IWSF 2006 Elite Rankings

The ranking methodolgy is based on the system used by the Professional
Slalom Skiers Association(PASS) and developed by Mark Crone.  This system
was used for the 2000 World Cup Ranking in slalom.  The basic system was
modified to make it more appropriate for world wide use.  It was used 
successfully for 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Several issue were brought up that I would like to address by making some 
mechanical changes rather than conceptual changes to the system.

Issue 1. Transparency
The system is very complex.  Although it can be figured out, you do not really
know how many points you will get and it might change based on which skiers scratch.

Issue 2. Dependence on which skiers are present.
In theory, the greater the prize money, the more higher ranked skiers should go
thus increasing the points of the tournament.  However, in fact, skiers get hurt
or can't go and it substantially affects the points.  If you plan to go
to a tournament because it is a lot of points and buy a plane ticket and get rooms
it can be a sizable investment.  When you get there and find that the points are 
dramatically reduced because skier A and skier B are hurt and Skier C had a sudden
family obligation, it is not what you expected and made your spending decision on.

Issue 3 Points scaled over the number of entrants.
Skier X finished 6th at the Masters.  A notable accomplishment just to be invited.
However since there were only six skiers, skier X got 0 points.  That does not
seem appropriate.

Proposed resolution.
I have prepared a chart of points based the prize money only.  I have factored in athlete points
based on 2005 tournaments and arrived at a fixed schedule of points.  I based it on 20 places.
Thus, there is a chart that you can print out that will tell you exactly how many points
each place is worth at any Elite Tournament.  The formula is exactly the same as it has been.
I have presented the numbers as integers (no decimals).
So, the theory and formula are carrried forward, but a few simple mechanical changes
make it a simple and understandable system.  You read your points off the chart and add them up.

Based on this proposal, I have modified the concept description for 2006 below:

IWSF Elite Ranking Concepts

Key Concepts

1 Tournament points
Each tournament will be assigned a certain number of points.  The
points will be based on three concepts as follows:
a) 10 points for each $1000 USD of prize money on a per event basis
b) Title points assigned per IWSF TC decision.  No title points will be assigned for 2006.
c) Athlete points
Athlete points are based on ranking.  For 2006, a fixed number
for athlete points will be assigned to each tournament based on
the cash prize amount.  It will be based on the statistics
from the 2005 season

The points from these three categories shall be useded to give the final
tournament point value based on the cash prize amount..

2. Awarding points by placement
Points shall be awarded based on placement on the particular scoring
chart that the tournament qualifies for by amount of prize money.
See the full chart here

3. Skier Point totals

We will use a set number of your tournament scores.  After each tournament you go to,
your points will be added in.  The number of tournaments will be set for each
event and be no more than 50% of the regular status Elite Events.
If we add tournaments during the season, that will
not change the the number of tournaments that will be scored.  So, for example,
if we declare that since there are 11 men slalom events we will use the top 5.
If later, we add one event, it will still be the top 5.

For 2006 the following schedule will apply:
Men Slalom - top 5 tournaments
Women Slalom - 4
Men Tricks - 4
Women Tricks - 3
Men Jump - 4
Women Jump - 3
(This will be confirmed after the final schedule is published)

I have made these numbers a little lower than 50% based on the fact that although
there are a few more tournaments, many of them have restricted entry

The points will just be added cumulatively as received.
This means that points will be added for each tournament that you score in
up until you reach the maximum number of scores (5 in our men slalom example).
Then, if you go to more tournaments, your top 5 will be used so that your point
total will only change if your points score exceeds your 5th best score which
would then be dropped.

4. 2006 Starting basis
The 2006 Rankings shall continue from the 2005 Rankings on a rotating
basis with results older than 1 year being dropped.

5. Tournament Selection
Tournaments shall be selected by the IWSF TC based on several factors
as follows:
a) Automatic selection of the title tournaments per item 1
b) Automatic selection of cash prize tournaments with sufficent purse
c) Selection of "introductory" Elite tournaments

Naturally all tournaments must be sanctioned by their IWSF 
affiliated National Governing Body.

