Friday, January 4, 2013

WFTDA Playoffs

Damn, WFTDA done done it!!!

The new system is beautiful, elegant, and hopefully functional.

1st: ranking scheme

Wow, it looks like the best of the rugby rankings, the cricket rankings, even mine all rolled up into one. Basically, each team takes points from a bout based on percent of the score, the opponent's rank, and the importance of the bout.  The first two sound like mine, don't they?

The third sounds like a great idea, if you want a system that rewards playing well in a tournament.  Friendly bouts are worth less than tournament bouts, of which the championship bout is worth the most of all.  Unfortunately, they don't go into detail of if just Big 5 tournaments count extra, or if something like Track Queens would come with more value as well.  I do hope it does.

Also, this means that ONLY SANCTIONED BOUTS COUNT!  A scheme based on democracy is really nice on paper, but it suffers from the "unrung" problem--once the scores from a closed bout leak, the voters can never be properly trusted not to take them into account.  Using only sanctioned bouts mean that the WFTDA rankings calculators can "show their work" of why teams are ranked where they are.

Problem: the system for inaccuracy requires 51% of teams to vote that the ranking is inaccurate.  Thus, if a bout is mis-recorded, a team must campaign for the bout to be voted inaccurate.  I really, really dislike the idea of turning facts of history (the score) over to a democratic process.  It's either accurate, or it's not.  That shouldn't require a vote.

2nd: divisional structure

Looks like WFTDA learned from the best of the Football League, but with a massive, massive advance: unlimited promotion.

The top 40 teams as of 12 November are in D-I.  However many former D-II teams make that cut, that many are promoted.  However many former D-I teams find themselves ranked below #40, that many are relegated.  Simple as, and way more fair than the Football League system.

ALSO, D-I teams are required to play D-II or D-III teams, with similar requirements on the other divisions as well.  This means that a worthy D-III team (Helsinki, anyone?) will have the opportunity of picking up the points for facing a D-I opponent.  Unlike the Rugby Premiership, D-I cannot be walled off from the rest of derby.

Is it perfect?  Well, what would perfect even look like?

It's fair, and it says that team rankings aren't based on opinions and preferences.  They're based on facts, and points, and more facts.  Of course it's subject to review, everything is.

I think the WFTDA have made a great move forward for the world of their affiliates.  Well done!

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