Handicapped Tournaments?

HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
I have been screwing around with the idea of a handicap tournament. Playing with ideas to deal with the problems associated with mixing skiers of different levels. I need to see some actual stats but I am pretty sure that a skier with an average at 32 off has a wider variability of scores than a skier with an average at 39. Because of this I think handicaps have to be weighted.

The bottom line is to have an event where everyone is equalized and then competing against each other.

Ideas?

(and please this is NOT about Nationals)

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Comments

  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,734 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited February 2015
    NOPS values across divisions and even events. I'd be curious to know if the same NOPS value equates to similar "abilities" from division to division (or events). That's the general idea and its a current topic of discussion within the skiers qualification committee. I'd be interested in opinions/perceptions of that possibility.

    Incidently there's a spreadsheet tool on the USAWS webpage that will calculate a NOPS value based in division / score.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

  • thagerthager Posts: 5,374 Mega Baller
    I have done a few handicap tourneys and they just weren't any fun for me. I avoid them now. Just don't like being beaten by 12 year old girls!!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
    drewski32
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,734 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Another thought on this - currently the ranking list is calculated using 3 tournaments or using fewer tournaments with a couple different penalties depending on the level of tournament. The score shown is the higher of any of the calculations. There has been some limited discussion in the past to add/include a different "average" specifically to facilitate handicap ideas.

    For example would the top 5 scores in the last 3 months be more accurate for handicapping purposes? Or an average of all scores? Top 80%? Other thoughts? The idea is NOT to change or recreate the current ranking list value but to provide a calculation (or a couple different methodologies) specifically for handicap tournaments. I'm not talking about "how to handicap", I'm talking about the baseline score used as a skiers "current" ability level.

    If a calculation methodology could be developed that makes better sense for handicapping, it's potentially possible to add that functionality to the ranking list.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
    @thager
    There is a limit to how wide a range of skill levels can be grouped. For the event I am considering I think a skier needs 5 scores into 35 or 38 to enter. You simply cannot put short line skiers and kids together – unless you just want to have fun with the kids. The handicapping rules must take variability into account.

    @Klindy
    I would like to see a 5 score over 12 month average. I was thinking I would just scrape the scores by hand and then apply my own tweaks.

    The tricky tweak is not in setting the handicap before the event but weighting the results.
    As an example: If skier with a handicap of 100 scores 101 that should clearly beat a skier with a handicap of 90 who scores 91. The difficultly of one more ball increases as the scores go up.

    With a system like this I think you could mix adult skiers from level 8 up through pro level and have a fun event.

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  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,978 Mega Baller
    I help run a handicapped "overlay" almost every year at our September tournament. In addition to the normal tournament, there are prizes for the top 3 handicapped results. It is either well-received or folks are good actors/liers.

    Here are some keys:
    - (Stolen from golf) Pick a maximum score -- we usually use 105 but if you have skiers above that you might need to pick something bigger. Each person's handicap is 90% of the difference between their score and that maximum score. That normalizes different ability levels. Without that, veterans basically have no chance against those earlier in the learning curve.
    - Don't include kids (or at least separate them). Kids are such wildcards that if you have more than a few of them then it's just about certain that one of them will bust out a massive PB and nobody else with have a chance.
    - Use the most recent 12 months scores as the base. Average of best 3 from differeent tournaments works well, but for people who don't have 3 tournaments it's much less clear what to do. We simply use the average of the best scores from each tournament they did ski in: It's basically the ranking list except manually removing the penalty.
    - Round all handicaps to the nearest quarter buoy to avoid really goofy looking scores. (A spreadsheet is your friend; I can share one of ours as a starting point if you want.)
    - Do your best to display all the handicapped scores somewhere so people have a sense what they need to do to beat the current leader. This is a pain, but adds to the fun.

    Good luck!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    bishop8950PatM
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,791 Mega Baller
    @horton - we do a handicapped 4th round H2H at our Broho event in the early season, the advantage is truly to the lower level skier in a head to head format, there have been times where I'd have to run -35 off the dock when paired with a 26 mph LL skier, so you are absolutely correct about your 1 buoy difference at a 100 avg vs. a 90 avg. Badal's Diablo event has the numbers crunching/handicapping deal figured out very well IMO
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    @Horton I don't know how to account for it but I expect that better skiers definitely ski to their average more than lesser skiers. I recall a stat regarding golf where a 5 handicap golfer will beat a 15 handicap golfer 60% of the time due to the fact that better golfers play to their handicap more often than higher handicap golfers.

