What is Alligator?

  • Alligator is a computer program which analyses all the remaining games in a league or group and tells you who can still win or qualify for the knockouts.

I can work that out in my head!

  • Respectfully… you can’t – not unless there are only a couple of games left. With 20 games remaining in a WBBL season for example, there are almost 3-and-a-half billion possible outcomes – you can’t do that in your head!

What does “in their own hands” mean?

  • It means that a team’s destiny is under their own control – if they win all their remaining games, they will definitely qualify, regardless of Net Run Rate or other tie-breaker.

Didn’t you previously publish more detailed information?

  • This is still available on commercial terms to teams and media organisations – please contact us for more details of pricing.

What detailed information is available?

  • Everything… pretty much! We can tell you the exact sequences of results your team would require to qualify; what other results they need to go “their way”; how many points they need; what the situation will be after the next game; etc. etc.

Can I use the information you’ve published publicly?

  • Yes, but please credit/ name-check

How does the program work?

  • It uses what’s known as (I kid you not!) a “brute force” algorithm – long story short, it goes through all the possible outcomes one by one, gathering all the info it needs to find the best and worst cases for each team.

How long does that take?

  • With 20 games left in a WBBL season, almost 24 hours on a “normal” PC; but we can run it much quicker on a super-computer in the cloud.

Is it right?

  • Probably! We’ve been using it for a couple of years now, and we think we’ve ironed out most of the issues, but there may still be some bugs hidden away in there, so we can’t guarantee it 100%. We’d strongly recommend not betting your life savings on it.

Who wrote it?

  • Syd.

Does he actually know what he’s doing?

  • Yes – he has over 25 years* of commercial experience writing data analysis software, including stints working for the American Railroads and the NHS. (*Yes… unfortunately he is that old!)

What’s it written in?

  • It’s written in a programming language called C# – pronounced “C Sharp”, like the musical note.

Can we buy the software?

  • Currently, no – not unless you are offering us enough money to retire!! But the information it produces is available on commercial terms to teams and media organisations – please contact us for more details of pricing.