Weighted Rankings: An Analysis

The following article was a contribution by Groger Ranks member Arjun Nageswaran

So as you may (or may not) know, ever since we started back in October, Groger Ranks has been ranking teams on their best performance only. This seemed to make sense when we started, as taking improvement into account ahead of nationals, every team’s best importance would be the best indicator of their final finish. After all, it is very rare that a team gets worse throughout an entire school year.

 

However, there were inherent flaws with this. By only including the best performance, we were allowing for momentary flashes of greatness to determine a team’s standing, rather than rewarding consistently good performances. Thus, a streaky team with one very good tournament would be ranked higher than a consistently good team with consistently good performances, but a slightly worse best tournament – despite being probably the worst team of the two.

 

Glancing at the rankings, we can see which set was the set where each team got their best score. There are a lot of holdovers from the earlier sets of the season, meaning that the ranking was not accurately depicting the top teams overall. We began to wonder, how could we create rankings that rewarded consistent good performances over one-off good performances.

 

The top 25 teams overall with our normal best score rankings were as follows:

 

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech A (VA) 119.63 SCT DII 2019
Beavercreek A (OH) 116.50 CAST
Adlai E. Stevenson A (IL) 116.50 IS 179
Hunter A (NY) 115.71 IS 177
Detroit Catholic Central A (MI) 114.78 WHAQ III
Montgomery Blair A (MD) 113.28 WHAQ III
James E. Taylor A (TX) 112.93 WHAQ III
IMSA A (IL) 111.61 HFT XIII
Rockford Auburn A (IL) 109.55 HFT XIII
Wilmington Charter A (DE) 109.28 CAST
Chattahoochee A (GA) 108.90 Scottie 2018
Canyon Crest A (CA) 108.87 WHAQ III
Ladue A (MO) 108.45 SCT DII 2019
Wayzata A (MN) 107.95 IS 177
High Tech A (NJ) 107.62 Prison Bowl XII
Ithaca A (NY) 107.31 IS 181
Miami Valley A (OH) 107.16 CAST
University Lab A (IL) 106.94 WHAQ III
Richard Montgomery A (MD) 104.86 IS 183
LASA A (TX) 103.97 IS 183
Strake Jesuit A (TX) 103.90 IS 183
Lexington A (MA) 102.73 IS 181
Arcadia A (CA) 102.64 RMBAT
Carnegie Vanguard A (TX) 102.39 WHAQ III
Stanford Online A (CA) 100.44 WHAQ III

 

Now, I switched it so instead of ranking based on best score, it would rank on the second best score if a team had played more than one set. If a team had only played one set, it would still only rank the best score.

 

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech A (VA) 118.25 Penn Bowl 2018
Beavercreek A (OH) 110.97 CAST
James E. Taylor A (TX) 109.19 SCT DII 2019
IMSA A (IL) 108.71 ILLIAC
Montgomery Blair A (MD) 108.46 SCT DII 2019
Wayzata A (MN) 106.78 EFT 2018
Chattahoochee A (GA) 106.00 Scottie 2018
Ladue A (MO) 105.42 BHSAT
Adlai E. Stevenson A (IL) 105.28 ILLIAC
Hunter A (NY) 105.19 IS 179
University Lab A (IL) 104.37 Sun God
Detroit Catholic Central A (MI) 104.01 CAST
LASA A (TX) 103.76 HFT XIII
Ithaca A (NY) 102.79 FST
Miami Valley A (OH) 102.36 IS 179
High Tech A (NJ) 102.35 IS 177
Lexington A (MA) 101.69 IS 177
Rockford Auburn A (IL) 101.50 Sun God
Richard Montgomery A (MD) 101.30 BHSAT
Canyon Crest A (CA) 101.01 ILLIAC
Wilmington Charter A (DE) 99.36 IS 183
Arcadia A (CA) 99.18 HFT XIII
Strake Jesuit A (TX) 98.05 IS 177
Northview A (GA) 97.83 HFT XIII (same as best score)
Troy A (NY) 96.97 IS 179

 

There are some similarities between the teams involved in both to be sure. TJ , in particular, noted for a very strong season this year despite playing few tournaments with its full roster, holds on to the top position. Beavercreek, the number 2 in the original rankings, holds its position. However, in number 3, there is a big drop for Stevenson High School from third to ninth. This represents the main problem there was in the original rankings. Stevenson’s top score all this time has been from its performance on IS 179 at the Kickoff tournament back in November. Yet this was seemingly a one-off performance as their second best performance was significantly worse – not only from Stevenson’s best score, but also in comparison to the second best scores of the other teams.  