    That said the variance is much higher for the lower level skier. You see 15 and 22 off skiers have 4-6 ball PBs regularly where someone that runs into 35 and beyond generally pushes their PB by only a ball or two.

    I will say that handicapped events are a lot of fun we did a handicapped head to head a couple of years ago and it was a blast even though my son knocked me out (and eventually won).
    Mark Shaffer
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,305 Mega Baller
    WSTIMS for Windows has some handicap ability built-in. It goes something like this. A top-line score is selected (something like the World Record) and a percentage. I will use 120 buoys and 90% to make it easy. Using the example from above.

    Skier A has an average score of 100. His handicap would be 18 buoys ((120-100)*90% = 18). If he scores 101, his handicapped score is 119.

    Skier B has an average score of 90. His handicap would be 27 buoys ((120-90)*90% = 27). If he scores 91, his handicapped score is 118.

    Skier A wins.

    The key is selecting the appropriate top line, percentage and formula for the average to be used.

    Problems in the current WSTIMS program is it uses the ranking list average with the penalties, etc. This causes problems when a guys handicap is increased by penalty. For example - Skier C skies 1 tournament and posts a score of 90 buoys. In the ranking list, his average is 81 buoys and his handicap is 35.1 based on my example. In reality, for fewer than 3 or 5 scores, there should be a penalty going the other way by adding buoys to his average - say 90+10% = 99 with a handicap of 18.9.

    Having said all this, I'm sure someone could get the data to come up with appropriate percentages so the 12 year old girl doesn't always beat the 38off skier, but still has a chance to do so.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
    Andrejerrym
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,734 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @kelvin that's essentially what I was referring too above regarding the potential to add different "averages" to the ranking list calculations.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,978 Mega Baller
    Fwiw, I believe my ski partner @MikeT is the inventor of both the system we use and what Dave Allen put into the WSTIMS. (And as I noted it's mostly stolen from golf.) The problem with doing it automatically is that the ranking scores include the penalties, which is not acceptable for a handicap computation -- those skiers will end up with a gigantic advantage.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Moskier3evMoskier3ev Posts: 188 Baller
    Jack D in Columbia MO used to put on a great Handicap tournament it ended with a head to head for 3rd round. At SMRR we did 1 point if you skied 2 points if you skied your ranking average 3 points if you bettered your ave. If you had no ave your 1st score was your ave. Team Event.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,357 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I proposed running a cash prize handicapped three round jump tournament at a downtown park site this summer (a different venue form the 2014 Regionals site), geared toward the better G3/B3, M1/W1 and up jumpers from the Eastern Region and southern Quebec and Ontario. Out of region skiers were welcome, but I wasn't expecting to attract the Freddys, Scots, and Ryans.

    My plan, though not etched in stone, was to take the shortest of the three jumps used in the last 12 month average as a base line and add or subtract a point for each foot over or below the average. The thought was either a two round elimination and a final, or three round total score counting the best jump from each round toward the total. I estimated I could raise $3000 in sponsor supplied prize money, and charge a $150 entry fee with half of all entry fees going into the prize pool. Since it was handicapped, anyone could win. We would also have a gross award so the better jumpers would be encouraged to come even if they thought the handicap system would work against them.

    All skiers would ski against one another. No M1, M2, M3, etc. Speed differences would not matter due to the handicap (except skiers couldn't opt to ski faster than they skied when they set their handicap baseline score. We would award high gross jump ( no handicap), high net jump (with handicap added in), high net female and maybe high net junior. If I awarded to third place in each category, that would be an approximate $500, $300, and $200 pay out per group. Females and Juniors might be so few that entering was a virtual guaranteed pay out.

    I asked for interested jumpers to contact me by way of an email account I use for ski tournaments. In October, I advertised on our regional web site, our regional Facebook page, my local ski related Facebook page, by email to individual skiers and by word of mouth. I got a couple "likes" and "great idea[s]," but not one single response to the requested email address. I take that as no interest, and, unless things change, I am not planning on running the event.

    That says to me that at least in the jump realm in the northeast, there is no interest in handicapped tournaments, even with a generous cash prize inducement.

