Office Pools Blog

NEW - Custom Scoring Periods - Sept. 4, 2012, 10 a.m. EDT

Lots of pools base their prizing on points earned over specific date ranges. Now you can setup an unlimited number of Custom Scoring Periods just for this purpose. Name them any way you want - check this out in Scoring section of the Admin console.

These are available to all your poolies in the Standings screen - use the Columns button to enable or disable any custom or pre-defined column. Your individual settings are remembered for you whenever you come back to check the Standings for your pool!

NEW - Trading Period Rules - Aug. 24, 2012, 9 p.m. EDT

We have added, as an option, the ability for pools to specify an unlimited number of trading period rules. Each rule has a defined date range coupled with a trade count. All trades requested by poolies, up to the cap number, during this date range are automatically approved - removing the burden on the Administrator to approve each one.

Trading Period Rules are supported for Reserve Activations, Free Agent Pickups and for Box Pool Trading. They are not supported for Exchange Trades ie for trades between two teams - these still need to be approved by the Administrator.

NEW - Change between pool types at will! - Aug. 24, 2012, 6 p.m. EDT

Officepools supports 3 pool types - Draft Pools where NHL players are typically drafted by a single team, Open Pools where each player can be drafted by many teams and Box Pools where selections are made between pre-defined groups or "boxes".

The Admin can change between any of these pool types with a single click. See the Pool Type in the Pool Config section.

NEW - Embed your pool standings on your own web site - Aug. 8, 2012, 10:10 p.m. EDT

For you pool admins who want to put access to your pool on your own web site you can now do it! Login to the admin console, in the Pool Config section there is a Links tab - this tab has the HTML code specific to your pool - along with the instructions on how to embed it.

Note: this widget is a simple scrollable list of the standings - simple and light weight.

NEW - WATCHLIST has been added to the Online Draftroom - Aug. 8, 2012, 5 p.m. EDT

Each poolie can now prepare ahead of time for the online draft by setting up their own custom list of players - called a "watchlist". This helps poolies use their own methodology in ranking players - visible only to themselves - and use this custom watchlist during the online draft. This list is a "live" watchlist - it is kept up to date in real time as the draft is in progress.

If the poolie wishes they can set the Draftroom to automatically select the next available player from their custom watchlist whenever their turn comes up.

Note to admins - you should enable the Draftroom and allow access ahead of the draft in order for your poolies to manage their watchlists. If your poolies created their teams by responding to an invitation they had the opportunity to create their initial list then - however, its unlikely they did it or if they did they probably would like to be able to make changes.

Important: The Online Draftroom - including the automatic watchlist functions - will ONLY work if the poolie is ONLINE while the draft is in progress.

NEW - Teams can be LABELLED and FILTERED - Aug. 8, 2012, 4:30 p.m. EDT

If you are running a large pool and would like teams grouped together you can do this using Team Labels. For example, if you are setting up a pool for a corporation you might have regions and each region may have multiple branches or stores. You can assign a name to a region and then create a sub-category under the region for each location. In the Standings screen you can filter - and RANK - by ALL teams, by Region or by each sub category (branch or store).

This means that all poolies can see their overall pool rank, rank by region and rank by store/branch as well - all from the Standings screen.

The pool admin sets up the categories and can set each team appropriately or they can allow each team to create a Team Login and select their appropriate label or category themselves. If you have any questions regarding using Labels please check out the help article. If you still have questions please email: [email protected]

NEW - Set your own Timezone! - Aug. 7, 2012, 3 p.m. EDT

We have added the ability to set your own timezone so that you can see game start times, chats and other time related data displayed in your own time! The timezone control is at the bottom right side of every screen - once set, we remember it for you.

NEW - Scoring for Trophy Winners - Aug. 7, 2012, 2:51 p.m. EDT

The NHL hands out a number of trophies at the end of the regular season. Now you can specify how many points you would like to award to any of the teams in your pool with a trophy winner on their roster!

Trophies available: Art Ross and Rocket Richard trophies given to specific players; Eastern Conference Winner, Western Conference Winner and the President's Trophy given to specific Teams.

Open Pools - March 14, 2012, 5:45 p.m. EDT

An "Open Pool" allows "open" selections from all NHL players and Teams. Poolies are not required to choose from predefined box pool groups. With open selection, picks are not unique - this means that many teams will select the same players such as Giroux, Ovechkin and the Sedins. The required number of forwards, defencemen, goalies etc. can all be specified to add variety and interest to the pool.

We also allow Open Pools to implement a salary cap so that the team owners need to ensure they stay under the cap - this really requires the poolies to think about their picks.

