With the kick-off of 2014's NRL premiership season, here's a collection of resources for your friendly tipping competitions.
If your NRL season involves a friendly flutter every year, there are a number of apps, both online and on mobile, to help keep your competitions organised.
New this year is Bet Your Balls, an app for iOS and Android for organising tipping comps with your mates. NRL isn't the only sport on offer — it also covers AFL, Super Rugby, The Rugby Championship and the A League Soccer in Australia; NBA, NFL, MLB and the NHL in the US; and the English Premier League in the UK. Each month, each player is given 500 Balls to bet with (additional Balls can be purchased for AU$0.99 for 500), and each tip costs 10 Balls. A correct tip will bring in 20 Balls — so real money is never exchanged unless you purchase additional Balls. Tipping can only occur between friends, so you can't just play against anyone, either — but Facebook integration makes playing with your friends a lot easier, as the app will connect you to all Facebook friends using the app.
You can also create your own custom competitions, send messages within the app, buy power-ups and bonuses, and climb the in-app leaderboards.
If you prefer something a little more high stakes, ESPN Footytips is where you can go to place tips for a whole range of Aussie sports, including AFL, NRL, rugby, football, netball and cricket. You can compete with real money, or create custom competitions with your friends, and ESPN gives out a wide range of prizes, from cash to sports experiences to fast food vouchers. You can also play fantasy competitions. Tip prices are set by ESPN based on odds, and you can play online, or using apps for Android and iOS.
Cash bets are the order of the day at iTipFooty, too, but all competitions, prizes and prices are set by users. Available for AFL, NRL, Super Rugby, A-League and EPL, all monies are collected and prizes distributed offline by the competition manager. Features include a message board, tipping log, tipping reminders and the ability to invite your mates to join. It certainly seems to be the most simple and straightforward of the resources out there. It is, however, only available on the web.
This is the official tipping competition run by Telstra, which sponsors the NRL. It's only available on the web, and there are three types of competitions: private, which are set up by users for friends and family; public; and the overall competition, where your entries are automatically added. For private competitions, prizes are determined by the organiser, but for the overall competition, Telstra is offering a range of cash and other prizes, with the major prize for the overall winner coming in at AU$10,000 and a trip for two to the grand final. You can view the full prize details here.
Did we miss your favourite tipping site or app? Tell us about it in the comments below.