A brief overview of the methodology of the EUBGF/WBGF Backgammon World Rankings
The relatively recently formed Backgammon World Rankings (BWR) from the EUBGF/WBGF was developed for the purposes of formulating a system to house the results of virtually all tournaments globally to produce an ongoing individual rankings list.
The BWR is really still at an early stage despite now having run for just over a year (since 1st January 2018) and remains open to suggestions for improvement where deemed necessary or advisable. One obvious area which is currently being considered is to develop the system from being Excel spreadsheet based to being fully database based.
Regardless of being a work in progress, the BWR has been well received by the global backgammon community and many domestic tournament results are routinely being entered as well as most, if not all, of the larger international tournaments.
When the EUBGF/WBGF first discussed the plans for the BWR, it was already understood that there could be no one ‘correct’ way to formulate and represent such a rankings list but an overriding feature that seemed to be quite strongly favoured was to allocate points in order of numerical finishing position. Clearly this often isn’t the way a tournament is actually run or finally listed in its results section so some additional work is required from TD’s to that end.
Below is a brief summary of the basic factors (in no particular order) that underpin the rankings methodology:
1. all participants of any qualifying event receive points
2. the total number of points available for any tournament is dependent on the entry fee (which feeds into a multiplication factor or ‘Total Grade’ determination) and the number of entries in the field. The higher the entry fee and the more participants, the greater the number of points available
3. the Total Grade value = the Basic Grade + the Enhanced Grade
4. The Basic Grade is a value that ranges between a minimum value of 1 to a maximum value of 5 and may be a non-integer. The Basic Grade depends solely on the entry fee (approximated in euro currency and divided by 100). For example, a tournament with an entry fee of euro 300 will have a Basic Grade of 3. A maximum value was deemed desirable in order to prevent a very high entry fee tournament (whether bona fide or manufactured) to disproportionately skew the data
5. The Enhanced Grade is determined on a purely discretionary basis taking into account special factors such as the presence and value of sponsor added money and the`perceived importance of the event concerned (World Championship etc). The factors determining the Enhanced Grade are still under consideration and it may be that this is removed altogether and instead the maximum value of the Basic Grade is increased from 5 to say 10
6. The Total Grade multiplied by the number of entrants in the Main bracket multiplied by a factor of 10 provides the total number of points available for that entire tournament. Such total is shared out between the Main (70%), the Consolation (20%) and the Last Chance (10%) (where these exist)
7. The Super Jackpot event will have its ranking points determined separately in the same way as for any other tournament but will be reduced to one third of the value such calculation provides
8. Events with variable entry pools do not have their Basic Grade determined on the higher pool levels but just on the basic registration fee level
9. Generally only events with at least 32 participants (and any associated super jackpot) are qualifying events. Exceptionally however, the main national tournament of a country will receive qualifying status even where there are fewer than the otherwise 32 minimum required participants – this is to give some consideration/recognition/encouragement to nations where there are relatively few players/members
10. The formula used to determine the distribution of the ranking points amongst the participants significantly favours the highest performers
11. There exists a daily decay of approximately 0.1% for everyone which will linearly effectively reduce all then existing points to zero over approximately three years
Hopefully this overview has been helpful but please don’t hesitate to provide your feedback/suggestions for improvement which the EUBGF / WBGF will be pleased to receive and take into consideration.
Raj Jansari (EUBGF/WBGF Board Member)