Join the First Actuarial Monkey League

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! Summer is flying by and the football season will soon be upon us –  brilliant! So now we invite entries to our Monkey League competition.

 As existing players will know, the Monkey League asks you to test your football knowledge by asking you to predict winners and losers. Do you know enough to be able to predict the outcome of next season’s top four English league tables better than a monkey?  We are talking an actuarial monkey here – which doesn’t mean the latest actuarial trainee recruit but does mean a randomly generated set of picks. Surely, that should be easy enough.  Surely, even if you know absolutely nothing about football you’d have a 50-50 chance of beating a monkey.  And given you know (or you probably think you know) more than nothing, that should stack the odds highly in your favour.  But what about 2 monkeys?  Using the knowledge you’ve got, what are the chances of you beating both of them?  What about 5 or 10 monkeys?  Are you confident you could beat all of them?  How about 50, 100 or 200 monkeys?  It’s not so easy now.  There just might be some very lucky monkeys amongst them.  Well, welcome to the greatest concept in office football games.  One where you compete against 1,000 monkeys.  Now how hard can that be? And of course as well as the monkeys you have all the other competitors to worry about – don’t underestimate the ribbing you will get when your colleague outshines you – especially if they support a rival team. (Here we have Utd/Liverpool and Utd/City rivalries but we know there are lots of other rivalries played out through the Monkey League).

For the last few years we have run our highly successful football prediction game – The Monkey League. Initially run internally, we have opened the game up to a number of clients who clamoured to join in.

In a nutshell, all you need to do is pick 2 “good” teams and 2 “bad” teams from each of the four English divisions. You don’t get to change your mind so you don’t need to do anything else throughout the season except watch aghast or thrilled as you teams let you down or do you proud. We start off with the predictions issued by the bookies and use these to give each team a handicap. The handicap is set so that if the team do as predicted by the bookies, everyone would end up with no points at the end of the season. You need to find a system of identifying teams who will do better or worse than predicted. That system might mean sticking a pin in a sheet or it might mean spending hours doing quantitative and qualitative research.

We post the results on the website each week, and include some commentary and banter in our regular bulletins.  For everyone’s interest and entertainment, this will include some mickey taking. By signing up for Monkey League, you give your permission to us to poke fun at your dreadful performance or your spectacular recovery (although to be honest, we are better at celebrating failure!).

We are now inviting entries for the 2010/11 season. . Serious contenders should have already started their homework with regular trips to Sky Sports News recommended. 

The good news is that there’s no entry fee.  The bad news that there’s no big prize money either. We are playing for a bottle of champagne – and of course the glory of being top monkey.  So, if you think you’re a football guru then why not show us all (and 1,000 monkeys) by putting the monkeys back where they belong.  And if you know absolutely nothing about football, why not give it a go?  What have you got to lose?  Even a random selection should beat 500 monkeys and who knows, you might just end up being the luckiest monkey of them all!  Imagine how that would upset the football boffins in your office. 

 The handicaps that the game depends on are issued by a nationally recognised bookmaker and have just been announced. 

The entry form is avaailable by e-mail from , just fill it in and email itback or directly to If anyone needs talking through how to fill this in, give Henry a ring on 07785 377768 . If you prefer to print out and fill in by hand, then just scan it or fax it, that’s fine as well.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply