NYC Battle of the Badges rules

(Updated 4/30/2019)

NYC Battle of the Badges is administered by a separate party, HealthyWage.

These rules are incorporated into and incorporate the Services Agreement, to which all participants must agree in order to register and participate.

Sign up on the HealthyWage website

It only takes a few minutes to register and start having fun getting in shape and losing weight!

It’s not necessary to be a WW (Weight Watchers® reimagined) member to participate. But, if you are a member, it will give you an advantage for achieving your weight loss goals and quadruple WW’s jackpot donation for your participation. WW will build the jackpot by contributing:

• $5 for every participant.
• an additional $15 for each new or current WW member that participates.

With a WW membership, you’ll get the extra help you need to reach your weight-loss goals, including support through 24/7 Chat, access to a members-only social network, and easy-to-use tools to track food, activity, weight, and chart your progress. Additional content and tips for healthy living, thousands of delicious recipes, and more are also included in your WW membership

The City of New York covers part of the cost for WW membership*. Sign up for WW any time during the competition to access additional support and unlock NYC Battle of the Badges features that non-members won’t have. Plus, as a WW member, you’ll be contributing more to the jackpot!

*The dollar value of this contribution/benefit will be included as taxable income to the employee.

Great charitable cash prizes

Each team’s goal is to lose an average of 6% of the team’s total body weight in 12 weeks. Your job is to stay on track and encourage fellow teammates. The agency with the greatest percentage of teams achieving the 6% average weight-loss goal wins. The jackpot of up to $20,000 will be donated to the winning agency’s charity of choice. $1,000 will be donated to the charities chosen by the other three agencies.

Get your weight verified twice

All participants are required to get their weight verified by uploading a photo of their WW tracker or by making a 30-second video from the privacy of your home. You will need to do this only two times:

- Once, on or within two weeks after the competition start date, and
- Once again within two weeks before or on the competition end date.

Read more about how to have your weight verified.

Weigh in unofficially once a week

To keep you on track and to be sure everyone knows where they stand, we ask you to weigh yourself once a week. You can step on your own scale and then enter it on the HealthyWage website. (You’ll see a green 'add weight' button on your page when you sign in to the site).

These weekly weigh-ins do not need to be verified. But, since the other participants need to know where they stand in NYC Battle of the Badges, it's important for everyone to keep up with weigh-ins. Remember, no one but you will see your individual weight.

Throughout NYC Battle of the Badges, participants can collect digital ribbons. One way to collect digital ribbons is by submitting your weigh-in every week. Other ways to collect ribbons is by being a WW member or by completing individual mini-challenges (there are six in total).

Calculating a team's average percentage weight lost

Prizes are awarded based on team mean proportionate weight loss. Team mean proportionate weight loss is the average of each team member’s proportionate weight loss, which is measured by finding the difference between a participant’s verified starting weight and verified ending weight, and dividing that difference by the participant’s verified starting weight. Each individual's average is added together and the total is divided by the number of teammates to achieve the team mean proportionate weight loss. When we tabulate the results, we do not count weight loss beyond 16.59% for any team member. If someone on your team doesn't get a weigh-out, their weight loss will count as 0% for purposes of computing your team's average weight loss.

Weight loss beyond 16.59% doesn't count

In order to encourage healthy weight loss, we only count weight loss up to 16.59% per person. Any individual weight loss beyond 16.6% does not count for the competition. So, the winning teams are the ones where each team member gets closest to the cap. Note: If you lose more than 16.6% of your body weight, you will not be disqualified, but any extra weight you lose above 16.6% will not be counted toward your team's weight loss average for the competition.

Teams are locked 14 days after the start date

14 days after the NYC Battle of the Badges start date, full teams are completely locked -- i.e., no one can join or leave the team without contacting HealthyWage (this is to prevent gaming the system -- see “No Gaming the System” rule below).

No gaming the system

Any behavior that other reasonable NYC Battle of the Badges participants consider unfair, unethical or inconsistent with the spirit and purpose of the competition is against the rules. For example, teams that are complete are not allowed to continue to recruit for players or add/remove teammates once a team has been completed for the purpose of creating "super teams." This includes but is not limited to: kicking otherwise communicative and active participants off a team because they are "behind" in weight loss, luring teammates from an otherwise functional and complete team, or in any other way, as determined by HealthyWage, "stacking" the team. Doing so will be considered "poaching" and be cause for disqualification from the current challenge.

Team changes after a month

In the event of a pregnancy reported after a month from the NYC Battle of the Badges start date, a team can consist of 4 members. This does not include injuries since weight loss is still possible: new studies show that diet is more important to weight loss than exercise.

Eligibility 

The NYC Battle of the Badges is open to DOC, DSNY, FDNY, and NYPD employees. Void where prohibited. Participants must be over the age of 18. Pregnant women cannot participate.

Verified Weigh-in Instructions

These are the verified weigh-in rules; these do not apply to the unofficial weigh-ins that you enter on the website.

You must get your weight verified twice for each challenge, once at the beginning (verified weigh-in) and once at the end (verified weigh-out). We will alert you by email and on your NYC Battle of the Badges dashboard when your weigh-in and weigh-out periods are opening and closing.

Getting your weight verified is easy. You have two easy options for your weight verification - choose just one:

Option 1 - Upload a photo of your WW Tracker
Option 2 - Video Verification (by yourself of with a partner)

Also, we've tried to answer all your questions in our Verified Weigh-in FAQ!

Option one: Verification at a WW Wellness Workshop

Simply scan or take a photo of your WW tracker (the weigh-in portion showing your weight) after your normal weigh-ins. If you're using this method, you do not need to use our VerifyMe! Form.

Option two:  Video Verification

We recommend video verification - you can do it in the comfort and privacy of your own home! Plus, we've got directions that will help you do it with a partner (fun!) or even to do it by yourself. Once done, just upload it to your NYC Battle of the Badges dashboard and you're done. You can use your phone or a camera, whichever is easier for you. The HealthyWage website is mobile friendly, so uploading from your phone can be done quickly and easily!

        1. Film your short video (either yourself, or with a partner recording you)
  2. Log in to HealthyWage and upload the file through your dashboard
  3. You're done!

Here's an instructional video to show you just how easy this method can be!

See the complete list of required video shots below, for detailed instructions on this and a demo of the self-video method.

 

Verified Weigh-in FAQ

Who will see my weigh-in?

Whichever method you choose to weigh-in, your verified weight information will be kept entirely private, and only be viewed by HealthyWage staff. Weight is never shared publicly; your weight is confidential and will not be shared with WW or your employer. Only percentages are displayed on your profile, to your teammate or shared with your employer.

When can I get my weigh-in?

You may get your weight verified on the first day of the competition, not before (unless otherwise specified). You have two weeks from the start of the competition to submit your initial weight verification.

At the end of the competition, you may have your weight verified beginning two weeks prior to the end of the competition up to and including the final day. Final weights verified outside of this window will not be accepted.

What do I wear for my weigh-in?

We recommend you wear one layer of non-baggy, dry clothing with no shoes and nothing in your pockets. If you are doing a video, please wear short sleeves or a tank top, and bottoms that are above the knee. Also please turn your pockets out. Most important: Wear roughly the same clothing each time you weigh in (to take your clothing out of the weight loss equation!). See this page for additional information about what to wear for your weigh-in.

Do I have to weigh-in with the same method and/or at the same location for both verifications?

No, you are not required to use the same method or return to the same location for both of your verified weigh-ins, however you can if you like. Remember there can be differences in scales that may or may not impact your final weight loss.

Does my scale have to be digital?

No, you have two choices: if it is a personal, bathroom scale, it must be digital. If it is an upright, public scale (like one in a Dr's office) the display must be visible during all shots. The scale must measure weight in either pounds or kilograms, and must be zeroed out or balanced prior to the participant's weigh-in. The scale must be on a flat, hard surface (not on a carpet or rug). See here for more details about approved scales.

What is required in the video?

We try to keep it simple (but fair!) and we're certainly not perfectionists, so do the best you can to incorporate the following shots into your video. The most important thing is that the video is uncut, clearly shows the date, the scale zeroed out, and your weight while on the scale (up close so we can read it, and with full-body so we know it's you!). Here is a list of the shots:

- proof of the date of measurement
- a full body shot, front and back (or a shot from both sides as shown below), of the participant
- the zeroed out scale (zoom in)
- the participant's weight when on the scale (zoom in)
- the participant on the scale (zoom out, full body on scale)
- the participant stepping off the scale (zoom out, full body)
 
View this page to see is a list of the shots, screen by screen.

If the scale cannot be zeroed out, the scale must reset (turn off and then back on) between weighing.

How can I film the video if I'm by myself?

The video must still be shot in one, uncut take, and include all of the same shots as the video taken by another person. To obtain the shots, hold the camera throughout the video, and use a full-length mirror to get the full body shots, and, holding the camera near your body, zoom in on the scale display for the other shots. The camera or phone may add a small amount of additional weight, however if the same camera or phone is used for both the starting weigh-in and final weigh-out, there will be no difference in the amount of weight lost through NYC Battle of the Badges.
 
Here's an instructional video to show you just how easy this method can be!

How do I correctly demonstrate the date in my video?

Verify the date of your weigh-in by including a clear shot of the day's newspaper with a date.

If you don't have a physical copy of a newspaper, pull up a news website on your computer or tablet. Hint: acceptable sites such as the New York Times or The Washington Post  have date stamps in the header, underneath their logos.
 
You may also show your wearable device (such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch) as proof as long as the date appears clear and readable in the video.
 

Additional Verification Rules

Make Sure Your Verification Is Accurate & Honest

Make your best effort to ensure that your verified weigh-in has been measured and reported truthfully and accurately.

Additional Proof

As part of our verified weight audits, we occasionally request that some (very few) participants get a second, verifiable weigh-in by a selected person or method, which we arrange at our expense. You must cooperate with winners’ department crew members if they request an additional verification or any other assistance in verifying the truth and accuracy of your weight loss. Differences of more than a few pounds between a participant's verified weight as reported by a verifier selected by the participant, on the one hand, and the same participant's verified weight as reported by a verifier selected by HealthyWage, on the other hand, may result in disqualification.

You should also keep on hand a set of full-body before-and-after photos, and make sure your teammates do the same. You do not need to submit the photo(s) to HealthyWage unless we request them.

Be Responsible for Your Verification

Your verification may not be valid if: a) HealthyWage does not receive the verified measurements within 72 hours after they are taken, b) if your verification does not take place within the specified verification period of your challenge, c) if HealthyWage is not able to locate your verifier or confirm your verification with your verifier, d) if your verifier indicates that he/she did not personally take your weight and height measurements, or e) if your verifier refuses, upon HealthyWage's request, to provide a sworn statement about the verifications, or other request made by HealthyWage.

 

General Rules

These rules apply to all our weight loss competitions.

Get Your Weight Verified Twice

Once at the start and once at the end of NYC Battle of the Badges, you must have your weight verified. Verification can be done from the privacy of your home by making a video and uploading it to our website. Or, you can visit a health club or physician and have them verify you.

Don't Cheat or Commit Fraud

We use proprietary algorithms, weigh-in reviews and, if necessary, outside investigators and law enforcement to catch cheaters. The legal consequences are not worth the benefit. The rule also applies to participants who are dishonest with the HealthyWage crew or verifiers or anyone else in connection with the NYC Battle of the Badges.

Don't use unhealthy tricks to “game” the competition

Doing unhealthy things in order to “game” NYC Battle of the Badges is prohibited, including, but not limited to, deliberate weight gain (before, during, or after a HealthyWage competition), starvation (defined as eating fewer calories each day than your doctor recommends), excessive exercise (defined as exercise that exceeds your doctor’s recommended amount of exercise, in terms of type, frequency and duration), water deprivation, unusual water consumption, self-induced vomiting, diuretics, laxatives, or any weight loss or weight gain plan that your doctor does or would advise against, or that, in HealthyWage’s sole and exclusive discretion, would be considered unhealthy or unfair by an ordinary person.

Don't harass other players…or anyone else

Harassment of any kind, whether of your own teammates or other teams or non-participants is prohibited. You are encouraged to support your teammates, but you are required to agree that unwelcome emotional, physical, or other abuse is absolutely forbidden. Harassment shall also include any words or actions that, in HealthyWage’s sole and exclusive discretion, would be likely to cause any of your teammates, or any other person, to feel pressured to do any of the unhealthy actions defined above.

Don't do anything illegal

Don't participate while pregnant

If you enter the competition while pregnant, you will be disqualified. Weight loss caused by giving birth to a baby (/-ies) does not count. Sorry, moms!

Your participation in NYC Battle of the Badges can be suspended without penalty to your team if you become pregnant during the challenge. Please contact info@healthywage.com if you believe you might be pregnant. Your participation in the competition resumes after you are no longer pregnant.

Don't have surgery during your participation in the NYC Battle of the Badges

It is against the rules to have liposuction, bariatric surgery, or any other weight-loss surgery during your participation in this competition or within 1 year prior to this competition start date.

If you have any questions, please contact HealthyWage:

For fastest response: email info@healthywage.com.
Customer support: (888) 636-3832.
Our general fax number is: (651) 964-3499.