Tuesday, May 5, 2009

UPA College Finals-Teams Determined.


After the remaining UPA college regional championships took place on the weekend, Canada has only one remaining school in the running for the UPA championship. The Ottawa Lady Gee Gees will be attempting to win their first UPA title. More information on the finals and the teams in open and womens can be found here.

UBC men finished 4th in the ultra competitive Northwest region. Only two bids were available.

UBC women, last year's UPA champions, also finished 4th in the same region. Only three bids were available.

Also note that Ottawa's Kate Crump has been named to the UPA College Alumni All Star team, and her group will play a game against the 2009 USA World Games Team. Congrats Kate!

Would RRI Have Agreed with the teams in the Finals?

As most college fans know, different college sports have different ways of deciding their champions. I'm a big fan of the current upa system of sectionals/regionals/and finals.

I've never been a huge user/follower of the RRI ranking system on the UPA site. However, I wonder if the RRI rankings would agree with the teams in the UPA college Finals this year.

Here's a breakdown of the women's team's listed in the RRI. UPA Top 25 and the Actual Finals. Finals seeding has yet to be done, so I ranked them based on current RRI rankings:

RRI UPA Top 25 UPA Finals
1 Wisconsin California-Santa Barbara Wisconsin
2 Oregon Oregon Oregon
3 California-Santa Barbara Washington California-Santa Barbara
4 Washington Wisconsin Washington
5 Stanford Stanford Stanford
6 Michigan Michigan Michigan
7 Ottawa Ottawa Ottawa
8 North Carolina North Carolina-Wilmington North Carolina
9 North Carolina-Wilmington Wake Forest North Carolina-Wilmington
10 British Columbia North Carolina UCLA
11 UCLA UCLA Southern California
12 Southern California Maryland Carleton College
13 Maryland British Columbia Colorado
14 Carleton College Southern California St Louis
15 Wake Forest California Washington University
16 Western Washington Western Washington Iowa State
17 California Iowa State Dartmouth
18 Pacific Lutheran Penn State Illinois
19 Colorado Washington University Pennsylvania
20 St Louis Carleton College Northeastern

What we can see is both UPA Top 25 and RRI predicted 70% of the teams in the finals. This seems like a reasonable figure given the nature of the current process, and how little RRI has to do with it.

However, it really sucks that a team like UBC could be the 10th best performing team in the nation, and have the unpleasant task of needing to beat one of three teams in your region, all in the top 5 in the nation, in order to simply get the finals. It's brutal.

It is at this time that you think "Maybe the number of bids to each region should be based on performance during the current season".

Readers, do you have a solution to revamp/improve the qualification process? Or is the process okay in your opinion?


dan said...

It should be just for USA teams anyways

T1000 said...

Oh, Steve, somme kettles of fish are best left to the chaos that is RSD.

I'm not going to say that the current UPA bid system is perfect, but it's pretty good, and to justify a change, you'd have to make a convincing argument that any new system would be assuredly better in a significant majority of cases.

The trouble with trying to base bids on current season performance is that it would rely either on human subjectivity (e.g., NUMP rankings) or on quantitative rankings (e.g., RRI or other KRACH-based algorithms). And the trouble with quantitative systems is that they are only as reliable as the data they are fed. Sometimes they happen to be representative of the "Truth," but the uncertainty in their predictions is huge.

That is, RRI requires an unbroken chain of head-to-head contests in order to accurately rank all the contenders in the system. Obviously, there are weak points in the chain, where there have been only a couple of match-ups between some NW teams and some NE teams. Those few match-ups can then significantly skew the relative weighting for one or more entire regions. What if one of those teams had a bad day? What if that match-up isn't representative of the greater trend? The error is magnified over a huge number of teams.

I hate to cut myself down in public, but it wasn't very long ago that Queen's was ranked #1 on the RRI charts. I'll be the first to admit that it wasn't an accurate representation of Queen's muscle at the time. It's not that RRI is a bad algorithm; it's just that there's not enough data in an ultimate season to properly base bids on "current performance."

Sport Management Steven said...


Maybe you're right. I wouldn't want American teams coming into Canadian university nationals and stealing titles like UBC did last year. I admit there is many more American teams that could take a CUUC title than CDN teams who could win UPA college finals.

I personally don't see any harm in letting Canadian teams try to qualify. They pay fees to the UPA, increase the competition level, and they travel all over the states (Texas, Nevada, Cali) all spring. Overall, the UPA and USA benefits economically and skill wise from involvement from Canada.

In the future, excluding Canadian teams would allow the Canadian teams to focus on their own nationals and help Canadian game/system.

Sport Management Steven said...


I thought Spam robots took over RSD!

Speak of the devil.. a strength bid discussion was started here this afternoon


I think you are right. As long as we don't have all the teams playing the same tourneys, or a season long enough to get head to head matchups.. we won't be able to rely on RRI to determine bids.

dan said...

I agree they pay for fees and everything , but I dont agree that there should be more bids for certain regions, such as the Northeast, just because there is more competition there ( i.e BCU finish 4 and just 3 teams are going to Nationals). it is important that Ultimate frisbee becomes popular in other regions of USA ( such as south) and increasing their bids for nationals is a way to do it.