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Thread: USFA rankings - good for how long?

  1. #1
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    USFA rankings - good for how long?

    How long does a USFA ranking last? An 09 ranking will expire in ...?
    Sorry if this seems like a silly question but I can't seem to find this info anywhere - and I've tried many searches.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TBean's Avatar
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    Letter ranking or points?

    For ease of explanation, letter ranking degrade one letter every four years - so an A09 if not re-earned before 2013 becomes a B13.

    Points, earned at events that give them out, are rolling. They are good for 12 months.

    This information is in the Althletes Handbook which you can find on the USFA website.
    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally take a look at the results. ~ Churchill
    I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. ~ Rita Rudner

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    Senior Member epeemike81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBean View Post
    For ease of explanation, letter ranking degrade one letter every four years - so an A09 if not re-earned before 2013 becomes a B13.
    One additional note: While ratings are given based on year, they degrade based on season.

    In other words, an A2006 will not degrade to a B2010 until August 1st.

    -m

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    Armorer DHCJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epeemike81 View Post
    One additional note: While ratings are given based on year, they degrade based on season.

    In other words, an A2006 will not degrade to a B2010 until August 1st.

    -m
    Which I always found very strange. If you have a New Years Eve tournament and earned a rating it would expire in 3 years 7 months. If the tournament was the next day, it would expire in 4 years 7 months.

    My thought to be consistent would to earn ratings by season and expire by season or earn by year and expire by year. This half-and-half is just wrong.
    Donald Hollis Clinton, Jr.
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    Senior Member epeemike81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr View Post
    Which I always found very strange. If you have a New Years Eve tournament and earned a rating it would expire in 3 years 7 months. If the tournament was the next day, it would expire in 4 years 7 months.

    My thought to be consistent would to earn ratings by season and expire by season or earn by year and expire by year. This half-and-half is just wrong.
    Meh. Really not a big deal. And more importantly, not one your solution would fix. If we expired on year, then you're example above would be exactly the same but without the 7 month shift. There'd still be a 1 year difference in the duration of a rating earned on 12/31 and 1/1.

    Without a significant increase in complexity (by which we tracked earned dates and ratings degraded 4 years after the day they were earned), this issue will always exist. the benefit of fixing it is dubious at best.

    -m

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    Senior Member Philistine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr View Post
    {snip}
    My thought to be consistent would to earn ratings by season and expire by season or earn by year and expire by year. This half-and-half is just wrong.
    I always thought that was confusing as well.

    Presumably, the reason it was that way was because you'd need to send a card with the degraded rating and you'd be sending out a new membership card August 1st anyway, so you're saving the time/money by doing it at the same time, rather than sending out new cards to all degredations on January 1, and having to send out new cards to all those people again 7 months later for their membership renewal.

    Given the new system of membership cards, and online lists, there doesn't seem to be any particular reason to keep this system, and a calender year system (A09 becomes B13 on Jan 1, 2013) seems to make much more sense.

    --Philistine

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    Senior Member TBean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epeemike81 View Post
    One additional note: While ratings are given based on year, they degrade based on season.

    In other words, an A2006 will not degrade to a B2010 until August 1st.

    -m
    I figured that was more information than necessary to answer what the OP was basically looking for - which was also why I referenced the Athletes Handbook as the resource for the information.
    Last edited by TBean; 02-23-2010 at 05:00 PM.
    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally take a look at the results. ~ Churchill
    I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. ~ Rita Rudner

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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr View Post
    Which I always found very strange. If you have a New Years Eve tournament and earned a rating it would expire in 3 years 7 months. If the tournament was the next day, it would expire in 4 years 7 months.

    My thought to be consistent would to earn ratings by season and expire by season or earn by year and expire by year. This half-and-half is just wrong.
    I wouldn't think this would happen often enough to warrant fussing over: the rating has to expire AND the fencer has to fence in a tournament where the rating matters within that 6 to 12 month period.

    My rating will go down a notch this year due to lack of use, and I really don't care where I am on that spectrum. Either I'll get back to fencing and earn it back (or better) or I won't.

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    Woohoo, I get to fence in E tournaments next year. Why I'd possibly want to, I do not know.

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    Armorer DHCJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Presumably, the reason it was that way was because you'd need to send a card with the degraded rating and you'd be sending out a new membership card August 1st anyway, so you're saving the time/money by doing it at the same time, rather than sending out new cards to all degredations on January 1, and having to send out new cards to all those people again 7 months later for their membership renewal.
    --Philistine
    So why not have the earning be by season also?

    Quote Originally Posted by tchwojko View Post
    I wouldn't think this would happen often enough to warrant fussing over: the rating has to expire AND the fencer has to fence in a tournament where the rating matters within that 6 to 12 month period.
    Actually it happens all the time. I just gave the most extreme case. Any body getting a rating in the first half of the season (before December) have the same thing happen versus the second half.

    I know it doesn't matter too much, but they should be consitent.

