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Handicapping system?


HighAltitude
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Has anybody designed a handicapping system for waterskiing? Golf has a fairly straight forward system that can be used easily by all golfers to make competition easier. Tennis breaks things out by skill level, which is better than what we have, but doesn't really help the problem of matching players of different skill levels.

 

I would be interested to see what people have thought of to make the sport more competitive at the grass roots level. I think the idea of friendly competition brings out the best in people, but it has to be a system that that can work not just at tournaments but for the average skier on sites all around the world.

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Someone please post the system used in Ohio on the Buckeye Buoy Tour.

 

I skied one of those a few years back. I like their system of converting scores to a percentage. If I remember correctly they cap the score at a max of 102% per round to keep it fair. That way the youngsters don’t crush everyone.

 

Edit: @HighAltitude I was planning to post this same question. Thanks! Our club does a fun tournament with handicaps but it’s one for one and we know that’s not an even system.

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Extremely simple.

Find each skiers usawaterski average or the average of their best three scores for the year.

Subtract that score from however they ski in your tournament for your Delta.

Skier with the highest Delta wins.

 

Example my handicap score should be something like 103.5. If in the tournament I score 100 my Delta is -3.5.

 

Some other skier might have a handicap score of 90. If in the tournament they score 91 there Delta is plus one and they kicked my ass.

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How we do our handicapping (and have for years):

 

- Exclude anybody under the age of 18, unless you are comfortable with the top three being kids every time. They are just getting better too fast.

- Figure out each skier's "baseline score." Usually, this is just the same as the USAWaterski average, BUT if the skier doesn't have 3 scores, or has a score that is outlying (e.g. two scores of 60 and one of 5), then you need to make manual adjustments. Sometimes this requires a little bit of judgement, but normally I just average however many scores they had that look "normal for them." Also, don't be afraid to go back a season to find some more scores if needed.

- Anybody with no previous scores cannot participate in handicapping.

- Each person's handicap is computed as 0.95 * (105 - baseline). This is the "magic" and it is completely stolen from golf. By using the 0.95, it takes into account the fact that a skier with a lower score has an easier time improving than one with a higher score. Personally, I like to round this to the nearest 1/4 buoy -- it seems more fun that way for a few reasons.

- In the tournament itself, just take your raw score and add your handicap and voila!

 

Historical Note: It used to be necessary to pay special attention to anybody who crossed over the mythical long-line barrier and got 6 non-existant buoys. But starting next season, that will no longer require any consideration because the skier will already be getting credit for the shorter line length even if they haven't run the top speed of their division. But be aware of it if you pull in any older scores.

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The first year I did my event I had this gigantic spreadsheet that had an offset Factor so plus one for a 39 skier was a much bigger deal than a plus one for a 28 off skier. meh. Unnecessary why bother straight up

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@Kelvin You are correct. The scoring program author (Dave Allen) and the inventor of this scheme (@MikeT) are both MA residents!

 

However, when I last tried it, I did not find the WSTIMS implementation useful because it didn't do the right thing with skiers that had fewer than 3 similar scores. Perhaps it has since been improved.

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@Horton It depends on your goals, but if you really want "anyone can win" then the scale factor is essential. We've done this enough years to be able to tell.

 

But it also could be considered a feature if it's easier for skiers with lower absolute scores to win the handicap, in which case straight up vs. average achieves that goal.

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@Than_Bogan If the skiers are 28 off and up... there is luck + chance + astrological influence... Simple is better in my opinion.

 

Don't be this guy.

m%C3%A1quinas-de-Rube-Goldberg.jpg?resiz

 

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We handicapped a kid's ski league this summer using the .95 multiplier method @Than_Bogan outlined. It worked well for skiers that ranged from running the course at 15.5 MPH up to skiers running into -38. We then did season points based on placement (top 4 scores out of 8 stops). The end result is that the multiplier worked well. At the end of the season the kids that skied at least 4 stops were really close in points. We even had a tie for 3rd place that we ended up doing a sudden death run-off. My conclusion is that if you have a wide range of abilities, then you need a multiplier. If the skiers are all -28 or better as @Horton mentioned, then no multiplier is needed.

 

FYI - here's the season standings if anyone's interested: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ztTGwFN4PBmucw2oDDmj33zH8yH9_aOXfL1eyToSYyI/edit?ts=5b19834c#gid=0

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The BBT method has been time tested for nearly 10 years - in approximately 50 tournaments during that span.

 

Every category of skier you can imagine - from 39off... stuck at 15off... and kids - have all won events and the tour itself.

 

It rewards consistency and slow progress.

 

Key components include:

 

Your top 3 scores from AWSA determine your average (100 buoys) and your score is a percentage of your average (98 buoys = 98%).

 

Scores are capped at 102% to prevent fast rising kids from blowing out their average.

 

Once you exceed your average for that tournament (100.01%) - that score becomes your new average for successive rounds.

 

There is no offset for 38off and above - it's never been suggested or needed.

 

It's about as straightforward and easy to understand as you can get. We enter the official score into WTSIM and the handicapped score into a separate spreadsheet.

 

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OK, last question. Has anybody used this chart based simply on max speed and line length and not factoring age groups? It would to take into account the person that decided for whatever reason they wanted to ski at a max speed of 32.3 but are at 28 off even though their age group wouldn't allow that per AWSA rules. What about a buoy count for the mini course?
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Has anybody built a website that allows various people to compete against each other from various sites using this type of handicapping system? I am envisioning a site that would allow virtual tournaments and even weekly league "play". If not, I will try do something over the winter and get a beta version out in the spring for the 2019 season.
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@John Brooks We do not do it that way.

 

If a skiers average entering Rd1 is 74 buoys (2@22off).

 

If their actual Rd1 score is 75 buoys then their handicapped score is 101.35% and their new average entering Rd2 would be 75 buoys.

 

If their actual Rd1 score is 73 buoys then their handicapped score is 98.65% and their average remains 74 buoys going into subsequent rounds.

 

The limit someone can increase their score is 102%. So if a kid comes along with a 20 buoy average and runs 35 buoys (175%) in Rd1, their handicapped score would be 102% and their new average the next round would be 35 buoys.

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Depends on the format. If you were just running a regular 3 round tournament, then I guess you take the accumulated value of the averages for a total to determine the winner. But as you know the BBT always uses a "fun format" (spin it to win it, run the gamut, pick your poison, pick your partner, etc) to narrow the down the field for a finals.
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