AKA National ranking system (was: My Opinion about the AKA Ranked/Qualifying System for 1995)

AKA National ranking system (was: My Opinion about the AKA Ranked/Qualifying System for 1995)

Post by Darrin Skinn » Thu, 03 Nov 1994 14:16:14

Warning:  This is a long posting.

-] Date: 28 Oct 1994 16:24:02 GMT

-] Subject: My Opinion about the AKA Ranked/Qualifying System for 1995
-] Content-Length: 8418
-] Mr.*** here again with a few more comments on the AKA Ranked/Qualifying System for the 1995 season.
-] Darrin Skinner wrote to tell us some important things about the new and improved trial basis AKA
-] Ranked/Qualifying System.
-] This statement address 2 different issues
-] > 1) The AKA Convention competition is supposed to be a best-of-the-best
-] >         competition.  The best we've been able to do along these lines
-] >         is a best-of-the-conferences competition.  Now, this probably
-] >         represents 90% of the best-of-the-best...
-] The past AKA Ranked/Qualifying system was supposed to do the same thing. The problem is that the AKA is
-] trying to compare apples to oranges. And just what does Darrin mean that 90% of the individuals represented
-] the best-of-the-best, just who were, and I'd like names, the other 10% who did show up.

The "past" (and still current) ranking system was not supposed to identify
the best-of-the-best.  How could it, when scores earned in one conference
are *NOT* comparable to another conferences scores?  It's supposed to identify
the best-of-the-conference, nothing more.  

If by "trying to compare apples to oranges" you're refering to comparing
conference to national, the AKA does *not* compare apples to oranges,  
we don't even try to -- it's impossible with the current system.

What I said was "this PROBABLY represents 90% of the best-of-the-best".  This
(as the word probably indicates) was just a guess.  I don't know, exactly,
who the other 10% (or if it even is 10%) are.  That's what I'm working on.

-] And just what is wrong with the best of the best conferences competition? What you mean to say is that this
-] did not in fact represent the best of the best within the conferences. Isn't that right.

No I did not *mean* to say that, I don't say that, and your not right.

-] Didn't the system, something I remember indicating, have a serious flaw?

The system has a number of minor flaws... areas where under certain conditions
one person or another is at a competitive disadvantage.  The problem with fixing
the flaws is that the fix creates other, less desirable, flaws.

-] Don't you have the results of the competitions from last year?

I do.

-] > 2) if we can identify
-] >         individuals that consistently win on a national basis then we
-] >         can invite them to compete as well.
-] On a national basis... You mean like the American Kite Circuit? Oh, you only want to see the contestants at
-] the convention who have the money to travel to all the events.

The convention invitations will still include the same number of competitors
from each conference (using the same system) as last year.  Invitations to
the convention for nationally ranked competitors will be *in addition to* the
current invitees.

-] Just what does this have to do with AKA competition and ranking? Are you trying to tell us that kiting is
-] going to the Olympics?

Personally, I don't know if kiting is going to the Olympics.  I do know
that a number of people (don't know exactly who) are working toward that
goal.  But, before kiting goes to the Olympics, certain prerequisites must
be satisfied -- a national ranking system is just one of them.  

-] And what's the problem, the system set up last year ranked it's competitors. And why now is there so much
-] emphasis on the "Ranked/Qualifying" system when just a few months ago no one wanted to exert the energy
-] except to send flames about syntax?
-] >  (2)The International Olympic committee has a specific list of requirements
-] >         for a sport being considered in the Olympic games.  One of these
-] >         requirements is that there be a national ranking system administered
-] >         by a non-profit organization.
-] Yea, great idea, what's the formula? Care to share it with us?

In my original posting, I indicated I would post more detail when I have the
time.  To date... I've not had the time.  I only get into the office once or
twice a week and my time is very limited.  I *will* share it with you, but
give me a week or two to find the time.

-] > (3)It would be nice to have a system that could determine that (for example)
-] >         Dodd Gross is a better flier than (oh, lets say) David Gomberg even though
-] >         these two have never flown at the same event.
-] Now this is very interesting. How does Marty or anyone else for that matter intend to choose who will be able
-] to compete at the convention in 95?

