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TRAVEL RANKINGS

There are three competitive (travel) soccer rankings for youth soccer (U9-19).  If you really want to get the most out of using rankings for your team and club, you should participate in all the three ranking services and not just one.  There ranking services assist you in obtaining the highest seeds possible in tournaments. 

Why are ranking services so important?  Let's say you are entering in an out of state tournament.  In major tournaments, each age group can have upwards of 10 different brackets based on how competitive the teams are.  When you apply to the tournament with your payment, you do so without knowing what bracket you are going to participate in.  With travel costs high, you may not want to compete in the C bracket of your age group if you consider yourself an A team.  But you don't have much of a choice because tournament fees are non-refundable.  Should you decide to forfeit your fee and not participate in the tournament, you can consider your team and club on a black-ball list for future years at this tournament...and perhaps others as word gets around.  The ranking services help you overcome many of these problems.  Work your team up the rankings and you can gain entry into the brackets you feel your team deserves.

GOTSOCCER primarily ranks teams based on the results from tournaments where GotSoccer.com is providing the web hosting and scheduling services.   No individual game results from leagues are included in their ranking database.  A tournament may also be included in the ranking database even if it does not use the GotSoccer.com scheduling software; however, there are no assurances that the information will be timely because tournament administrators are the ones entering in information and this is service intensive.  Teams are awarded points based upon their finish at GotSoccer.com.  Tournaments get points for having the top teams place/finish in their events. For example, if a tournament has one National Champion playing in the event, it gets 400 points. All the points are totaled and then divided by the number of age-groups. Data is entered by tournaments.

USA Rank inputs "head-to-head" game results from all league and tournament play for each team during the year. Where you finish in your league or any tournament has no bearing on these rankings, what matters is wins and loses against each particular opponent. A team is assigned a rating based on the rating of each opponent and the results of the games. Each team is provided access to the database to input their own game results; however, many teams elect not to input data in the ranking service. In theory, this should not directly effect the ranking integrity as long as one team inputs the correct data. All teams inputting data in the ranking database are required to input ALL their results not just selected ones. Only games against ranked teams which are the same age/gender that occurred within the past year are included in the calculation. Recent results are weighed higher than older results.

Over 150,000 games are in the USA Rank database with recalculations at least once per week. They "seed" the rankings with the State, Regional and National tournament results and then run through all of the games at least a dozen times to establish the base for each team. Team A can beat B, B can beat C, and then C can beat A to make a simple calculation impossible. They do not use simple tournament outcome which can have so many variables depending on which teams participate. There are no "experts" providing any game data into the ranking database. The entire process is as objective as possible. The USA Rank relies on the integrity of the teams inputting data. According to the coaches and clubs using the USA Ranking database there seems to be a consensus that the results are as fair as possible.

NATIONAL SOCCER RANKING (NSR) ranks teams based on tournament and national/regional league results. "Head to head" results, quality of competition, and consistency of wins are all considered when determining the rankings. Where you finish in your league or tournament play has no bearing on these rankings; however, strength of tournaments and region leagues carry more weight against opponents. Games played against teams of different age groups are not counted towards the rankings. NSR utilizes state and regional volunteers to determine the rankings. Using people from the state or region increases the accuracy of the rankings because of their familiarity with the teams. Results can be submitted by leagues, coaches, scouts, parents and even players; with NSR experts verifying any discrepancies. Like all ranking services, the more results in the database the more accurate the ranking is for everyone. NSR is the least used of the three ranking services.

Tournaments, regional leagues, and national league results typically are weighted more in the rankings than local league play because of the developmental nature of local league play. Another issue with local league results is that many teams play up a year (or more) to challenge their players and in many parts of the country girls play in a boys league to increase their competition. For this reason we use local league results as a tie-breaker to determine the ranking order in cases where two or more teams are perceived as being even. All league results are considered and factored into the rankings at the conclusion of the league season.

State, Regional, and National Cup tournaments carry the most weight in any particular state or region. In most cases, if a team wins state cup, they are #1 in their state. Regional Leagues, where a regional birth is at stake, can play into the final state rankings. If a team wins the regional championship, they are #1 in the Region. If a teams wins the national championship, they are #1 in the nation.

Mathman ranks 91/92 and 92/93 girls teams only by using the scores of their games over a five year period.  It is a predictive model. 

 

 

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