Re: UK 'Points' System
- From: Peter Ford <p3t3r.f0rd@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 09:41:29 -0700 (PDT)
On Apr 13, 1:29 pm, vet...@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
I was NOT being entirely serious - and such a scheme would undoubtedly
be impractical until we can all be simply and quickly postively ID-ed
(RFID chips in the scruff of our necks, like my cats ? - but how would
we operate a 'day chip' system ?), and race results uploaded in real
time into a foolproof (!) database.
For crews, yes you'd have to use the crew average, and this system
would then postively address the 'different quality of crews' issue
you mention; the average points of a 'Dorney' crew would be higher
than a Nether Wallop Regatta crew - so if you beat the Dorney crew,
you gain more points ....
Paul W :)
But that's the point; due to two "advances" brought in by the
collected sages of Lower Mall, it is entirely possible now to have a
more sophisticated system than the simplistic 0-12 scale brought in 30
(?) years ago:
1) No more Day Licences :-(
2) The sending off of all the results to BR's computer system at the
end of every regatta.
With the second of these in particular, I am left wondering what the
purpose of having wins hole-punched in our membership cards is
supposed to be these days; the eligibility of a crew will be checked
on entry, and the only purpose of the membership card is as a
spectacularly un-secure form of ID.
In addition, it is clear that almost any conceivable system would be
better than that which is currently in place. A successful ranking
system should be almost invisible to competitors, but the current
system is universally seen as something it is necessary to tiptoe
around and avoid. Everyone from a little below the level of "trying to
scrape into Wednesday of Henley" upwards (a large number of the
competitive rowers the system should be designed around) knows that
racing after the first weekend in July, or at local regattas, is "pot-
hunting" and has to be avoided; otherwise your Wednesday-of-HRR-
standard crew will quickly amass enough points to have to compete
against HRR finalists the following May and June. I'm fortunate,
rowing on the Cam, to have a lot of non-BR events to enter; without
these, I suspect my racing for the last few years would have consisted
largely of the regular trek to Dorney, and a hell of a lot of mixed
The fact those charged with the organisation of the sport in England
have left such a system essentially unchanged for many years, a system
which is easily seen to discourage racing outside Dorney 1-3, I find
astounding and very sad.
I haven't spent a great deal of time thinking about what I think would
be the best compromise for a system which has to deal uniformly well
with the various different racing environments and training cultures
around the UK, for two reasons:
Having seen their stubbornness and incompetence on other issues, I
have no reason to expect BR to take any notice of informed
I have seen a lot of suggestions floating around, and I would be much
happier competing under almost any one of them rather than current
However, 10 minutes thought leads me to suggest a basic system which
would work reasonably well:
Every rower has a ranking: a real number between 0 and 100. The
ranking of a crew is the average of the rowers in it.
Regattas would be encouraged to take entries just by boat type and
sex, and then subdivide them as follows:
Given some number of entered men's 4+s, divide them into roughly equal
sized categories to give sensible sized categories (say 5-8 for a
river regatta, 12-18 for Dorney, etc.).
Place crews into these categories by taking eg the highest ranked 8
crews, then the next highest 8, etc.
Race against similar crews and have fun, somebody gets a pot.
At the end of the regatta, send the full results off to Lower Mall as
A computer calculates updates to the rankings based on the results the
crew got, and the rankings of the crew they beat and lost to. The
updated ranking is then accessible to competitors via eg their log-in
to the BR website.
The main point of this is: the details of the updating calculations
don't need to be simple, or particularly fixed; changing them from
year to year would be easy. It wouldn't matter that the competitors
didn't know months in advance whether they were going to be able to
enter IM1 2- at Shrewsbury, or IM3 8+ at Marlow; they would enter and
know that they would race a reasonable number of crews of a similar
standard (subject to entering a sufficiently popular boat class, as
now), and one of them would win. Crucially, there could be no huge
upsets where a crew suddenly won a couple of events at Evesham regatta
and had 16 extra points to deal with; the ranking (once settled in)
would be relatively stable to race results, because *all* of the
results would be considered, not just the winning crew.
There are various missing details that would take decisions and
judgement (the first to spring to mind: how to 'set-up' the system,
mapping from current points; how to integrate Junior and Vet racing
into the system), but I don't think any of them represent fundamental
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