 

Then, we thought, why not go one step further. What if we were to compare the third best scores of all the teams (or second best scores for teams with only two scores, or best scores with teams only one score)? What would we see then?

 

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech A (VA) 114.14 RMBAT
Beavercreek A (OH) 109.61 SCT DII 2019
Wayzata A (MN) 106.78 EFT 2018
Adlai E. Stevenson A (IL) 104.53 Sun God
University Lab A (IL) 103.21 SCT DII 2019
Hunter A (NY) 102.69 SCT DII 2019
James E. Taylor A (TX) 102.65 Terrapin
Miami Valley A (OH) 102.06 Scottie 2018
High Tech A (NJ) 101.73 RMBAT
LASA A (TX) 101.64 Penn Bowl 2018
Montgomery Blair A (MD) 101.49 IS 177
Chattahoochee A (GA) 101.48 ILLIAC
Ladue A (MO) 101.40 ATHENA II
Ithaca A (NY) 100.27 IS 177
Rockford Auburn A (IL) 99.85 SCT DII 2019
Richard Montgomery A (MD) 98.34 ILLIAC
IMSA A (IL) 98.16 WHAQ III
Northview A (GA) 97.83 HFT XIII
Strake Jesuit A (TX) 97.82 IS 181
Detroit Catholic Central A (MI) 96.65 HFT XIII
Arcadia A (CA) 95.90 IS 181
Lexington A (MA) 94.21 IS 179
Wilmington Charter A (DE) 93.44 Penn Bowl 2018
Stanford Online A (CA) 93.09 BHSAT
Canyon Crest A (CA) 92.39 HFT XIII

 

Here, we see a big leap from Wayzata, a very strong team to be sure, but not even top 10 in the normal rankings, let alone top 3. It is clear here that Wayzata is a consistently strong team, yet the rankings would never showcase this. So we decided to embark on a system of weighted rankings. We’d still reward teams for their highest scores, but also add weighting so that their second best and third best scores would factor in.

 

For teams with at least three scores, their new weighted Groger Score would be 3*Best Score + 2*second best score + third best score/6

 

For teams with at least two scores, their new weighted Groger Score would be 2*Best Score + second best score/3

 

For teams with only one score, their weighted Groger Score would obviously be that score.

 

So how would this all work out? With the weighting applied, these are the new top 25:

 

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech A (VA) 119.35
Beavercreek A (OH) 113.06
Adlai E. Stevenson A (IL) 110.36
James E. Taylor A (TX) 110.09
Hunter A (NY) 110.04
Montgomery Blair A (MD) 109.83
IMSA A (IL) 109.14
Detroit Catholic Central A (MI) 108.29
Chattahoochee A (GA) 107.83
Wayzata A (MN) 107.56
Ladue A (MO) 107.36
Rockford Auburn A (IL) 105.99
University Lab A (IL) 105.58
High Tech A (NJ) 104.96
Ithaca A (NY) 104.46
Miami Valley A (OH) 104.07
LASA A (TX) 103.96
Canyon Crest A (CA) 103.62
Richard Montgomery A (MD) 103.03
Strake Jesuit A (TX) 101.39
Lexington A (MA) 100.79
Wilmington Charter A (DE) 100.57
Arcadia A (CA) 99.90
Stanford Online A (CA) 98.15
Northview A (GA) 97.83

 

The top 3 remain unchanged, although the gap between Beavercreek and Stevenson shifts from 0 to a more significant amount, in line with the consistency factors we see in their second and third best scores. Overall, this new ranking scheme rewards consistency over anomalous strong performances, and we hope that this will reflect a more accurate a system of rankings.

 

So how can we be sure that this new system of weighted rankings will work? We can’t. However, we have our first test of weighted rankings this weekend at SSNCT. Our pre-nationals rankings for SSNCT was the first rankings where we tested out weights.

