Discussion About the New World Rankings

Well, the new world rankings have been calculated and I’m sure there will be LOTS of discussion on the legitimacy of the results.  Specifically, how is four-time world champ Dean Allen #7 and MB6 round-of-32-loser Sean Dameron #4?

Player ATR TTP WRS
1. Jason Salmon     (85-28) 104.43 (4) 6,605.25 (3) 3.4
2. Andy Frushour     (101-23) 104.96 (3) 5,156.39 (5) 4.2
3. Chuck Trinoskey     (37-14) 102.08 (7) 3,457.99 (9) 8.2
4. Sean Dameron     (97-39) 95.92 (22) 7,265.86 (1) 9.4
5. Dan Kidle     (49-20) 98.62 (14) 3,500.98 (8) 10.4
6. Kevin Singleton     (94-36) 94.26 (25) 6,715.82 (2) 11.2
7. Dean Allen     (25-7) 100.69 (10) 2,970.29 (13) 11.8
8. Keith Hagen     (35-20) 98.29 (15) 3,292.87 (10) 12.0
9. Brent Morrow     (22-9) 100.04 (11) 2,951.27 (15) 13.4
10. Eric Trinoskey     (20-14) 100.04 (12) 2,801.11 (16) 14.4

Although imperfect, the system over the years has done a good job of ranking players.  The formula benefits players who: 1) do well in tournaments, and 2) play in many and/or large tournaments. The logic is anyone can do well in one tournament, but can you play consistently well in many tournaments against many other players?

The system also only uses the last two years worth of data so that: 1) a bad tournament will eventually come off your record, and 2) the ranking is an indication of how you’ve played recently.  (Just for fun, I figured out rankings based on a few other time windows.)

So the ranking system seems to be giving credit to Sean for all the bigger non-Worlds tournaments he’s played in and done very well in (tournament sizes of 96, 36, 19, 18, 34, 70, 31, 110, 21, 35, 29, 32, 16 – all in the last two years!).  And the system seems to be penalizing Dean for playing in only three tournaments – he won MB6, but was a Sweet 16 loser in a 30-person tournament and only a quarterfinalist at MB5.

We all know Dean is arguably the best Monkeyballer on the planet, and I’m guessing Sean would even tell you that #4 is too high for him.  Ultimately, though, I think this is exactly what rankings are for: they give us something to talk about.  You still have to play the game, and the rankings make the build-up to the game a little more fun.

I’d love to hear your comments, whether it be on the current ranking system or on your personal top 10.  I don’t want this conversation to degenerate into a trash-talking mess (don’t blame Sean, blame the computer) – I truly do want your opinion.  Help me out: should the system be changed, or is it just fine as is?  Do you know a statistics guru that can help me make a new model — one I’m currently not smart enough to do myself.  I initially thought I may make some changes to the formula, but right now I’m leaning towards making no changes at all; it’s worked just fine in the past, why question it after what just may be a small hiccup.

(In case you’re wondering, here’s my personal post-MB6 Top 10: 1 J Salmon, 2 D Allen, 3 A Frushour, 4 C Trinoskey, 5 K Hagen, 6 K Singleton, 7 B Morrow, 8 D Kidle, 9 E Trinoskey, 10 S Dameron.)


Comments

  1. Dean Allen says:

    Maybe weight results and win percentage more heavily than tournament points and number of tournaments played. Also winning tournaments with 25 plus people should factor more than a spur of the moment 8 person tourney. That’s my 2 cents.

    Also, I don’t play much over in the Detroit area, all the ballers are in EL and AA.

  2. Salmon says:

    Nope. Don’t see anything wrong with the rankings. Looks good to me!

    Except for the fact that Dean is #7. That’s crazy…perhaps he shall decide to move South, where the weather is more conducive to year-round play. Dean at #7 just doesn’t look right. Guess he needs to win a fifth to break into the Top 5?

    And speaking of the South, anyone notice that the Top 10 looks a little bit like the NCAA pre-season polls, with the SEC (SoMoConut) owning 4 of the Top 10?

  3. Dan Kidle says:

    Wow Andy, sorry that you’re stuck being paired with someone ranked 7th this weekend at MIS. Better luck next year…

    Also, I like the current ranking system – but I haven’t made up my mind on the 60-40 split. When Monkeyball TV takes off, we can bring AP rankings in to counterbalance the computer rankings.

