Saturday, April 2, 2016

Introducing NHCQualify Player Ratings

The PGA Tour has World Golf Rankings. Tennis has ATP Tour Rankings.

The NFL has Quarterback Ratings. The NBA has Player Efficiency Ratings. Baseball has a host of stats including On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, and good ol' fashioned Batting Average.

Which NHC Tour data point(s) similarly rank players based primarily on quality of play, rather than quantity of play?, there really aren't any.

Until now.

Red Rock or Bust is pleased to introduce NHCQualify Player Ratings, which grades players based on quality of play, i.e. counting successes as well as failures. In other words, viva la denominator!

Look, the NHC Leaderboard serves its purpose as far as rewarding the top NHC Tour point earners with cash prizes and NHC seats. But as tour operator,  DRF/NTRA has a vested interest in getting players to pony up cash to play contests, so not surprisingly, its ranking system rewards brute force, as quantity of play is more important than quality of play. Granted, only a player's top six finishes count, but if you play 10 or 20 contest entries over the course of the year, do you stand a chance against the person who plays 60 entries?

Not bloody likely.

Enter NHCQualify player ratings, which is RedRockorBust's humble attempt to address the situation.


I kept the methodology sensible, simple and straightforward.

So far this year, nine contests have awarded seats for the 2017 National Handicapping Championship -- 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, and 3/26.

In each of these contests, I awarded players 10 points for a top 1% finish, 9 points for a top 2% finish, 8 points for a top 3% finish....on down to 2 points for a top 9% finish, and 1 point for a top 10% finish.

Players who qualified for the NHC in a given contest received a +3 bonus on top of that.

A player's total number of points earned is divided by the total number of entries played to derive the NHCQualify Player Rating.

It ain't rocket science.

Players must have played at least 20% of the total NHCQualify contest entries to be rated. The 9 contests so far each allowed 2 entries for a maximum total entry number of 18, so the minimum number of entries to be rated is 4 (18*0.2=3.6).

Jim Sebes Leads After 1Q

Kudos to Jim Sebes of Hillsborough, New Jersey, whose 4.4 rating leads all NHCQualify players at the conclusion of 2016's first quarter.

Sebes won the 291-player Feb. 20 contest, qualifying for the 2017 NHC in the process, and most importantly, earned 13 (10+3) rating points for his effort. He added 9 points by finishing 4th in the 245-person March 19 contest.

A handful of players have earned more points than Sebes' 22, but Jim is the highest-rated of 'em all because he has made his mark in limited attempts -- just 5 entries.

22/5 = 4.4.

James Riley of Mansfield, Massachusetts is #2, with an NHCQualify Player Rating of 3.67. His 22 points matched Sebes, but he has played one more entry. Howard Yancovitch of Montreal is 3rd, 21/6 = 3.5.

Here's the top 10:

Player (Points/Entries=Rating)                                                       
1. Jim Sebes, Hillsborough NJ (22/5=4.4)                 
2. James Riley, Mansfield MA (22/6=3.67)               
3. Howard Yancovitch, Montreal (21/6=3.5)
4. Jim Covello, New Providence NJ (16/5=3.2)
T5. Michael Tomatz, Minneapolis MN (12/4=3.0)
T5. Peter Rotondo, New York NY (12/4=3.0)
7. Edward Enborg, Jacksonville FL (17/6=2.83)
8. Cory Hodskins, Lexington KY (11/4=2.75)
T9. Joe Maneen Jr., Haverhill, MA (13/5=2.6)
T9. Eliot Honaker, Lexington KY (26/10=2.6)

And the full rankings of the 139 NHCQualify players who have played at least four entries and registered at least one top 10% finish:

Note there are plenty of folks who haven't hit the top 10% this year, so while William R. of Utica, NY may be the lowest-rated point earner, sing no sad songs, as he's ahead of all those who have goose-egged in 2016.

(Also note that while the embedded spreadsheet seems totally navigable on desktop, it doesn't seem to work too well on mobile. Or maybe I'm just an idiot who can't figure out how to do it.)

But Wait, Before You Go...

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few caveats to the NHCQualify Player Ratings.

1. The numbers do not present a full picture of NHC Tour play -- it's NHCQualify Player Ratings, not NHC Tour Player Ratings. I calculated the former rather than the latter simply because NHCQualify shows full historical results from previous contests.

A low-rated NHCQ player might be killin' it on other contest site(s) and/or at live events, just as a high-rated player here could be striking out elsewhere. This is just one part of the picture.

2. I'm not sure my formula is perfect. I think it's sensible and simple, but maybe there's a better way. I'm open for suggestions to that end.

3. I'm 98-99% confident in the accuracy of my data. I automated much of the spreadsheet slicing and dicing of sorting and cross-referencing, but I still had to key in some manual entries, and I was bleary-eyed at times. Also, IDK if NHCQualify changes things in terms of when people move or not, so for example if John S. of New York, NY turned into John S. of Chicago, IL during the quarter, I missed that.

I'm happy to correct any errors that are drawn to my attention.