 

Here is what the normal, un-weighted SSNCT rankings would look like:

 

Miami Valley A (OH; Open) 105.88 IS 177
Greens Farms A (CT; Open) 105.69 IS 184A
High Tech A (NJ; Open) 102.35 IS 177
St. Mark’s A (TX; Open) 94.07 IS 178A
Ottawa Hills A (OH; Public) 93.45 IS 178A
BASIS McLean A (VA; Open) 92.02 IS 182A
Parish Episcopal A (TX; Open) 90.90 IS 178A
Greenhill A (TX; Open) 88.66 IS 178A
Early College at Guilford A (NC; Open) 88.04 IS 179
High Tech B (NJ; Open) 87.34 SCT DII 2019
BASIS Scottsdale A (AZ; Open) 85.05 IS 180A
Glasgow A (KY; Public) 84.36 IS 176A
Friends Select A (PA; Open) 83.33 IS 184A
Altamont A (AL; Open) 81.80 IS 177
Collegiate High at NWFSC A (FL; Open) 81.00 IS 176A
St. Anselm’s A (DC; Open) 80.53 IS 180A
St. Mark’s B (TX; Open) 80.17 IS 179
Latin School B (IL; Open) 75.97 IS 180A
Itawamba Agricultural A (MS; Public) 75.14 IS 182A
Russell A (KY; Public) 74.93 IS 184A
Chicago Christian A (IL; Open) 74.75 IS 180A
Winchester Thurston A (PA; Open) 74.74 IS 180A
Middlesboro A (KY; Public) 73.68 IS 183
Latin School A (IL; Open) 70.90 IS 179
Early College at Guilford B (NC; Open) 69.53 IS 176A

 

This is what our weighted rankings look like:

 

Miami Valley A (OH; Open) 103.38
High Tech A (NJ; Open) 96.88
Greens Farms A (CT; Open) 96.37
St. Mark’s A (TX; Open) 92.58
Ottawa Hills A (OH; Public) 90.58
Parish Episcopal A (TX; Open) 88.80
BASIS McLean A (VA; Open) 88.05
Greenhill A (TX; Open) 85.96
Early College at Guilford A (NC; Open) 85.49
Glasgow A (KY; Public) 81.03
BASIS Scottsdale A (AZ; Open) 80.83
High Tech B (NJ; Open) 80.77
St. Anselm’s A (DC; Open) 80.53
Altamont A (AL; Open) 79.41
Friends Select A (PA; Open) 78.98
St. Mark’s B (TX; Open) 77.04
Chicago Christian A (IL; Open) 74.75
Collegiate High at NWFSC A (FL; Open) 74.16
Middlesboro A (KY; Public) 71.93
Latin School B (IL; Open) 71.41
Russell A (KY; Public) 70.86
Itawamba Agricultural A (MS; Public) 69.50
Latin School A (IL; Open) 69.01
Breck A (MN; Open) 67.01
St. Andrew’s A (MS; Open) 66.47

 

These don’t seem incredibly different, but there are some notable discrepancies between the two sets – namely the #2 ranked team, whether it be Green Farms Academy or High Tech. We will be following the SSNCT results closely, and see whether our gamble to go with weighted rankings was the right move to make, or if traditional rankings remain the best indicator of performance.

 

Thanks as always for your continued support of Groger Ranks.

 

This post was brought to you by our subscribers at Patreon: Fred Morlan, Vikshar Athreya, Felix Wang, and Sindhu Nair. Please consider supporting Groger Ranks by subscribing to Patreon at patreon.com/grogerranks!

Arjun Nageswaran is currently a sophomore at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois

3 thoughts on “Weighted Rankings: An Analysis

  1. Again, I appreciate the effort, however, Kickapoo beat Fort Zumwalt North twice this past weekend at the Missouri State Tournament and we aren’t ranked. Additionally, Louisiana A in Missouri didn’t even make top 4 in their class at State and College Heights and Thayer both 1st and 2nd in class 2 didn’t make the rankings. Just because the tournament’s didn’t have power doesn’t mean a weaker team. It is difficult to find a lot of tournaments with powers. Thanks!

    Like

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