A while ago we looked at the 1- and 2-point matches that have been entered into the UKBGF Ratings, and asked your opinions. A number of you took the time to fill out our survey – thankyou to you all! We can now look at the results…
First we asked “Should one-pointers be included in the ratings?”. Here’s the result:
Your opinion is pretty consistent across context – it doesn’t matter how you end up playing 1-pointers, they all have pretty much equal merit. And you want them kept in by about a 3-1 ratio – pretty convincing.
We then asked the same question about 2-pointers – and got a rather different answer:
So, about a 20% swing from “definite yes” to “definite no”. The yes side are still marginally ahead.
We also asked you for comments, and we saw a pretty consistent divide. The dominant “no” reason was that such short matches have less scope for skill to show itself, particularly as there isn’t any cube strategy in a 1pt match and little in a 2pt (at least if you know the correct actions at 2-away 2-away!) and therefore much greater variance. One commenter wanted to see this extended up to exclude everything below 5-pointers as well.
The reasons for “yes” fell into two groups. Firstly, the more data there is in the ratings system the more accurate they will be, regardless of how much variance there is in any particular group of matches, and the ELO formula does weight longer matches more heavily. Any cutoff is going to be somewhat arbitrary, in any case, as the balance between luck and skill varies steadily with match lengths. The other reason was that short matches do arise perfectly naturally as part of club evenings and tournaments and especially in settings where less experienced players play. It seems to go against our ethos of encouraging more people to play, if we then only consider the match lengths favoured by more experienced players.
We said before that we had no plans to change our policy of accepting all match lengths. It does seem that overall, you’re happy with that. And it does appear that 2-pointers have largely died out in the last couple of years, so they are a bit of a non-issue going forward.
Finally, we had one suggestion to add an extra option to the ratings so that you could see what your rating would have been if only certain lengths qualified – it’s an interesting thought!