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Topic: 2015 IM proposed structure

Moderated By: ChrisL, furrybeast, a_j_scott
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Author 2015 IM proposed structure

Home away from home
Joined: 06-Oct-2004
Posts: 1307
From: Aberdeen

scotland    avatar

posticon   Posted: 2014-09-02 12:32

Posted by Pat Holtz on the SPA site.

Hi all,

I will be putting forward the following item to be discussed at the next SPA meeting on Sunday 7th September 2014, which I would like your feedback on so that we iron out any queries before it's discussed at the meeting. This will help to speed up the meeting discussions.

IM 2015 - New Proposed Structure

Current Issues faced:
1 - top 16 players receive too much of a points advantage under the 2014 ranking structure
2 - strong/weak areas don't make the rankings accurate due to local qualifiers
3 - trial period of 4x venues doesn't work for players or club owners (too many no-shows)
4 - around 200 players leave the IM each year, to be replaced with new ones
5 - Scottish Open included in rankings (without seeding)

I will discuss each problem in depth further down the page.

Firstly, try and look at this from the bigger picture rather than an individual point of view. What we're trying to achieve is a more realistic ranking structure based on players achievements (matches won), taking into account the 5x problems highlighted above.

Here is my suggestion on the way forward:

Main Structure
- 256 player finals
- 2x venues of 128 players (helps issue No3)
- 32 seeded players at finals (helps issue No4)
- 6x IM events, with 5 ranking and 1 non-ranking
- entry fee for all players = £30 for the season
- 1x non ranking event (free entry with £1,000+ prize fund), open to those players who have NOT won any money in the IM events for that season (helps issue No4)
- No member points for any player, as you need to win 2 matches at the finals to gain a ranking point (helps issue No2)
- All 5x ranking events count towards your end of season points

Points Structure

Last 2048 - 1 merit point (local qualifier, prelim)
Last 1024 - 2 merit points (local qualifier, semi-final)
Last 512 - 3 merit points (local qualifier, r-up)

Last 256 - 4 merit points (no shows + seeded players don't gain RP advantage by using MP in this round)
Last 128 - 5 merit points (same reason as above)
Last 64 - 1 ranking point
Last 32 - 3 ranking points
Last 16 - 6 ranking points
Qtr Finals - 10 ranking points
Semi Finals - 15 ranking points
Runner Up - 22 ranking points
Winner - 30 ranking points

It would then be ranked in the following order:
1. ranking points
2. money won
3. merit points
4. frames won

Prize Money Payouts (example based on 1100 entrants @ £30)

Event 1-5 (ranking)
Wnr £1000 (decrease on 2014)
R-up £500 (decrease on 2014)
Semi £300
Qtrs £200
L16 £100
L32 £60 (increase on 2014)
L64 £30 (increase on 2014)
L128 £10 (new for 2015)
Total = £6,260 per event, 128 players paid out

Event 6 (non-ranking)
Wnr £300
R-up £150
Semi £100
Qtrs £60
L16 £40
L32 £30
Total = £1,690, 32 players paid out

Overall payout in all 6 events = £32,990

Discussion on each issue faced at present:

Issue No1 - Top 16 Points Advantage
The top 16 seeded players are gaining too much of an advantage (points wise) from the 2014 structure. For eg, if a local seed loses in their first match (or any other local qualifier), then they are severely punished points wise versus a top 16 player who automatically gains X amount of points for being at the finals. That is wrong and needs to be fixed for next year. The new points structure means these seeded players would need to reach the Last 64 before gaining any RP. They currently gain an advantage of getting any 'byes' due to areas not submitting names on time. Using MP in the first 2x rounds would solve this issue.

Issue No2 - Strong/Weak Areas
The above system gives ALL players an equal opportunity of climbing the rankings by going deeper into an event. So those players currently coming through weaker areas and qualifying for every event would have to go further in the event to climb the rankings, whereas currently they are falsely ranked due to qualifying for more events and gaining RP from the opening round at the finals. The above increments per round would help alleviate the unfair advantage the weaker areas have by using MP in the opening two rounds at the finals. If you are a good enough player, then winning more matches at the finals will show you are at a higher standard than those who go out in the 1st or 2nd round.

It's right that those who are getting to the latter stages at the finals should be higher ranked than those who qualifying consistently through weak areas (and hardly win a match at the finals) - this shows these players who reach the RP stages (last 64) are of a higher calibre of player and thus should be ranked higher by defeating good players en route. Please note, that this system is fair to everyone who wins matches and rewards those who get to the latter stages.

Issue No3- 4x Venues of 64
It has been reported by a vast majority of players and venue owners that the trial of 4x venues in 2014 has not worked. I propose to keep the 256 player finals but with 2x venues of 128 played down to final 2 players (1 from each venue). The final to be played the following Saturday, 2pm at venue chosen by SPA TD (preferably midway between both players homes travel wise). SPA promoter to ensure no date clash as using 2 consecutive weekends. Weekend date required as players could be travelling a far distance.

It is not possible to schedule the final at the next IM event, as the players could be at opposite venues, miles away from each other and match scheduling for the next IM would be hampered with players at different venues and would be unfair of 1 player to have to travel back & forth between two venues, cost wise and hassle/travel on the day, not to mention the state of mind for the player who loses and 4) holding it an the next finals would delay the rankings being updated.

It's a no brainer that keeping the finals at 256 and using 2x venues of 128 is the way forward for growth of the IM series.

Issue No4 - Players Leaving Annually
I know that my suggestions will not completely eradicate the players leaving year on year, but what I am trying to do is minimise that. To help with this, I propose two solutions: free event for those who don't win any money in that season and 32 seeds being used instead of 16. You could also include making all events 256 finals helps too.

I believe those players who do not win any prize money in any IM year, that a free to enter tournament is put on with £1,000+ prize fund on offer (taken from IM prize pot). This free event would be held at the start of January each year following the conclusion of the previous season. For eg, at the end of the 2013 season, there would have been 659 players entitled from a total entry of 843. Roughly we lose around 200 players each season but gain more newbies. Creating the above free event would lessen that loss and help grow the IM numbers.

This is a positive step looking after the vast majority of IM members who don't win prize money. It would be a better version of the old IM4 (run many yrs ago) that used to exclude the top 16 and international players.

Issue No5 - Scottish Open unseeded
This has been brought up many times at SPA meetings about the Scottish being included within the ranking system. To have a fairer and more accurate rankings, then one of two options need to happen:
Either seed the Scottish from start to finish (including qualifiers) or
Keep it open draw throughout and remove from the ranking structure

As this affects the IM Rankings, and the Scottish entry fee is separate to this, then option 2 is the most viable. My proposal is to remove it from the rankings.

I truly believe that the vast majority of players wish to see the Scottish Open remain unseeded (option 1) so that each and every player has the opportunity to progress to the latter stages of the flagship singles event of the year.

Transition of Points from 2014 Results
To sort out the points b/f anomalies from 2014 vs 2015 new structure - I would ask that IM admin (Michael) to recalculate the 2014 points (carried forward to start the 2015 Provisional Rankings) to be reflective of the new structure. That way we don't have the large fluctuations comparing 2014 vs 2015 results, round by round. This would be a one off exercise to finally put the rankings correct due to recent changes.

The players would be seeded for 2015 based on their actual results/ranking position at the end of the 2014 season, and not the transition points as mentioned above. The transition points will be used to start off the 2015 provisional rankings, based on 2014 results.

Timeframe for Implementation
There is a very tight timescale involved so that this proposal can be implemented in time before entries are accepted for the 2015 season.
1. Forum discussion with everyone on SPA website to iron out any queries
2. Discussion with area reps and SPA Exec at the SPA meeting on 7th September
3. Vote by Area Reps/SPA Exec on whether this proposal should be agreed upon to supersede a previous decision made for the 2015 IM season
4. If voted yes, then ballot of all current IM members - similar to past IM ballots whereby IM Reps collate local opinion and feedback results to SPA Exec by Sunday 5th October 2014 (4wk timeframe)
5. If players are in agreement of the new proposal, then it is implemented for the 2015 season and all Area Reps/Players informed of the result before entries are accepted.
6. Deadline for IM entries moved to Sunday 7th December 2014 (Iím guessing SPA meeting will be this date due to SPA national finals being held on 2nd November?)

The above can be achieved with good co-ordination from the Reps and SPA Exec.

I believe for the future growth of the IM's and to have more credibility in the rankings, then the above should be implemented for the start of the 2015 season without delay.

The IM series is a huge success and this is down to 4x main factors:
1. Value for money - £30 for full season of 5/6 events
2. Local qualifying heats
3. An opportunity to have an official national ranking and compete/gloat amongst fellow friends
4. Good spread of prize money at finals

We cannot move to regional qualifiers as that would decimate the IM entry.

I have not listed points for a 128 player finals, as to me this would be taking the IM series backwards and would be an 'own goal' by the SPA if they let this happen.

This will be getting discussed at the next SPA meeting on 7th September, so please share your views on here and to your area rep.

Your mouth's writing cheques your talent can't cash!

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Home away from home
Joined: 11-Oct-2004
Posts: 7450
From: Aberdeen

ussr    avatar

posticon   Posted: 2014-09-04 11:33

A couple of fairly major changes proposed there.

As far as Aberdeen is concerned, the biggest ones would be the change to 256 players at the finals, effectively doubling the number of qualifiers from the area.

Next would be the "extra event" for folks (like me) who never qualify for the finals.

The biggest change, for me, would be the alteration of the ranking system. If adopted, it would accelerate any new players, who were talented enough, up the rankings VERY quickly. e.g could easily achieve top 16 status within a year.

As usual, I won't be at the meeting, but hope it is carried to the next stage.

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