For 2006, the following tournaments appear to be qualified so far.
However as I am publishing this at a very early date, this will most likely change.

1. Moomba 
2. SkyView Women Slalom 
3. Masters 
4. Malibu Open 
5. US Open 
6. French Masters
7. All World Cup stops
8. Lake Crichton Pro-Am - NZE
9. Tige San Deigo
10. Norway Jump Challenge 
11. Princes Pro Am Princes
12. Liquid Leasure London

The rest to be determined per the IWSF TC.  An updated schedule will
be available at www.iwsfranking.com

Tournament organizers who feel that their tournament may qualify
are encouraged to apply to the IWSF TC for approval as an Elite Ranking

Apply to bcorson@comcast.net

6. Rankings Publication
The ranking points totals shall be published on iwsfranking.com.  
The top 20 places (30 in men slalom) will 
constitute the rankings.  The ranking points will be published after each
qualified tournament is completed.  This is, of course, based on
results availibility.  Each qualifying tournament should post
their results on iwsf.com.  The full list of points and calculation
spreadsheet will be publically available in iwsfranking.com
Each skiers official "Ranking" may change after each tournament.

7. Ranking List Name
The Ranking List shall be entitled the "IWSF Elite Skier Rankings".

8 World Cup
There again will be a World Cup in 2006.  This will run
in parallel with the Elite Rankings.  All World Cup stops qualify for 
Elite Rankings.  The World Cup will be scored in a similar fashion, but 
will be separate from the rankings so that the World Cup winner may not
be the #1 Elite skier although there will probably be a close parallel.

Under the guidance of the Athletes Advisory Committee, last year we tried 
to encourage the introduction and development of Elite Tournaments. One of the 
barriers has been the minimum purse level. As a trial, we instituted a program 
as an "introductory" offer to new tournaments where they can gain Elite status 
at a lower purse level given that they will progress and in two years be at the 
new standard levels. This translates in to the following schedule: 
2005 Mens Event $5000 USD minimum, Womens Event $3000 USD 
2006 Mens Event $8500 USD minimum, Womens Event $6000 USD 
2007 Mens Event $12000 USD minimum, Womens Event $9000 USD

For 2006 I would like to continue this program.
Last year we had four introductory tournaments.  To continue this year
they need to move up to the 2006 schedule.
Cirencester Grand Prix 2005
Jack's Sunset Cup
Orlando Boat Show
Lake Crichton Pro-Am

For new introductory Elite Tournaments the schedule is as follows:
2006 Mens Event $5000 USD minimum, Womens Event $3000 USD 
2007 Mens Event $8500 USD minimum, Womens Event $6000 USD 
2008 Mens Event $12000 USD minimum, Womens Event $9000 USD

The current Elite minimum standards are $11000/7500.

There are two other aspects that are of concern and relavent to this issue. 
The first is the number of tournaments used for the final calculation of Elite Ranking. 
This is based on 50% of the number of Elite tournaments. Introductory tournaments will 
not be used as part of the total. Also last year we changed from being exactly 50% to 
being based on 50% so that it is 50% or lower. This is due to the World Cup tournament 
series which has well qualified prize money but limited access. So the exact numbers 
will be determined after the schedule is set. 
The second issue is that the initial feeling might be that you are being required to 
go to some tournament where there is reduced prize money to get points. That is not the 
intention at all. Since there is reduced prize money, the points will also be reduced 
so that you gain less by going, but if you do not go there should not be any impact. 
If there are 6 Elite Regular Events and 2 introductory events, your final score will be 
based on 3 events. So if you go to half of the regular events there most likely will be 
no need to go to the introductory events unless you find it convienent. The principle is 
that the events should have to attract you with prize money. It is not the intent of the 
program to compell you to go.