WESPA Announcement on Ratings and Rankings

A Statement on Rankings and Ratings

In recent times, there has been much player discussion about the output of the rating system WESPA uses (called Aardvark). There have been observations as to its effectiveness by trying to bring in certain players and their apparent performance (or lack thereof) as a means to justifying said observations.

This discussion has been followed and the following changes will take effect from September 1, 2020. This FAQ list will explain.

What are the changes? The formula used to display who is RANKED where based on their rating will change from the current formula (played a minimum of 40 WESPA rated games and played a tournament in the last two years) to a new formula: played a minimum of 30 WESPA rated games in the last 12 months.

To clarify, this formula is to apply for which players will appear on this link.

When will it come into effect? This will come into effect on 1 September 2020.

Why not do it now? This is to allow the opportunity for players who may end up affected by this change to enter upcoming rated events and thus maintain currency throughout.

Why 30 games? Why not, say, play one event in a year? The 30 game mark is the mark at which a player is no longer considered provisional. It also allows a better opportunity that a player will have played enough events/games to suggest their rating is still a reflection against others who play less/similar/more.

The minimum event size for a rating is also far lower. A player could play an early bird event and thus be treated in the same way as someone who played a 30 game main event.

The game number was considered a fairer measure.

Why is this change being made? It is being done to ensure that if you appear on the World Rankings of our sport, that you will have played a suitable number of WESPA rated games within a certain period.

Whilst external discussion has centred typically around a very select number of players; this is greatly unfair to single out those players as the data reveals a more widespread problem.

On our current formula:
14% of the top 100 players listed in the World at the moment played zero WESPA rated games in 2019.

In most cases, their zero games allowed them to increase their ranking.

This trend extends to the entire list. Around 15% of the over 1500 players on the Rankings, played no rated events in an entire year.

A change in the ranking display formula needed to be done to ensure that if a player appears on the WESPA Rankings page, that they can be reasonably considered a “current” player on the WESPA rated circuit (as compared to local ratings).

A player, to be considered to be current enough, could no longer rest on the games they played in an event over a year ago when other around them played may more in the same period.

What happens to my rating? Where can I see my data if I do not appear on the Rankings?Nothing happens to your rating. Your player data does not disappear from the WESPA website. It only impacts whether you are considered current to be included on this page.

To access your own player data, do the following:
Visit this page.
Go to “Find a Player” and start typing your name in. If you have a rating you will be found.
Click Submit.

All your data is there.

OK, I have done this, and there is a number in the link. What is that?
That number is a unique number to you. It will eventually form a Player ID system to ensure data integrity in the Ratings itself.

Data integrity has been mentioned before. Wasn’t that just to do with scores in events?
No. Data integrity covers most aspects of a tournament outcome. Not only do scores need to be accurate for statistical and rating purposes, but we also need to ensure that the names of the players entered match what we have on the Rankings/Ratings.

Inconsistencies in names add an unnecessary workload to the Ratings Officer and means further time required for what should be a relatively “straight-through process”. This needs to be fixed too.

OK, but I want to play in events. Where do I find what’s coming up?Go to this link
The current calendar is here. As of 18th, January 2020, there were 38 events on the calendar from 15 countries and there are always additions being made regularly. The opportunity to achieve the minimum by 1 September is achievable.

What if I want to play in my home country and no events are listed? If your home country is a member of WESPA (https://www.wespa.org/associations.shtml), then your country currently has a quota allocated to them that they can offer as local events. In most cases, that quota is 4 but for some nations, it is 8.

If you are an Association and want to know what your quota is, contact TRC Chair Nick Ivanovski (nicksfbemail@gmail.com).

If you are looking to exceed your nation’s quota, contact the WESPA TRC Chair to discuss.

The Tournament and Rating Committee has been charged to look to get more events on the WESPA Calendar.

Further measures are being considered to get this to be the case.

In closing:
Our focus is wanting to have more of the World’s Ranking players playing in a vibrant, global circuit. We believe that by changing who makes up our Ranked players, this will encourage greater participation and thus support tournament organizers in running their events worldwide. When considered with other initiatives, this will assist in growth in the sport worldwide.

Many thanks
Nick Ivanovski

Categories: Announcement and World Scrabble.