The Festivals and Competitions Committee is responsible for proposing how invitations
to the convention are handled.  The AKA Board of Directors (i.e. the elected officals
of the AKA) reviews the proposal and either accepts it or rejects it.

As I mentioned above, the invitations to the convention will be done the same way
for 1995 that they were for 1994.  *Additional* competitors may be invited using a
national ranking system, if one is implimented.

-] I mean let's just say that Darrin's idea is a flop, which it could very well be.

Yes, it could very well be a flop.  I hope to have enough information *before*
proposing it, formally, to know if it's a flop or not.

-]                                                                                      Then what. Hey, I've got a great
-] idea, why doesn't Darrin use last years results and input those variables into the secret formula?

Because Darrin doesn't work that way.

-]                                                                                                      Wouldn't this
-] be better that subjecting the AKA to more turmoil next year? Or do you like the idea of chasing your tail?
-] >As Marty mentioned, the AKA wants to have a national scoring system in place this
-] >year on a trial basis.  They have directed the Festival and Competitions Committee
-] >(i.e. it's chairman (i.e. me)) to do this.  
-] Great segue. Put the idea in the hands of someone else. (He did say you all.)

The AKA, in this context, means the AKA Board of Directors.

-] >So far, all of the above is just information to you all...
-] >here's where I put YOU to work.  
-] Do you really, or are you just looking for acceptance?

If I was just looking for acceptance, I would not have responded
to this posting.

-] >I want your opinions (please keep to 500 words or less :-) ).
-] I think your HO (IMHO) is humbling at best. I don't think the AKA Automated Information System is up to
-] the standards you would like us to believe.
-] >If the AKA had no way of publishing the results quickly, I'd say the
-] >system MUST be self determining (i.e. each individual should be able to determine their
-] >own score and ranking).  However, the AKA Automated Information System (IMHO) >takes care of this
-] problem.  The results can/will be updated on the system as soon as new >event information is received.
-] What I would prefer is the formula you intend to use before I or anyone should make a decision. And have you
-] tested the formula against last years results? If not WHY?

I'm in the process of testing it against last years results.  As I mentioned, my
time is limited and the work goes slowly -- sorry.

-] >My real question for rec.kites is, what would you prefer?  A system where you can
-] >figure your own score; a system where you can't figure your own score; a less
-] >accurate system; a more accurate system; etc...?  
-] You are very right, it is a basic assumption you make.
-] >A basic assumption I make in all the above is that a less complicated system is
-] >also less accurate (and vice versa).  I have formed this opinion after examining
-] >over 20 different scoring systems (some in use, some not).  If anyone can show me
-] >a accurate system (for national scoring, where most competitors *never* compete
-] >head-to-head) that is not complex...
-] Wrong. Richard Dermer has already spoke with me about a problem which occurred in the database which you
-] were keeping. He stated that it was something which needed to be addressed. You apparently told him there
-] was no problem.

I have no idea what your talking about here (with Richard).  There were a number
of problems encountered in the first year of automating the conference results.
Two of these problems were programming errors on my part -- these were fixed.
The others, and there were many, were with the information supplied by the
event organizers, or with individuals making errors in calculating their own
scores.  I'm proud of the effort (and accuracy) of the conference commissioners
last year.  Sure there were mistakes, but no more than you would find in any
business application at any given company.

-] Just exactly what is it you'll endorse?

Quote "a accurate system (for national scoring, where most competitors *never* compete
head-to-head) that is not complex..."

-] >, I'll be the first to endorse it.
-] I personally think this is the last we will hear from Darrin.

I wish.

-] >P.S.  I have a handfull of alternative ideas for the AKA's national ranking system.
-]      I'll post these ideas later this week (hopefully).
-] Just being the inquisitive individual I am I have a few questions. For those of you who are also interested but
-] don't want to get directly involved in a heated flame over this issue please feel free to re-post this message on
-] rec.kites, maybe someone will respond.