Once the Admin has configured the number of players, the position mix and scoring, invitations can be emailed. The invitee clicks on the link in the email which directs them to the team creation page where they name their team and make their picks according to the pool configuration.

Included is the ability for Admins to request "Entry Codes" that can be distributed by a number of methods (such as being printed on entry cards) allowing one team per code. Anyone with an entry code simply visits the officepools.com home page and enters it in the Code box - this allows them to create their team and make their picks online.

Open Pools are great for contests. Note: We have a limit of around 1,000 teams per pool - this limit will be removed for next season.

If you have any questions regarding "Open Pools" or would like to request Entry Codes for your pool please email: [email protected]

Online Draftroom - Feb. 24, 2012, 2:57 p.m. EST

Historically, draft pools are created after the team owners have all gotten together, decided on their pool rules, determined their draft order and made their picks. The pool admin then configures the pool, enters the teams and picks and “administers” the pool. We expect most of our draft pools will still follow this model as getting together for the draft is always a lot of fun. However, not all pools have team owners who live in the same neighborhoods. The new online Draftroom is your answer!

The Online Draftroom allows each team owner to select players in their draft order just as they would do if they were all together in the same room tracking the picks on paper. We show all available picks ranked using the pool’s own scoring rules. Rosters are updated in real time as picks are made and all drafted players become unavailable. We have even provided a real time chat window so you can trash talk all your buddies.

To participate all the team owner needs is their computer, an internet connection and the pool login details.

Once the draft is complete your rosters are set. At this point your pool rules take over with respect to allowing trades or other roster changes as the season progresses.

Who should use this?

If your pool is not using unique player selections then you cannot use the Draftroom. However, you can do a manual draft and have your admin enter your picks for each team. Alternatively, you can use one of our Box Pools which also supports online entry of the team rosters.

See the Help Articles for more detailed information.

Poolies - new Team Login functionality! - Jan. 19, 2012, 3:12 p.m. EST

You can now manage your own email subscriptions!

When you Team Login in order to request a trade or trash talk we now show your team name as a link just above the team list in the Standings. Click this link to open up a window where you can manage your buddies - just as you could before by clicking on the Add a buddy link. Now, IF we have your email address on file you can now set your various email subscriptions and language preferences.

Previously you had to rely on having your pool admin to set these on your behalf - now you can change them yourself!

How does your email address get entered into your team info? Two ways - either your pool admin entered it when they created your team or you entered the pool by responding to a box pool email invite. So, if you want to get access to the various emails for daily updates, trash talk etc let your admin know to add your email to your team details!

Facebook Integration - Profile - Jan. 19, 2012, 3:08 p.m. EST

With our first release of our Facebook integration you can connect your Facebook account to one or more of your pools. You will find that this first release is really useful to those of you who 1) access your pools from more than one computer and/or 2) have teams in two or more different pools.

Prior to this release changing between pools required you to logout of one pool and login to another using logins stored in a browser cookie. With this Facebook integration you no longer have to logout. Simply use the dropdown control on the Standings page - just to the right of the Logout link - to switch to a different pool.

Note: your cookied logins will still work just as before but you will likely find this new method faster and more convenient.

Question - My logins are cookied now giving me the same functionality - what is the difference?
Answer - Cookies are computer and browser specific. Change computers or clear your browser cookies and you will lose your auto logins. The Facebook integrations are stored centrally meaning that once you setup your Facebook pool logins they are available to you on any computer and with any browser - after you login to Facebook.

Question - So, what do you use Facebook for?
Answer - We simply use Facebook as a central mechanism to identify you on any computer with any browser. That's all - for now. We will be adding more functionality to this integration over the coming weeks.

Overlapping Picks Report - Jan. 19, 2012, 3:05 p.m. EST

This report is great for helping identify issues in draft pools that enforce unique picks - especially where trading is allowed. As the season progresses and the more trades occur the higher the probability that errors can creep into the process. The chance for errors can be compounded in pools that support more than one of the trading types - Free Agent Trades, Exchange Trades and Reserve Roster Activations.

Run this report to see if you have any issues and notify your Admin if you do.

Who knows - perhaps there is a mistake that is keeping you out of the top spot!

Update to Mobile Site - Nov. 23, 2011, 3:30 p.m. EST

Features Released Today
- Drop Lowest
- Team Login
- Buddy Lists
- Team Search for pools with 20 or more teams
- Broadcast Messages

Coming Features
- Trash Talk and Private Messaging
- Game Update
- Request trades
- NHL Schedule
- Picklist report
- Help

Please use the Report an issue link to let us know of your experience.

Mobile version - Nov. 17, 2011, 6 p.m. EST

We have our initial release of our mobile site designed especially for small mobile screens. Click the Mobile link to get the mobile version. (or go to www.officepools.com/mobile). There is a Desktop link in the mobile version to get back to the full browser version.