  4. sean dameron says:

    Thanks for highlighting that “MB6 round-of-32-loser” part…. :) I definitely agree that Dean at #7 and me at #4 is odd. I had myself pegged at #10 or lower.

    Dean has been dominant throughout the MB Worlds events and no matter what the computer says, we know he’s one of the best! Congrats on the win, Dean! (and congrats to Jason for taking over the #1 spot!)

    I also like the current system, but wonder about the split. Have you toyed with a 50-50 split?

    How’s the ranking system in tennis or in golf? Maybe check there for some ideas?

  5. Andy Frushour says:

    DEAN: The “problem” would be the same — Sean already plays (and does well) in a ton of 25+ tourneys, while you (and I, for that matter) play in only a few.

    DAN: I’ll just have to live with #7. :) To your other point, I have thought about doing a competing poll made up entirely of humans. Might be fun for us MB nerds to do. Perhaps we could combine the human poll and computer numbers for a new world ranking — a la the BCS — but we DO have a tournament to crown our champion.

    SEAN: I did toy with the splits. I actually thought using a 60/40 split was more explanatory in this case than the current 40/60 split. But once you got outside the top 20, some real funky rankings started happening. So I decided, for now, to just go with the same system I’ve always used. You can see here the difference between 60/40, 50/50, and 40/60. http://playmonkeyball.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/MB-rankings-different-splits.pdf

    Does anyone know Jeff Sagarin? I’m sure he could help us with some kind of system that includes head-to-head matches. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin.htm

  6. Dren says:

    I think the current system is just fine. For guys playing frequently that’s the just reward… a higher ranking. Can the worlds number one tennis/golfer/MB’r maintain that ranking playing in just a couple events a year? No. If your too far from a local game make your own, be an ambassador to MB and get a game going in your neighborhood a couple times a year. So what #4 had a rough worlds, look at the size and frequency of the tournys he’s been in. #7 might be the best at the worlds venue, but outside of that element is unknown.

    If any change is to be made, beer consumption should be given at least 10%!

  7. sean dameron says:

    DREN- you’re my hero.

  8. Andy Frushour says:

    Great points, Dren — especially on the beer issue.

  9. Dean Allen says:

    I live across from an elementary school, maybe I should see if some 3rd and 4th graders wanna come over and play during recess:)

    Seriously though, just leave it as is, Dren’s point are spot on.

  10. kevin singleton says:

    It is what it is. Like some people say about the BCS, it doesn’t seem fair, but its the rules or should I say formula we play by. Frush: have you thought about raising the minimum of 8 people to say 12 for an official tournament.
    It might be my pride, but I think I should be top 5.

  11. Elaine Dameron says:

    I absolutely LOVE the new world rankings. Sean not only plays and does well in many tournaments year round, but he organizes the majority of them. Granted, he didn’t do well at World but he does well in just about every tournament he plays in and we actually have some good monkeyballers in the tournaments.
    Dren, if I ever come to World, I’m going to be sure to meet you and give you a big Southern Mama Hug!!!

  12. KEVIN: Raising the number of minimum players would only make for fewer MB tournaments, and I’d rather have more tourneys than less. 8 was the number we initially set as the minimum, and I really haven’t seen a reason to make it any higher (or lower).

    As far as wanting to be in the Top 5, the computer sees more than just your 3rd place finish from last weekend (a great result, by the way). In addition to some of your big wins (1st in fields of 18, 34, 21 and 35 — these are huge), the computer also sees a few of the times where you haven’t been as consistent, like your T33 at MB5 (and T5 out of 36 and T13 out of 32). Just like Sean was able to get rid of his ugly MB4 finish in the current rankings, you’ll be able to do the same this time next year. In fact, as long as you do well at MB7 and you don’t have any other stinkers before then, you should shoot waaaaay up the list since that T5 and T13 will also come off your record.

