Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rank and File: How roller derby teams get ranked

Many people seem confused about how roller derby teams get ranked. I would count myself in that group. Part of the problem (for me at least) is that roller derby is really the first time I have ever followed a sport closely enough to care about rankings or how they are determined. Derby News Network has a quick explanation of the systems that currently exist, and adds their own system to the list:

1) WFTDA rankings. These are determined on a quarterly basis by a vote of WFTDA member leagues, one vote per league. Starting with the 2008 fourth-quarter rankings, each league votes only to rank teams within its own region -- WFTDA no longer ranks teams quarterly on a national basis. Leagues that have not met minimum participation requirements to support the organization's operational upkeep lose eligibility for ranking in the WFTDA system.

2) Flat Track Stats. These are calculated continuously, based on a carefully crafted algorithm which is routinely tweaked as shortcomings in the system manifest themselves. Flat Track Stats is driven purely by math, removing the possibility of judgment bias but increasing the difficulty of determining which bouts are most indicative of a team's actual skill.

3) DNN Power Rankings. These will be determined by the consensus of Derby News Network principals Gnosis, Justice Feelgood Marshall, and Hurt Reynolds. And by consensus, we mean each of us cooks up our own take on the rankings, then we compare them, marvel at the parts where our conclusions were identical, accuse each other of possible mental disorders where we differ, and eventually find common ground. Through it all, our guiding principle is simply this: If two given teams meet today, which one do we think is more likely to win?

Read more here

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