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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Games Scoring - We Almost Forgot!

Alas, as I started working on my final games predictions (hoping to post those late this weekend or early next week), I realized that my prior analysis had been incomplete in one regard: when I ranked all the athletes to get overall placings, I used the points-per-place system (that was used in regionals), not the actual Games scoring system used last year (and this year, although with a small tweak). The idea is the same in that placement in an event determines how many points an athlete receives, but the Games scoring system goes in the opposite direction. First place is worth 100 points, and the points drop for each subsequent place. Also noteworthy is the fact that the gap between placements is higher near the top. For instance, the gap from first (100) to second (95) is only five, but the gap between sixth (75) and seventh (73) is only two and the gap between 30th (27) and 31st (26) is only one. This has the effect of rewarding athletes who finish very high in some events but struggle in others over athletes who are more consistently in the middle (hence, Rich Froning's mediocre performance on Event 1 last year didn't hurt him that much).

The changes in scoring do not drastically affect the final results. Still, I felt it was worthwhile to re-produce some of the analysis I have done previously using the different scoring method. And in fact, I plan to use this scoring system for my final predictions in a few days.

Anyway, here are the men's and women's standings (adjusted to compensate for the week of regional competition) with the Games scoring system:

There were some shifts here, but generally they are in line with our previous results. Dan Bailey did jump Jason Khalipa for second place (again, more reward for Bailey's extremely high finishes in certain events as opposed to Khalipa's consistency) and Julie Foucher took second outright from Azadeh Boroumand. The biggest positive movers on the men's side were Lucas Parker, Aja Barto and Numi Snaer Katrinarson, who each moved up five spots. Phillip Kniep dropped five spots. On the women's side, the biggest positive mover was Jasmine Dever (five spots). No women dropped more than two spots.

I also re-ran the simulations with the new scoring system. The results didn't change that much, so I won't go into as much detail as last time. Here are the winners for the men and women using the simulation with Open events being scored as "skills tests":

Men's winner: Rich Froning (793 times), Dan Bailey (134) and Neal Maddox (75)

Women's winner: Annie Thorisdottir (500 times), Julie Foucher (384), Kristan Clever (78), Azadeh Boroumand (34), Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (7), Lindsay Valenzuela (4), Elizabeth Akinwale (2) and Michelle Letendre (1)

Again, no big changes here. We are still seeing that the women's race appears to be more up for grabs than the men's.

So unfortunately, nothing too exciting here today. But as mentioned above, I plan to make my final predictions in a few days. We know for sure that regional results do not always translate perfectly to the Games (Graham Holmberg was third at regionals the year he won it all), and there are tons of other factors in play here, too. I'm close to completing my work, but I'm also curious to see how you guys see things panning out as well.

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