  13. Until I meet someone willing to share their statistical know-how, I’m stuck with the pretty massive database that I currently maintain (which is not too shabby). I’m always trying to think of ways to re-use the data and systems I already have with the hope of finding some kind of simple solution to this complex ranking “problem”. One thing I can do is simply double the effect of Worlds on the rankings. Here’s what happens with the current rankings when I double MB5 and MB6:

    1. Jason Salmon
    2. Andy Frushour
    3. Dean Allen
    4. Chuck Trinoskey
    5. Dan Kidle
    6. Keith Hagen
    7. Brent Morrow
    8. Sean Dameron
    9. Eric Trinoskey
    10. Kevin Singleton

    Other than Kevin thinking he should be in the Top 5, I think this is a representative top 10. Thoughts?

  14. Andi says:

    Dren made some stellar points in his succinct and humble post. I also thoroughly enjoyed his URL. Sean is a deserving #4, despite his MB6 showing. (PS: Elaine, is it even remotely possible for me to get into your good graces?) Dean needs to do more than dominate us all once a year to earn a top spot (even if it’s with gradeschoolers).

    And apparently, I need to just enjoy the fact that as perma-#11, I’m in prime poll position to strike into the Top Ten after MB7.

  15. Kevin Singleton says:

    Andy- I think your Post MB6 rankings are spot on especially with Dean at #2. As someone mentioned to me on a comment board a whilte back. These rankings don’t really mean anything, it’s what you do at World’s. I can’t quite remember who said that…hmmmm.

    I think anyone in the Top 10 could take out any of the others on any given day so to be mentioned there with J, Frush, Dean, MBJ and Self Proclaimed MB Nerd (Dameron) is an awesome thing. Thanks for introducing me to the game Dameron.

    I think the only thing to do is get back to practicing and promoting and when MB7 rolls around we need a SoMoConut Convoy heading up to Lansing to represent. I’d like to see 25 ballers from SoMoConut next year.

    Peace,

    Hot Wheels Singleton

  16. Kevin Singleton says:

    BTW- A big congratulations goes out to Scott Herron for making it to the afternoon and a top 32 finish which boosted his ranking up to #41.

    Good job to all the Salmons as well.

    Hot Wheels

  17. Dren says:

    No #4 you are my hero, I can only hope to achieve such a sweet ranking someday… trips south are definitely in order this winter.

    #7 – 3rd/4th graders…. pre schoolers, w/e, the rule just says 8! I had a dream last night I won a tournament against LBJ, George Burns and Betty White… you’d be surprised, of those 3 Betty has the most game… and the trash coming from her mouth…

    #6 – I agree with comish, the MB goal is more tournaments, increasing the amount needed would make for less tournys

    #82 – I’ll take that hug, see my point w/ #4, might see you down south before MB7

    Comish – The idea of doubling worlds because it’s MF WORLDS sounds great, but I really like that the weight of the tourny is deemed by its size. Outside of worlds, SOMOCO has had some pretty big draws, if we were able to draw 20-30 regularly to windy rush or prescott fields i’m pretty sure we’d be high fiving more top 10 northerns. If MB Worlds were to be weighted… what about a 1.25-1.5 multiplier because its MF WORLDS!

    Stuck at #11 – I feel ya.. but when I look at everybody above me on the list… I say damn… those are some BALLERS! I’ve had a chance at everyone, one time or another, some I’ve beaten others have not. I’d like to think that I could take anyone of them! BTW when you gonna defend those blue balls?

  18. Michelle Salmon says:

    I think it all sucks since I didn’t make it in the top 30 regardless! :)
    Screw MB7— I’m done with this silly game.

  19. Elaine Dameron says:

    Dren, we’d love to see you in the South and you’ll most definitely get that big hug when I do!

    Andi, my good graces aren’t easily gotten back into. You really hit below the belt on some of those webisodes and it’s going to take some time for me to forget about it although I’m sure I will at some point and by then it’ll probably be time for MB7 and you’ll start lamblasting us again so this could be a hopeless situation!!

  20. Kevin Singleton says:

    #7 says he should have taken #8 up on his bet for next years registration fee.

  21. Kevin Singleton says:

    I meant #6….my previous was #7. I will gladly swap with you though Dean. You deserve to be above me.

  22. #8? says:

    I fear I am suffering from post worlds let down. Is MIS the cure?

  23. Ryan Hammock says:

    I love the rankings but I want to tell Sean a great job for MBX2. Look forward to playing again. Also I feel honored to have stayed in my game against Sean as long as I did.

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