    I know, I know asking for the USFA to be consistent and logical is asking for the impossible, but I can hope!
    Donald Hollis Clinton, Jr.
    DHCJr@juno.com

    To Teach is to Learn (Japanese Proverb)

    Knowing the rule book by heart means nothing, if you don't understand the rules.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Philistine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr View Post
    So why not have the earning be by season also?{snip}
    Too complicated. How do you designate before or after July 31? E05(1/2)?

    --Philistine

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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr View Post
    Actually it happens all the time. I just gave the most extreme case.
    I can believe lots of ratings lapse, but I'm surprised if the timing really affects anyone competitively. After 4 years it's all kind of fuzzy anyway. It's adding extra precision to something that isn't all that precise to begin with. A06, B10 pretty much a toss up.

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    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr View Post
    Which I always found very strange. If you have a New Years Eve tournament and earned a rating it would expire in 3 years 7 months. If the tournament was the next day, it would expire in 4 years 7 months.

    My thought to be consistent would to earn ratings by season and expire by season or earn by year and expire by year. This half-and-half is just wrong.
    Any solution to the first problem (one day making a difference of one year) would probably require additional granularity to ratings (perhaps tracking not only by year but also by month). Personally I'm not sure it would be worth the bother (especially since, as Tchewojko pointed out, the system isn't that precise to begin with).

    However the current system of tracking ratings by calander year yet having them change at the end of the season (July 31st) has been causing confusion ever since it was introduced back in the mid-80's. After 25 years of dealing with the same question you'd think we could stop repeating the same mistake over and over again (especially since the USFA is already using the calender year to determine elegibility for age restricted events)!

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    Senior Member peet's Avatar
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    Sorry if this has already been said, but:

    There is a simple way to make letter ratings good for the season and expire with that same season: Award the same "year" on earned ratings for the whole season, so that they get seeded the same.

    e.g.: A C rating earned on 08/01/2009 would be a "C09" and a C earned on 07/31/2010 would be a "C09". (Calling them both "C10" would work just as well. If people would prefer a more explicit but verbose naming scheme, they could be called "C09/10". But that's just a nomenclature question).

    And then of course, expire them the same way we do now.

    -p

    Oh, and speaking as one who has to program systems for this stuff, this way of doing things would save me some headaches, not cause them.
    Last edited by peet; 02-24-2010 at 11:30 AM.

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    Senior Member Omar Bhutta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peet View Post
    Sorry if this has already been said, but:

    There is a simple way to make letter ratings good for the season and expire with that same season: Award the same "year" on earned ratings for the whole season, so that they get seeded the same.

    e.g.: A C rating earned on 08/01/2009 would be a "C09" and a C earned on 07/31/2010 would be a "C09". (Calling them both "C10" would work just as well. If people would prefer a more explicit but verbose naming scheme, they could be called "C09/10". But that's just a nomenclature question).

    And then of course, expire them the same way we do now.

    -p

    Oh, and speaking as one who has to program systems for this stuff, this way of doing things would save me some headaches, not cause them.
    For that matter, in the end, it does not matter what year it was earned it. What matters is that it will expire in 4 seasons.

    If you earn a C, call it a C4. On the first day of a new season, everyone's rating drops by 1. If you had a C0, it becomes a D4.

    Year then becomes irrelevant.
    Omar J Bhutta
    USA Fencing Rulebook Editor

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    Senior Member TBean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar Bhutta View Post
    For that matter, in the end, it does not matter what year it was earned it. What matters is that it will expire in 4 seasons.

    If you earn a C, call it a C4. On the first day of a new season, everyone's rating drops by 1. If you had a C0, it becomes a D4.

    Year then becomes irrelevant.
    Clear, logical, simple - an elegant solution.
    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally take a look at the results. ~ Churchill
    I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. ~ Rita Rudner

  17. #17
    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBean View Post
    Clear, logical, simple - an elegant solution.
    Which probably means that it's doomed to be ignored (unfortunately).

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    Senior Member Fiat Slug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBean View Post
    Clear, logical, simple - an elegant solution.
    Only in a cesspool do people value clarity, logic, and simplicity. The "real world" does not share those values.

    .

  19. #19
    Senior Member peet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJCFU#2 View Post
    Which probably means that it's doomed to be ignored (unfortunately).
    I think the next change in USFA fencer ratings will be a complete replacement system, not a tweak of the existing system.

    I suggested the above ideas only because they are interesting, not because I think they will or should happen.



    -p

  20. #20
    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peet View Post
    I think the next change in USFA fencer ratings will be a complete replacement system, not a tweak of the existing system.

    I suggested the above ideas only because they are interesting, not because I think they will or should happen.
    Granted, a simple tweak won't come anywhere near solving all of the problems with our current system (that would require a completely replacement). However a complete replacement will require time to develop and implement and in the meantime we'll most likely have to get by with our existing system (flawed as it is).

    If we're going to be stuck with the existing system for at least the next few years then there's little justification (outside of bureaucratic inertia, and any new system will have to overcome that as well) for not implementing a simply tweak that would eliminate one wrinkle that has been confusing people for the last quarter-century.

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