In January of 2013 the WFTDA rolled out its new ranking system, which awards points based on a mathematical formula instead of relying on member leagues to vote on the rankings. The new ranking system can seem complicated and confusing at first glance, but today we will help explain just how the new system works!
The official WFTDA release can be found here: http://wftda.com/files/wftda-rankings-calculator.pdf
The most important piece from that WFTDA release is the following formula:
Total Game Points earned = Win/Loss Factor x Opponent Strength x Game Weight x 100
So what the heck do all those things mean? Let’s simplify it a bit.
Total Game Points earned is the number of ranking points a team earns in a single bout.
Win/Loss Factor depends on the percentage of points a team scores in a bout. For example, if Queen City scores 200 points while their opponent scores 100, that means Queen City scored 200 of the 300 total points in the bout or about 66.7% of the points. These numbers get put into another formula by WFTDA to yield a Win/Loss Factor anywhere between 0.0 (0% of points scored) and 3.0 (100% of points scored). In the above example, Queen City’s 66.7% of points would be a Win/Loss Factor of 1.99.
Opponent Strength is based on how highly ranked your opponent is. This number is set by the WFTDA each month based on the average of a team’s results in the prior twelve months. The highest Opponent Strength possible is 2.0 while the lowest is 0.5, with most teams falling somewhere in between.
Game Weight refers to whether a bout is a “normal” bout or a WFTDA tournament bout. Most bouts have a standard weight of 1.0, while official WFTDA tournament bouts are weighted higher, up to 1.5.
x 100 means at the end we multiply the final number by 100 to get the total game points.
That’s not too confusing, right? So how about some examples of actual game points.
Using our 200-100 Queen City victory from above, we can plug that 1.99 Win/Loss Factor into the formula. We will multiply that 1.99 by the Opponent Strength number. If Queen City wins 200-100 over a highly ranked team, they will earn more points than if they win 200-100 over a lower ranked team.
Example #1 – Queen City won 200-100 against a team with Opponent Strength 0.5:
Win/Loss Factor of 1.99 X Opponent Strength of 0.5 X Game Weight of 1.0 X 100 = 99.5 total points.
Example #2 – Queen City won 200-100 against a team with Opponent Strength 1.0:
Win/Loss Factor of 1.99 X Opponent Strength of 1.0 X Game Weight of 1.0 X 100 = 199 total points.
Example #3 – Queen City won 200-100 against a team with Opponent Strength 1.5:
Win/Loss Factor of 1.99 X Opponent Strength of 1.5 X Game Weight of 1.0 X 100 = 298.5 total points.
As you can see, Queen City would earn a lot more points for a 200-100 victory against an opponent who has a higher Opponent Strength.
Similarly, the Win/Loss Factor has a great impact on the rankings. Let’s look at those same results above, but instead of Queen City winning 200-100, let’s say the opponent won 200-100. This means Queen City scored 33.3% of the points to earn a Win/Loss Factor of 0.99.
Example #4 – Queen City lost 200-100 against a team with Opponent Strength 0.5:
Win/Loss Factor of 0.99 X Opponent Strength of 0.5 X Game Weight of 1.0 X 100 = 49.5 total points.
Example #5 – Queen City lost 200-100 against a team with Opponent Strength 1.0:
Win/Loss Factor of 0.99 X Opponent Strength of 1.0 X Game Weight of 1.0 X 100 = 99 total points.
Example #6 – Queen City lost 200-100 against a team with Opponent Strength 1.5:
Win/Loss Factor of 0.99 X Opponent Strength of 1.5 X Game Weight of 1.0 X 100 = 148.5 total points.
Here we see that Queen City earned considerably less points in each bout because they scored a lower percentage of the total points, thus their Win/Loss Factor was lower. This shows how vital it is for a team to fight hard for every single point from the first whistle until the last. This also illustrates why you see teams play with a “No Mercy” attitude as they try to put up as many points as they can so that they can win by as much as possible.
Finally, I’d like to comapre two of the above examples – Example #1 and Example #6.
In Example #1, Queen City was victorious by a score of 200 to 100 and earned 99.5 points.
In Example #6, the opponent won by a score of 200 to 100, and Queen City earned 148.5 points.
Even though Queen City had a convincing victory in Example #1, they still earned more points in Example #6, where the opponent had the convincing win. Why? Because of the Opponent Strength rating. Not all wins are created equal, and not all losses are equal either. It is possible to win a bout, but not earn enough points to maintain your rating. And it is also possible to lose a bout, but earn enough points to improve your rating. It all depends on the factors we discussed above; how many points you scored, and how good your opponent is.
Hopefully, the WFTDA’s new ranking system makes a little more sense to you now. Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask.
~Guy O. Tine