Over the past few years and majorly debated over at the 4cc thread between Gold and Gao, the US selection system at worlds has seemed to be take the top two at nationals and be done with it. Whereas the 4cc selection for the US seems to be more flexible. Over the past three years, we've had more medalists at 4CC than at worlds obviously from a competitive standpoint (not all competitors are there), but many times the competitor that medals is not present at worlds (ie Zhang 2012, Nagasu 2011). USFSA needs to re-evaluate its system of selection in order to maximize or world rankings and not base selections for the World team over 1 performance which could be a fluke (both good or bad).
If I had to create a selection system it would be as follows (for all disciplines):
1 berth for the National Champion, they have earned it.
2 and 3rd berth decided as follows:
- Senior A events such as the Grand Prix are counted
- Nationals counted
- 3 point bonus for 1st place finish
- 2 point bonus for 2nd place finish
- 1 point bonus for 3rd place finish
- 3 point bonus for GPF qualification
- Add total scores and divide by number of competitions thus calculating mean. Calculate standard deviation. Then add bonuses to the mean.
- Subtract the standard deviation from the mean with bonus.
Competitors with the highest totals and relatively low standard deviations are selected.
Let's calculate ladies for the past season as our field is rather volatile:
Mean of Ladies in order:
- Gao: 167.445
- Zawadzki: 168.87
- Gold: 171.0566
- Nagasu: 171.296
- Gao: 5
- Zawadzki: 2
- Gold: 4
- Nagasu: 1
Mean + Bonuses in order:
- Zawadzki: 170.87
- Nagasu: 172.2966
- Gao: 172.445
- Gold: 175.0566
- Wagner: 201.4425
Standard Deviations/Measure of Range:
- Zawadzki: 9.8268
- Nagasu: 6.94
- Gao: 9.97
- Gold: 17.835
- Wagner: 3.801
Mean-Standard Deviation (final Ranking):
- Gold: 157.2
- Gao: 162.47
- Nagasu: 165.35
- Wagner: 197.64
Based on these set of skaters my world team would be Wagner and Nagasu or Gao.
Interesting facts or observations:
After Wagner, Gold has the highest mean scores of the season followed by Nagasu then Gao. (Not including 4CC). However, she is really harmed by her inconsistency.
Our most consistently scoring skater is by far Wagner despite her falls and then what suprised me was Nagasu came in second in the category. This is what propelled her in front of Gao and Gold.
Based on raw placement and qualification bonuses Gao, Gold and Wagner have the upper hand.
What I like about this system:
- It takes into account entire seasons worth of work
- Encourages athletes to be ready for Grand Prix events and score well
- Takes into account consistency
- It does not take into account maximum scoring potential or else Gold would be higher
- Standardization of scores accross events is hard
- Some events are stacked compared to others thus making bonuses unfair in some situations
Any comments? Other ideas? I tried to model this after the US Gymnastics trials process where the top competitor is automatically qualified and the rest of the team is up to discretion.