I, also, don't wish to get in a heated flame over this issue.  I've responded
to your posting because, for the most part, you've kept it civil and to the
point.  Frankly, I'm rarely able to make it more than a few
paragraphs thru one of your postings.  The simple fact is that
I don't enjoy reading your senseless barrage of vulgarities.  I
read your posts up to the point where you begin to insult people,
or become crude or rude, and then I stop reading.  My approach
(on rec.kites) is to simply ignore such behavior rather than get into a
flame war over it.

-] First of all, Darrin speaks of a new system which will allow an individual to "say they are the best within the
-] AKA circuit" or something of that nature. What confuses me is that I thought that's what they already were. If
-] so then what exactly did YOU change?
-] If not then what do the individual contestants who won this year get to say they are?

Unfortunatly, all we can really say at this point is who is best in
a particular conference.  Individual contestants were given awards
indicating their achievement within their conferences.

-] Just asking.
-] Darrin, as well as a few others (Marty) goes on to say that the NEW system is going to be something like the
-] one used in tennis. Another post in my e-mail box was from a concerned individual who brought up a very
-] good point
-] Tennis is a computation of one individual against another. How is the new system going to rank a number of
-] individuals who compete at one event as opposed to the numerous events throughout the country?

This is one of the issues I' working with.  Given A took first place, B took
second, and C took third.  We would say A beat B, A beat C, and B beat C.  Part
of the fine tuning of the system is to determine how the order in which the
information (A-B, A-C, B-C  verses A-B, B-C, A-C  verses B-C, A-C, A-B) effects
the results.  This is one of the issues I'm working with the USTA on.  

-] Is there a formula which is available for the rest of us to look at or is it one of those closely held secrets?

It's not a closely held secret.  It is an answer that, probably, only a programmer
will understand.  I need some time to (a) finalize how to address issues like the
one above, and (b) figure out how to describe the system in laypersons (Hi Anne)
terms.  I will, also, post the code, if people are interested.

-] Just asking.
-] Also, Darrin and Marty state that the system is on a trial basis. Very good BUT why?

not exactly sure about that myself.  Perhaps to give the membership
a chance to trash can the idea if they really don't like it.  Of course
the membership always has this right, so... ???

-] The question is why do they have to expose the AKA members (contestants) to another year of what may very
-] well be another fiasco?

It might also be a success.

-] If Darrin kept the results, and Marty has already stated in a prior posting to me that he has, from all the events
-] from last year then why not experiment on that results to determine what the outcome would have been?
-] They are trying to obtain the same end results, who will be able to compete at the AKA Convention. Why not
-] use the data to test the experiment?

I am doing exactly this -- give me a wee bit of time.

-] If the data is bad and Darrin kept it then why is Darrin the one in charge of changing it?

To my knowledge the data is not bad.

-] That is assuming the data is bad.
-] I know, I know when you ass ume you make an ass out of you and me. Well that's public knowledge, so leave
-] that one alone.
-] Now in a sly political attempt Darrin asks for survey information, (he's going to use this on the family feud).
-] Do we want a system which is inaccurate but easy to understand or one which is accurate which no one except
-] him will understand?

Sly politicians don't post on the internet and I can't stand Family Feud.

-] Yea, I vote for inaccuracy.
-] Is this an attempt at getting acceptance?
-] Yes.

Yes it is.  It's an attempt at getting acceptance of some system.
I don't care which system, I just want to see if there is
public opinion (i.e. acceptance) about any particular system.

-] You see my fine feathered friends, Darrin wants you to accept his system before you even know what it is. By
-] saying yea I want a system which is accurate you immediately lend credence to something you have never seen
-] or understand.
-] I've got some private stock in "Cloud 9" Airlines want some cheap.
-] I say we need more information.
-] Provide us with the formula. Test the formula against lasts years results. What is the outcome? Did it in fact
-] work?

That's the plan.

-]      Why are we interested in going to the Olympics? Who is that masked man?
-] Mr.***
-] P.S. This happens to be my opinion.