Rating Philosophy Discussion

This post, as is much of this site, is still a work in progress. I’m trying to update it between classes, studying, work and my other quiz bowl stuff, so I apologize for delays.

One thing I should disclose is that I do work with both the Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South High School teams in West Virginia on a weekly basis. I will do my best to avoid bias when ranking these teams.

A few thoughts on ratings that I’ll expand and add to as time allows:

  • If one were to somehow only be able to use one statistic, and assuming that all data is accurate, etc., the best way to compare two teams is points per bonus. This is because ppb has less variance due to forces outside of a team’s ability than any other major statistic.
    Powers are a nice statistic that generalize depth of knowledge on tossups, but they are not used widely enough to make the data reliable, plus the quality of opposition will have a great effect on how many powers you can get.
    Points per game have even more variance due to the quality of opposition; a team that could steamroll most of the field in, say West Virginia, will almost invariably see a drop in ppg if they play at a tournament that attracts the top teams of a stronger region, like the Virginia/Maryland circuit.
  • It should be noted that ppb should not be followed blindly, of course; the difficulty of a set is a factor, as is just possible variance in a team’s performance. The quality of opposition does play in some, as exposure to less bonuses due to getting less tossups would possibly cause a team’s ppb to fluctuate up or down, depending on that team’s luck in getting bonuses they know (or don’t know)
  • I plan on using regular IS sets (not A sets) as something of a baseline for comparing the effect a set. The reason for this is that NAQT IS sets are the sets that are played on the most by teams in different regions of the nation.
  • I also favor more data points; in my mind, the result of a single game between two teams is not as meaningful as the performance of those two teams over an entire tournament; in turn, the performance of those two teams over a single tournament is not as meaningful as the performance of those teams over a number of tournaments.
  • Head-to-head results can be meaningful if Team A holds a clear advantage over Team B in multiple matches. However, if the teams have only played once, with Team A winning, and Team B has better statistics overall, I will rank Team B ahead of Team A.

Feel free to discuss this in the comments. When I get around to adding more thoughts, I’ll be sure to bump this to the top.


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