Once upon a time, I disagreed with some circle contest results. Having experienced many issues with judging in the past, I decided to try and break down the results as objectively as I could and throw it into a spreadsheet. My thought was that potentially a very high quality, very transparent, and very reliable system could be put in place which would encourage a very entertaining type of competition.
The first attempt can be seen here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1665360758
The reception was mostly good, where the large exception stemmed from concerns that it under-minded judges and their efforts.
The Problem to Solve:
I believe that players deserve a reliable, high quality judging system which completely aligns with judging criteria, in every single competition. I believe that today this does not exist the majority of the time.
- Players often do and can take competition extremely seriously. Training as hard as they can, making life sacrifices, etc.
-A large amount of players and judges alike do not actually understand or agree with the judging criteria/system for circle. (1/3, as per my last public survey)
-When I did a large scale public survey, asking if an online judging system (that was open to literally anyone to judge) was of interest, over 1/2 were in favour.
-A system could be put into place which does not undermine judging efforts, as it would be done in place of judges.
-The amount of tournaments I went to where judges where literally selected because they were hungover and unable to play, completely underqualified, or literally had no desire to judge in the first place was staggering.
-It is a lose-lose situation for all when there is debatable, or obvious judging problems. The winner does not fully enjoy his win, the "real" winner does not have the title (or prize money, etc), the judges feel criticism from all, etc.
-Internet speeds, camera availability and quality are reliable enough in arguably all of the places tournaments are held today to implement an online system.
-Finding someone to judge shred 30 is often like pulling teeth.
-Ties are annoying, and there are large discrepancies on how to solve them fairly.
The actual tool to implement a system to me would be secondary. (Spreadsheet, bespoke program, mobile app, whatever). My idea would roughly be as follows
Player Names with all associated trick names in order. This would also require a person to film, and film well (close enough, with nothing in the way between the lens and the players)
Criteria for Variety:
-All tricks by all players would be pooled, and then sorted and ranked by uniqueness to give them a score.
-Tricks which were never repeated by any other player
-unique up-time and unique downtimes (also pooled and ranked, similar to the tricks)
-Individual player's number of unique tricks
-Using both sides
Criteria for Density:
-Tricks would have a density ranking
-Links would have a density ranking
-The number of densely linked tricks in a row
By clicking the link at the top, you will see most of how I implemented a first draft of this system.
This system would require that someone film and review the footage, and write down each string which each player did. From there, all the variables above would be calculated and ranked automatically and nearly instantly. This implies that someone is willing to review the footage and do this, but also that they would do this accurately and within an acceptable amount of time to receive the results.
There were 17 events in 2016 which had IFPA status, not all which even had a circle contest. While I suspect at least one person on site at the tournament could do this, online participants could also as well. For example, I would easily offer to do 5-10 tournaments per year with a turnaround time of 4 hours, assuming the tournament was done on a weekend (which they basically always are...)
The system can be made, even if it is just me cramming formulas into a google spreadsheet. I think players would enjoy having a reliable, consistent judging system which is universal. I think that this system would promote a very unique style of play for variety, and a very dense style of play for density.
Unfortunately I did not think of this system based idea when I did my mass poll a few years ago, so I do not have data on the type of demand people would have for this. My suspicion would be (from similar questions and numbers) that over 50% would enjoy such a system... But my gut says that unless a huge majority really thought there was added value, coming to a conclusion and implementation stage would be unlikely, and a waste of time.
My question to you
Before I bother with a facebook poll, I'd like your input. Do you think this is worth pursuing? Why or why not?