'Dead-Heat' rules decide top scorer

'Dead-Heat' rules decide top scorer
James Rodriquez is on 6 goals and is hoping to win the Golden Boot award.

The 2014 World Cup may be over for Colombia, but their star man James Rodriguez still harbours hopes of winning the Golden Boot award ahead of the final on Monday morning (Singapore time).

And with just two matches left, local punters are also holding out hope that their "Top Goalscorer" punts will help them score a tidy profit.

Rodriguez leads the tournament's scoring charts with six goals, closely followed by Germany's Thomas Mueller (five) and Argentina's Lionel Messi (four).

Mueller and Messi remain in contention for the Golden Boot, as they will feature for Germany and Argentina in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

This means there remains the possibility that there could be a tie for the Golden Boot.


In the event of a tie, Fifa's rules state that the winner will be the player who has the most number of assists. If that is still not enough to separate the contenders, the individual who has played the least number of minutes will win the coveted scoring award.

For Singapore Pools, however, "dead-heat" rules will determine the payouts for "Top Goalscorer" bets - where the amount is divided by the number of winners.

A dead-heat occurs when two or more selections end up in a tie.

In a statement to The New Paper, a Singapore Pools spokesman said that the dead-heat rules are clearly stated in the Singapore Pools General Rules for Sports Betting, Clause 10.4.

The clause states: "In the event of a dead-heat, the prize shall be calculated by dividing the stake placed on the selection involved in the dead-heat by the number of competitors or players who achieved the identical result, and then multiplying the divided amount by the odds applicable to the participant's selection."

This means if Mueller, Messi and Rodriguez - whose bet category falls under "Player not listed" - all finish on six goals, the amount staked on any of the three players will be divided by three, before being multiplied by the odds indicated (see table above).

"Dead-heat rules are not peculiar to Singapore Pools. It is widely practised and the same formula is used by other gaming operators around the world," explained the spokesman.


"There are additional criteria such as number of assists and time spent on the pitch to determine the Golden Boot award winner, (but) the additional criteria are sometimes not immediately published or readily available.

"For example, the number of assists is evaluated by a technical committee, and the time spent on the pitch is subject to substitutions and injury time."

A check on the websites of big betting house such as Hong Kong Jockey Club, Ladbrokes, Bet365 and William Hill showed that they carried the same rules as Singapore's only legal sports betting operator.

Confusion arose after the last World Cup in 2010, when four players finished as joint-top scorer with five goals each.

Many punters had visited the betting shops after the final expecting to collect their winnings on their top-scorer bets, only to realise that their winnings had been reduced. Punter Jeffrey D'Cruz, whom TNP spoke to, said he is wiser now after the debacle four years ago.

"The (dead-heat) system is fair, but I feel Singapore Pools should simply follow Fifa's rules on determining the Golden Boot winner. Why not just follow the official ruling?" he said.

This article was first published on July 11, 2014.
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