Mon 29 Oct 2012 15:51 Chris Travis
Monday 3rd September 2012, the first match night of the new 2012-13 season and both Hawkshaw A and Oakgate B were completely unaware that the result of their fixture had far reaching consequences. Not only would the outcome of the match determine who would be awarded the first points in Section A, but it would also determine the winner of a tipping competition being run on the other side of the world in Australia!
Colin Hylton runs two tipping competitions at his workplace in Brisbane which has about 60 employees who provide first level IT support to around 68,000 staff. One of the competitions tips the NRL (National Rugby League) whilst the other tips the AFL (Australian Football League, also known as "Aussie Rules" - a game which somewhat resembles Gaelic Football).
A feature or "twist" of the competitions is a weekly "random tip", whereby a random sporting contest from somewhere around the globe is added to the standard round of fixtures. Over the course of the season, tipsters were asked to forecast results in US baseball, English Premier League Football, Spanish Football League, southern hemisphere Super Rugby, German AFL, Olympic Games events, Cricket, World U-16 basketball Championships, and, as a final round challenge, a match from the Bolton Badminton League. They also include local senior and junior sports, some with a connection to their staff members or their families.
In the final round, 11 people favoured Hawkshaw A, whilst 6 tipped Oakgate B. This would have been influenced by the fact that tipping an away winner is worth more points (3) than tipping a home winner (2). The result of the match (17-1 to Hawkshaw A) determined the winner of the competition who received 200 AUD (about £130).
The following photo shows some of the participants at one of the awards "ceremonies". Colin explains that "as well as the winner's cash, there was a small cash prize for coming last, plus a number of fun-type awards. Everyone was asked to wear a tie of some description (I should explain that ties are not part of our usual office attire, so it was a chance to trot out a 'bad taste' tie and have a few laughs)".
So the next time you walk on court bear in mind that the next swing of your racket could have some surprising consequences!