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Is this where we should put our efforts?

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Sunday, 5 October 2014, at 7:30 a.m.

In Response To: Suggested Idea for Performance Grading (Rick Janowski)

We all know who the best players in the world are...at least the active ones. And we will never really know how the inactive players stack up, because they don't play enough to be measured. Do we really need to put the time and energy and effort into categorizing ability in such detail? Who is going to compile the games? Who is going to determine which 10 games count. What if the 6th game is a disaster...can the player start all over from there or does he have to wait 6 months to try again? What if a player gets a "master" rating but wants to improve his rating...how soon can he try? And would all of this mean that every top player in tournament play will try to ignore who he is playing and only try to play for the lowest PR? Is this what we want the game to be?

Why do we need anything more than Mochy's -4 PR Club and the Giant designation? How will this help the game?

We need more emphasis and discussion and resources dedicated to bringing more people into the game; giving the game more exposure; attracting sponsors; attracting school kids to the game; making tournaments more affordable, fun, and better attended; doing more international coordination to benefit the game and the players relative to scheduling, rules, setting standards of ethical practice (and ways of stopping bad actors from participating).

Now, of course, many here will argue that doing more tracking and recognizing skill at the higher levels doesn't mean we can't also do the things I've listed above, but the point is, IT DOES. Far too many of the people here who leaders in their countries and federations are looking very narrowly at only the top tournament players and major tournament activity and are not putting their efforts and resources into the things that will make the game grow. Want more tournaments with money added? Want more great players to keep playing backgammon instead of going to poker or other interests? The answer is a larger base of serious players at all levels. Let's put more energy there.

I'm not "against" recognizing great players...God knows they deserve recognition...I admire their accomplishments greatly. But I already know who they are, and I really don't care about quantifying it further or creating a lot of work to give designations to the rest of us below that top flight. And I do believe we take away from the tournament experience if everyone plays every match strictly to see how closely they can play like XG.

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