This initial version shows standings, round and trade history, injuries, suspensions, pool info, broadcast messages and player details for this and prior seasons. It also supports multiple logins those of you in more than one pool.

We have included a link so that you can easily report any issues to us from your device.

For iPhone users we have added a link so you can create a desktop icon.

Coming Features
- Team Login
- Buddy Lists - for large pools
- Team Search - for large pools
- Trash Talk and Messaging
- Game Update
- Request trades
- NHL Schedule
- Picklist report
- Help

What wont be coming in mobile?
- Admin functions - these keyboard intensive functions are best done on a computer.

Picklist Report for Box Pools - Oct. 31, 2011, 5:45 p.m. EDT

We added an option for those of you who support trading in Box Pools. When you go to the settings for the Picklist Report there is an option to "Limit to box pool choices". Enable this and only those players who are options in any of your boxes are included in the report. You can sort the output by Box Number (BN) to see the players ordered by box - this makes it easier for you to see how all the players in the box are doing.

Roster Report - Now with Date Range - Oct. 31, 2011, 5:40 p.m. EDT

You can now use this report to list your standings over a specific date range. You can use this for weekly and monthly reporting.

TRADES - If your pool supports trades keep in mind that only the active players as of the day the report is printed are shown - but the totals will include points earned by all players within the round during selected date range.

URL can now be tied to your uploaded logo - Oct. 31, 2011, 5:30 p.m. EDT

We added in the ability for you to add your company's URL to your uploaded logo. Any of your poolies who click on the logo will have this URL opened in another window.

You can add this URL if you have Admin access in the Upload Logo screen. Type the URL in the box provided and click Submit.

Player Find Link - Oct. 27, 2011, 5 p.m. EDT

We added a quick way for you to find out who in your pool has any specific player. Click the Find link in the upper right corner of the Standings page. This opens a Find Player / Franchise window. Select the player or NHL team in the drop down and the owner(s) will be displayed. Click on a hyperlinked owner to display the owning team in the Standings.

Box Pool Trading - Oct. 27, 2011, 4:05 p.m. EDT

We have improved the Box Pool trading. As the admin you can now complete trades by using the Box Trade page. If you want to allow your poolies to request trades and/or complete their own trades, you can use the Box Trading Options page to set your trading specifications. You can click on the “Use Auto Approval Rules” and then set the number of trades and the trading period. This is will allow your poolies to make their own trades without the admin having to approve them. They will only be able to trade players from within the same box.

If you don’t need to use free agent trading you can turn it off on the Box Trading Options page.

Hover option to show the real names of the team owners - Oct. 27, 2011, 2:48 p.m. EDT

If your pool is typical you do not use your real names for your teams. If your pool wants the ability to see who actually owns the team Canuckleheads, Dreamteam or whatever then this option is for your. Its called "Expose Team Owners" and the pool admin can turn it on.

When this option is turned on if you hover your cursor over the team name the team owner is displayed. Of course, this only works if the first and last names of each poolie have been entered in the Team Details screen or via the box pool entry form.

This option is turned OFF by default.

Roster Report - 2 new options - Oct. 27, 2011, 2:35 p.m. EDT

We had a number of requests for a simpler format of the Roster Report. There is now a Summary version so that includes just the rank, team name and points.

Some of you also wanted to get this data into a spreadsheet. We added a new button on the roster report called, for lack of a better term, Select Table. Click this to copy the report to the clipboard and then you can paste this into Excel and manipulate it.

Trade History Report - Oct. 27, 2011, 2:32 p.m. EDT

We added the ability for everyone to see all trades made in the pool. This report is available under the Pool Info link as well as under Reports.

Buddy filter on the Standings Page - Oct. 20, 2011, 3:10 p.m. EDT

This filter is for those of you with more than 20 teams in your pool. Use it to quickly filter the list of teams displayed so you can find your buddies without scrolling.

Note: set your buddies if you would like to always see your buddys grouped at the top of the standings.

Roster Report - More Options! - Oct. 20, 2011, 3:05 p.m. EDT

We have added in some options to this report to give you more control. You can now specify how many columns to include - and you can change the font size.

In addition to printing all the teams in your pool you can now cherry pick the teams you would like on the report.

Schedule page with Facebook Live Stream - Oct. 14, 2011, 7:40 p.m. EDT

Check out the schedule page...

Custom Report - export to Excel - Oct. 13, 2011, 5 p.m. EDT

We have added a report so that works in a similar manner to the Date Range Report. Define the range you want and then you can export your pool data to Excel. The data includes the points as per your pool scoring categories. The export includes data for trades over the range. We have also added in your reserve roster in a separate worksheet. Let us know how this works for you!

