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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Tuesday, April 20 2010 @ 03:33 pm ACST

Thanks Cam.

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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, April 20 2010 @ 07:09 pm ACST


Actually I am concerned that Troy is correct, because it is an aspect that has been worrying me and is related to the Canada-USA problem we've discussed before. With those 2 nations playing all the time, and the US almost always winning, they keep creeping up in points and Canada going down. That is kind of fair, but it is a bit unbalanced since they only ever play each other these days, except at the IC.

Similarly for the IC2011 if there are 2 divisions (which I think is a must, possibly even 3 if there ended up being > 24 teams).

If everyone plays to form/ranking, then the bottom teams of Div 1 keep losing and their ranking goes down. The teams at the top of Div 2 keep winning and their ranking goes up. If the split was say top 12 and next 12, then we could have 11th and 12th drop below 13th and 14th in ranking, despite 11th and 12th not losing to anyone below them and 13th and 14th not beating anyone above them.

The fundamental problem is that this kind of ranking system really requires teams to play other sides across the spectrum of rankings. Playing only teams below you means you can keep climbing above teams that are putting themselves on the line against higher sides.

This is moderated somewhat by the fact that the greater the separation in ranking points the less benefit to the winning team. But still, a team only playing lower sides will benefit. I'm not sure what the solution is. This system is inspired by the IRB system for Rugby Union. Do they mandate that nations must play across a wide spectrum of rankings?

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, April 21 2010 @ 11:38 am ACST

If the IC11 is run as the previous ones and they continue to have classification rounds as well as finals then by having divisions the difference will be that the "losers" will be losing to different teams. Take the last four last time they were losing to the likes of NZ & PNG as well as the teams just higher than them in ablity, the middle group will be still getting their losses and the odd win against the very bottom teams. Remember China, Finland and Peace team all got in a win. If they are "top" of 2nd div they wiil get more wins and they will be against teams closer to them on the ranking scheme. Their losses won't be against teams much higher(fewer 200 zilch games) and losses that cancel out some of their gains when they win. The lower teams in the top div will get a couple of losses they wouldn't get(if they were still in the middle) but they would be against teams very close in rank so the loss won't hurt as much(smaller points exchanges) IF I can put it in a nut shell, the difference will be wins and losses against a different group of teams but a bigger ratio to teams relatively close in rank. (fewer 2 max exchange games I reckon)
I don't reckon that is a bad thing.
IF they don't have classification rounds this time it could be a little unfair to some teams.
Have a look at my old sheets if you've still got em, for the IC's (I know there are mistakes in them) but check out the number of 2 max games in IC's. Fewer of those can only be good for the teams when they lose.
What do Ya Reckon?
Cam

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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, April 21 2010 @ 12:22 pm ACST

You might have to read that last comment of mine slowly and a couple of times to get what I'm trying to say:-).
Your point about the scheme requiring teams to play across a wide range of ability is not really true. It is the IC's which have "required" that because of the few teams in the international footy arena. You just don't have top 20 teams ever playing teams with rankings down in the middle of the scale in Rugby Union. I know Australia gave Namibia a father of a hiding in Adelaide when the World Cup Finals were here but Namibia is up in the top 25 or so. Indicative of a big divide between the top professional nations and the next tier down. Nations like those from the Carribean and other small and developing nations their national sides are often little more than University sides. They would only play in World Cup Qualifying rounds and rarely in any other "internationals".
The IC's have virtually played every nation from 2nd to bottom(only 20 or so nations) Union has about 95 on their ranking scheme. top would never play bottom.
Getting back to our situation there are VERY few 2 max exchange points matches outside of the IC's. I counted about 3 or 4.
I am confident that divisions will be less detrimental to the bulk of the middle and lower ranked nations as far as achieving smaller Points exchanges and therefore less severe moves up or down the scale than not having divisions.
Cam

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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, April 21 2010 @ 12:45 pm ACST

Well, I guess we try it and see. It's going to be a work-in-progress at least until after the IC11. As long as we've always got a record of every match that's gone into the table, we can always go back and fiddle with it.

On a related topic though - interesting to note that of 80 votes on the poll so far, only two have said that there should be one big division.

The option 12 premier, 12 developing is ahead by miles, but even that aside the vast majority seem to want a divisional structure of some kind. Wait and see what feedback the AFL gets from the nations directly, but I expect that they'll take notice of this.

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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, April 23 2010 @ 12:31 am ACST


It's worthwhile noting that at time of writing, although 44% favour 2 divisions of 12 and 12, which seems dominant, if you sum the next 3 options, around 46% favour a split to 10-14, 8-16 or 3 divisions.

So in a preferential voting system, you might actually get one of those later options over the line. What I'm saying is that nearly half the people want 12-12 but nearly half want a split that has less than 12 in division one.


---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, April 21 2010 @ 12:51 pm ACST


I agree avoiding 1st playing 15th or 20th is a useful / important asset of divisions, and I think they need to be used.

And I can see that in terms of the rankings it helps sort out teams that are close together, rather than subject them to big jumps from playing teams much higher.

However, I still think there is a weakness in the case I mentioned. Maybe that negative doesn't outweight the positives.

But let's look at a simplified case of a 4 team world. In order of ranking, A down to D. So split them into 2 divisions: A, B and separately C, D.

Assume all games go to form and also to emphasise the point A play B twice and C play D twice. A edges further up in ranking points, B edge down. Similarly C edge up and D edge down.

We may now have the situation that C edges above B. Yet all they have done is beat a lower ranked team. And B's only "crime" is to have been good enough to play in the top division, which has caused their ranking to drop.

So taking that back to the true IC2011 case, yes the teams at the bottom of Division One would have the chance to rise by beating teams above them, but if things go to form/ranking, their points will drop, and similarly the top teams of Division Two will rise. By the end of the tournament, assuming no cross-over games between Divs One and Two, we could see the lower middle teams rise above the upper middle teams, without really having earnt it.

So when I say it our rankings need a wider cross-over of games between higher and lower ranked teams, I really mean across that division divide. Say it separates into 1 to 12 and 13 to 24. Then not 1st playing 13th, but games like 10th playing 13th or 14th.

I'll test some scenarios out. I suspect the effect will be subtle enough that it will be washed out by issues such as not all teams attending so not as many closely ranked teams across the divisional divide, upset results mixing things up, and increasing numbers of one-off tests and other tournaments, allowing cross-divide games to inform the system.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, April 21 2010 @ 02:56 pm ACST

Yep C might edge above B as you say, but, by reducing the number of 2 max games which we have had plenty in the previous IC's, points exchanges are smaller, might only be 0.2 or 0.5 instead of 2.00. B doesn't get any -2.00's so reducing the likelyhood of dropping below C. If C isn't getting any +2.00's even less likelyhood of climbing above B and because all the teams(half dozen or more) are close in rank then the odd wins that the B's get won't have their rise wiped out by those big 2 max losses.
Top 10 at present are all over 41 pts. not count Peace team the next bunch are below 39(2 teams) and the rest below 36pts. No 2 max games would not see the bottom ones rise above those above 41pts. not for at least a two or three games. I stiil reckon all the possible problems/apparent anomalies that appear to be in the system is because of the lack of numbers, teams and matches. So as Aaron says as more teams enter and we have more matches and we're not likely to use it until around or after the IC and we see how the IC pans out with numbers etc tweeking it is not a problem. Tweek too much and it might create bigger problems later when we have more teams and matches.
Cam

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