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Proposed World Ranking System

Posted By: Barry Silliman
Date: Sunday, 17 November 2013, at 10:54 p.m.

In Response To: Proposed World Ranking System (Phil Simborg)

Phil, it is an honor to engage in constructive discussion with you, you are a true ambassador to the game. Your video lessons on the USBGF website alone make you a pillar of backgammon.

What about the player who get's hot and cashes a couple of times in Advanced, moves up to the open, and for several years rarely gets past the second round?

In the case of Ken Larsen's suggested benchmark of points per ABT event (in other words, results in jackpots, side events, etc., are completely inconsequential), if there is a single metric per player, after several unsuccessful forays at OPEN, their metric would drop low enough to allow them entry in ADVANCED again. Eligibility restrictions could be determined and changed weekly, monthly, semi-annually, annually, whatever- that is an implementation detail.

And what if that player, in recorded matches, consistently plays at a high PR rating (high for an open player). Shouldn't there be some provision for that player to move back down?

See above. They will eventually be eligible to move back down if they don't perform well at the Open level. Alternatively, I have done very well at the Open level with a combination of rolling well, and taking a lucky totem with me that I rely on to bring good luck when I need it. This is a much less taxing method of doing well then hours of grueling study and memorization.

I am convinced there are many people not going to tournaments today because they are "forced" to play in the Open division, and the entry fee is high...

Ken had a suggestion that entry fees be the same for both divisions and that higher side pools apply in Open. (Or different levels of side pool could be employed in both divisions, similar to what Jeb did in Charlotte over Labor Day)

... and their chances of cashing are very low given their skill level compared to the better players in the Open division.

And isn't this the very definition of sandbagging that Ken's proposed system is trying to eliminate.

Once these guidelines are clearly established and stated (by somebody in power or with authority over the given tournament) then we can talk about how to apply ratings and rankings and w/l and cashes and PR to determine where people should play.

Ah yes, and who is in power or authority over the given tournament- the tournament director! I am a libertarian and a huge proponent of the free market and capitalism and extremely skeptical of top-down directives (see, Obamacare and healthcare.gov). Let's let the wild ducks like Ken Larsen come up with some ideas, sell them to TDs, let them try things out, and the ones that will work catch on.

I doubt that all of Thomas Edison's inventions took off, but he had some good ones. Isn't Ken the guy who invented the dice tube? I don't like it myself, I don't like the aesthetics, as a TD I can't imagine a circumstance where I would rule in favor of the guy who wanted to use a dice tube vs. the guy who didn't want one. But I do like Baffle Boxes. I like the aesthetics of them. There's some guy that posts on bgonline.org occasionally who really likes baffle boxes and wants people to buy them. He sold me on his baffle boxes. I'm not sold on the dice tube. I don't have to provide a justification. I'm in charge.

Ken does have a good idea on creating objective measurements and I think the most beneficial aspect of his system is to prevent sandbagging or the appearance of sandbagging and provide objective metrics for those borderline players. We all know there is overlap between Advanced and Open. Anybody can always play above their level- God bless them. I think this is analogous to campaign finance reform laws (which I detest as a libertarian) - one may debate about their efficacy, but they are intended to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption.

Anyway, off my soapbox and back to my favorite backgammon-themed beverage. Man, I could really get used to this concoction. In fact, for the next tournament I direct, I will modify the rules to say that for a double to take place, you must place the cube on the opponent's side of the board, and say "Double, Bastard!!"

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