    In my view, if the goal is to attract a crowd of non skiers, the handicapping rules have to be easy to explain and understand. Otherwise, the crowd will likely not understand why a 130 jump beat a 160 foot jump and will walk away saying "What a stupid sport. There's five hours of my life I'll never get back."
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,878 Mega Baller
    I think I get what @Horton is saying... Simply put: an improvement of 1 buoy when you are getting into -39 is somewhat equivalent to an improvement of 1 whole pass when you are learning -15. Thus, even if you could handicap all skiers to a common level, you still have to use some formula to properly weight the buoy deltas vs. the handicapped average.

    See attached spreadsheet. I have no idea what the weighting coefficients should be, but I just put something in to get it working. With some trial and error, I bet some realistic values could be established and used...

    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,978 Mega Baller
    edited February 2015
    @ToddL the golf standard method of using a percentage of the gap as the handicap covers that issue. Try it out.

    As a simple example, suppose we choose 100 as the target score. A skier with a 96 average is getting 4 * 90% = 3.6 buoys, which we round to 3.5. A skier with a 50 average is getting 50 * 90% = 45 buoys. If both skiers were to match their average, the 96 guy would win by 4.5 buoys:

    96 + 3.5 = 99.5
    50 + 45 = 95

    So to win the guy with the 50 needs to get a much better score relative to his average. Just as everyone's intuition is saying it should be.

    The one case where this breaks down is for someone who has already reached the end of their athletic ability but doesn't have a very good score. Such a person has just as low of a chance for a big PB as I do, so gets hosed by the 90% thing.

    To deal with that, you'd need to use score trends as a predictor, and somehow include injuries, and other crap. Not worth it.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    klindybishop8950
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
    @Than_Bogan Genius!

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  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,978 Mega Baller
    I invented none of this, but thanks I guess.

    Btw, I'd have to check back, but I think we actually found 95% worked a little better than 90%. But 90% is easier to use in an example!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
    Nope I give you all credit.

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
    @Than_Bogan seriously I have been playing with it and think 90 is better.

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  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,978 Mega Baller
    Yeah, you may be right.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,878 Mega Baller
    What if there was a data point of Tourny PB vs. Average? That could be a simple indicator of stability vs. instability. If a skier's Average and Tourny PB are only 1 buoy off, then maybe their handicap is adjusted accordingly.

    USAWS already has all of the scores. Simply add a PB column. Maybe the PB column is a rolling 3-year scope or something more than just 12 months...
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,734 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I am willing to entertain alternative definitions of "average" and present them to the software gurus to see if we can include it/them.

    One thing we can't do very well is some kind of average "on the fly" where you'd define how you'd want the average defined based on drop down boxes or alike and calculate instantly. The math needs to be defined so the update can happen nightly like it does currently.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,494 Mega Baller
    I have done a handicap for several years. I used the ranking list average but I put in a "big Dawg" factor. For skiers with an average greater than 38 off they got a 1 bouy bonus. Its simple and over the years it has worked out fairly well.

    @Than_Bogan how did you decide that 100 should be the target score for your system?
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,791 Mega Baller
    @klindy - how about the ranking list holding an average of all your scores in the previous 12 months, as well as your top 3 ?
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,305 Mega Baller
    All scores won't give a true indication of what a skier is capable of. I have scores into 32off, but also have a fair number of missed openers. I know . . . I'm not the most consistent skier in the world! I wouldn't want the missed openers dragging my average down for handicap purposes.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
    I am thinking about a cash prize event so maybe every skier must have scores from 5 or more events and then the top 3 scores are used as the handicap. A skier with a very wide variance of scores may need an adjusted handicap to keep things fair.

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  • thagerthager Posts: 5,374 Mega Baller
    Darn!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • drewski32drewski32 Posts: 218 Baller
    edited February 2015
    How about instead of a handicap, you group people into groups based on their average (calculated however the heck you want to, that's beside the point) and have them scored whatever they actually score instead of a handicap. Then you have winners for D1 D2 D3 etc, instead of a 39 off skier getting beaten by a 12 year old who pb's at every other tournament
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
    @drewski32 I think most people would agree that mixing children and adults is a bad idea in a handicap format

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    Tyler_Rdrewski32
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,315 Mega Baller
    @drewski32, the grouping you mention is how the Michigan Ability Series works. I can provide some details if anyone is interested.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
    drewski32
  • drewski32drewski32 Posts: 218 Baller
    I've talked before with someone about doing this for a state tournament. Group people into divisions by actual skill level. You may or may not have 14 year olds against 40 year olds, but it's fair because they are on the same level. None of that 39 off skier vs 9 year old running 17mph bs...
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