Top 200 Picklist - Sept. 14, 2011, 3:49 p.m. EDT

We have created a Picklist of the top 200 skaters for you. This is based on 1 point per goal and 1 point per assist. Top 200 Picklist

Ooops! I made a mistake creating my pool! - Sept. 12, 2011, 5:35 p.m. EDT

You may have created a pool using your preferred pool name but may have selected the wrong type. For example, perhaps you want to use a different box pool template. Or you may have noticed too late that there is an option to use your pool from last year to jump-start your pool for this year.

As pool names must be unique you have two options if you want to keep the same name. We have added a Delete Pool link at the bottom of the Admin console. Click this link and follow the help provided. Note that this only works on pools created for 2011-12 Regular season.

Your alternative is to send an email to [email protected] and we can do this for you!

Instant Pool Recalcs! - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:45 p.m. EDT

When an admin adds teams, changes scoring categories or changes the drop lowest rules - basically anything that would impact the Pool Standings page all changes are reflected virtually instantly!

New Home Page - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:33 p.m. EDT

We have a new, expanded homepage!
We needed a place for our expanded "Create Pool" options, demo videos, news, injuries, stats corrections, Cheat Sheets, our poll and other such information.
Just as in past years, if you close your browser without clicking the Logout link the next time you come to Officepools.com you will be taken straight to your standings page bypassing the home page with no need to login.

Editing Trades - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:31 p.m. EDT

The editing of trades has been moved to the Team Editor. Clicking the "T" beside each pick opens up a Round History box. This displays all the picks, in order, that have been traded in and out over the season. Picks can be inserted, added and deleted with this easy to use editor.

Create your 2011/12 Pool using last year's pool - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:30 p.m. EDT

You can use your pool from last year to seed this year's pool. This works for all draft pools but not for Box Pools.

All you need to do is to remember your pool name and your admin password and you can select from one of the following 3 options:
Pool Settings Only (your standard admin settings including scoring, drop-lowest rules etc
Pool Settings plus Teams (this includes all the team names, their email addresses and other details)
Pool Settings, plus Teams plus Picks (copies over the rosters as of the last day of the season - ie the trades made throughout the season are ignored.) Copying picks is a feature of most use for keeper leagues. Regular pools would not use this feature. Lets face it, who wants the same picks as last year?

New Pool Type - "Quick Pool" - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:24 p.m. EDT

These are for new admins or for those looking to setup a box pool quickly. We use one of our standard box pool templates we created for the 2011-12 Regular Season as a base. Then we simplified the workflow so that an admin can create their "Quick Pool" and send out the pool invitations all from a single setup page.

Note: A quick pool is simply a box pool with a simplified workflow for the initial setup. That's it - there are no other differences. If an admin creates a Quick Pool and has not sent out invitations the admin can edit the template including the boxes, players, scoring etc. just like any other box pool template.

Upload Logo - available for all pools! - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:22 p.m. EDT

In the Admin console is an Upload Logo tool. Use this to upload your corporate - or other - logo. This will be displayed in your pool's standings screen and will appear in your reports.

You can upload most common formats such as .jpg, .gif, .bmp, .png - pretty well any Raster image is supported - if its not supported we will let you know on import. Vector images are not supported.

Box Pool Enhancements - for Poolies - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:18 p.m. EDT

When you respond to an Officepools box pool invite you will see a new Random Pick button. Hit this to let the computer randomly select players from each box based on the template rules. If you don't like the team it selects - press it again!

Box Pool Enhancements - for Admins - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:12 p.m. EDT

We provide a number of different box pool templates for you to choose from. Once you have selected your box pool template and created your pool - but before you send out invitations - you can edit your box pool any way you want. By this we mean you can add or delete boxes, change the players in all boxes, make one or more boxes multiple choice as well as change the scoring.

We have also added in options for the email invitations. You can now set the number of teams allowable per email invitation. This lets you easily manage pools where you allow multiple entries. There is also a setting that makes the responses to email invites final - that is, the poolies cannot make any changes. Or you can allow poolies to make changes to their box pool rosters up to the Box Pool Entry Cutoff Date.

Reserve Trades - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:09 p.m. EDT

We have increased the flexibility of Reserve Trades. You can use the standard Reserve Trades that require admin approval - this is the default setup. We now have an option to allow the admin to setup a "reserve trading window" where poolies are allowed to make X changes over a specific time period without requiring admin approval.

Exchange Trades and Free Agent Trades - Sept. 6, 2011, 6:05 p.m. EDT

We have put substantial effort into upgrading our trading functionality for this season.
Administrators will see a new workflow user interface to simplify the trading process as well as an improved approval process.