the players’ scores on that day, and will add up to five names to each player’s list.

3. Scoring

When a player’s selection dies, he will be awarded points based on the person’s age subtracted from a base score of 100. In addition, the score will be cut in half in the event that the selection’s death is on account of the following:

    – Suicide
    – Drug-related (overdose, drunk driving accident, etc.)
    – Terminal illness

That player will also be allowed to make another selection at that time.

In the event that the selection’s death is not a major news story, either on Associated Press or other major news source, it is the player’s responsibility to inform me that a selection of theirs has died.

4. Winning

Ghoul Pool ’08 will cease at 12:00 Midnight PST, January 1, 2009. Any person who passes away after this time will not count towards scoring.

At that time, the player with the highest score will be crowned the winner. In the event of a tie, the player who scored the most points on a single selection will win. If a tie persists, the player whose selection died first will win.

Anyone else who wants to sign up is free to do so until January 2nd, at which point we’ll get started with the draft.


2 thoughts on “Ghoul Pool ’08 Rules

  1. loogaroo

    Two reasons:

    1) Everyone’s going to pick Charlton Heston, Stephen Hawking, Keith Richards, etc. This forces people to be more creative with their picks.
    2) I have a feeling that the reason why the last two Ghoul Pools have ended with lackluster scores is because everyone picked the same names and none of them croaked. The more ground we cover, the more likely we are to pick people who are going to kick the bucket.

    In any event, the only person this makes more work for is me, so it shouldn’t dissuade anyone from playing.


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