1

Always, when a season of some competition is close to end, people are speculating what are the possibilities for the teams. (Can this team be a champion? Can this team reach spot which ensures UEFA competition? Is it already sure that this team will be relegated? Will this team reach play-offs? Which pairs in play-offs are already decided?)

No exactly the same, but in the similar spirit would be questions like: Is it possible that Roger Federer will be Number 1 in the next edition of ATP ranking (after US Open finishes this week)?

I'll give two example questions of this type:


At the moment the standings of the wild card teams in the eastern conference is the following:
1 Columbus 91 points/80 matches
2 Detroit 91/80
3 Washington 85/79
4 New Jersey 84/79
The table on the NHL website says that both Detroit and Columbus have already clinched playoff spot. But Washington still has 3 games to play, so they can have 91 points at the end of the season. Assuming that Columbus and Detroit would lose all remaining games, they would be all tied at 91 points. Why is it that Washington cannot finish in front of these two teams?

(This is not entirely hypothetical question - I am describing the table at this moment. However, I know that the answer is that the second tie-breaker is the number of wins in regular time or overtime, and since Washington only have 26 and the other two teams have more than 28, there is not even theoretical change that Capitals will reach playoffs.)


This question is entirely hypothetical, since we do not know how standings in La Liga will look like two rounds before the end, but anyway:

The standings in the La Liga table at the moment are:
1 Atletico 91 points
2 Barcelona 90
3 Real Madrid 86
All teams have two matches remaining (Real Madrid: Espanyol, Celta Vigo; Barcelona: Elche, Atletico; Atletico: Malaga, Barcelona) and Atletico plays against Barcelona in the last round. Is it still possible for Real to win the title?


I hope I made clear what I mean by questions of this type. So I want to ask:

  • Are questions like this allowed/on-topic on this site?
  • If not, how can such questions be framed to be acceptable? (For example, would a question: "What are tie-breaking criteria in this season of La Liga?", which would include explanation "I am asking mainly because I'd like to know whether Real Madrid still has a chance to win the league." be acceptable for this site?
  • Would slightly modified question of this form be on topic? "This source claims that it is already sure that Real Madrid cannot win the title. But if I understand the rules correctly, in this scenario Real would be the winner. What I am missing? Or does the source I quoted have a mistake?"
3

Are questions like this allowed/on-topic on this site?

These types of questions tend to be ephemeral.

Looking at this question:

Is it possible that Roger Federer will be Number 1 in the next edition of ATP ranking (after US Open finishes this week)?

Listing the current rankings will help, and a determination may be made clear from there...but will that matter come Wimbledon, for example?

Looking at this example:

The standings in the La Liga table at the moment are:

1 Atletico 91 points

2 Barcelona 90

3 Real Madrid 86

All teams have two matches remaining (Real Madrid: Espanyol, Celta Vigo; Barcelona: Elche, Atletico; Atletico: Malaga, Barcelona) and Atletico plays against Barcelona in the last round. Is it still possible for Real to win the title?

Again, the rankings will not matter after a short period of time.


If not, how can such questions be framed to be acceptable? (For example, would a question: "What are tie-breaking criteria in this season of La Liga?", which would include explanation "I am asking mainly because I'd like to know whether Real Madrid still has a chance to win the league." be acceptable for this site?

This is where I begin to explain my perspective on your first question. If you look at several of our questions on Sports SE, we have ephemeral examples that need explained (by means of rules, officiating, etc.) for clarification and the like. Although the examples themselves do not matter after a short period of time, the ruling, how the game is played, etc. continues to carry relevant significance for the near-future (given that rules, etc. do not change).

Thus, the way you word this question is an acceptable way to ask if Real Madrid still has a chance to win the league.

Would slightly modified question of this form be on topic? "This source claims that it is already sure that Real Madrid cannot win the title. But if I understand the rules correctly, in this scenario Real would be the winner. What I am missing? Or does the source I quoted have a mistake?"

This would be a more interesting angle of your last question...because it's comparing the source to what the rules say...and that makes our community look good for clarification's sake and/or to objectively explain the rules to in/validate the source's claim.


A note based on the introduction of your question, a question like...:

These eight teams are in the playoffs. Who will win?

...would be highly speculative and, even with the presence of stats, comes down to this being opinion-based.

For example, the greatest offense in the history of the NFL can still be defeated (or more appropriately, embarrassed, in my opinion) in the championship game.

  • 2
    Your final example was well chosen. Nice work. – skullpatrol Apr 11 '14 at 4:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .