Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hot or Not: PDGA Player Ratings for May 2012

With so much else happening, I haven't had an opportunity to comment on one more facet of being a PDGA member.  This changes now.  Along with sweet swag, tourney privileges, and a card that says that I'm a BA disc golfer, the King and I are now rated disc golfers.

Ratings are the means by which our community measures ability (at least for PDGA members).  Ratings are not the simplest things to tabulate accurately.  Think of the complexity for a moment.  Ratings need represent the aggregated performance of a single disc golfer across various rounds in various locations in incalculable conditions.

You cannot go simply by course pars.  Who would set the criteria?  Beyond that, how would the ratings take into account 30 mph gusts of wind over and against calm conditions?  Then the location question.  How does a gusty round at Winthrop Gold in South Carolina compare with a calm day at Blue Ribbon Pines in Minnesota?

In steps the rating system referred to as Scratch Scoring Average (or SSA).  I won't bore you with the details because I can't understand them, but the idea is a relative and fluid system that rates each round not against the tangible, physical elements of the course, but against the intangible, human element of the players themselves.  Each round is evaluated based on how those already rated perform around you, with standard (or scratch) representing 1000.  In order for a ratable round to occur, the round must be in a sanctioned tournament; comparable with at least five players whose rating is at least 800 and whose rating is based on at least eight rounds of information.

It is a complicated system, but from what I can tell very equitable and as complete a system as I could discern.  For more information, please go to this explanation:  http://www.pdga.com/files/documents/PDGARatingsGuide.pdf.

I won't trouble you with the ratings of MRK or myself, though in the future I will likely outline my hopes and goals for my rating in a future post.  Until then, live in wonderment and awe of the rating system!


Programming note: I will try to have a post for you next week, however, I am preparing a vacation to Utah (yes, I know), and I may not have time to produce one in time.  I'll do what I can, because I know the many readers of this blog await my posts in anticipatory silence.  Yeah... that.

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