Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another look at WOC qualifying results 2003-2012


One of the things I can do with my spreadsheet of US WOC qualifying results is compare those results with what you might expect given a simple measure of each orienteer's performance.  For the US runners, I've looked at each individual race and ordered the entrants based on their OUSA rankings.  It makes more senses with an example.

The US entered three women in the middle distance qualifying race in 2003: Pavlina Brautigam, Erin Olafsen and Karen Williams.  If you look at the OUSA rankings for 2003, you'll see that Pavlina was the best ranked of that group, followed by Erin.  I put the runners in a rank order:

1  Pavlina
2  Erin
3  Karen

You can then look at how they placed in the WOC qualifying races.

Pavlina placed 22nd
Erin placed 18th
Karen placed 28th

There's not a perfect relationship between the rank order and the places.  You wouldn't expect it to work out that way always, but you might expect that over the longer term the better ranked orienteers would tend to have better WOC races.

I looked at all 10 years of WOC data for the US (2003-2012) and created graphs the graphs below.  The first set of graphs illustrate the places for the best ranked US runner , the second set of graphs the next best ranked US runner, and the last set of the graphs the 3rd  best US runner.

The graphs show you that generally, the better US runners have better WOC qualifying races.  But, there is a lot of overlap.  But the overlap suggests that you shouldn't be too surprised if the 2nd or 3rd ranked US runner beats the 1st ranked.

If you are trying to forecast US WOC results in qualifying races, you might start by assuming that all three runners will have an average qualifying place.  But then you might give some "extra credit" to the best ranked of the three and forecast that they'll finish a little better than the average.  You might make a similar adjustment to the worst ranked of the three.

That is more-or-less what the SPROUT method for forecasting WOC results does.

I'm guessing no one has read this far...but if you have, here's a couple of other little graphics based on my US and Canada WOC spreadsheet.  These word clouds show the names of each WOC runner from 2003-2012 with the size of the text related to the number of qualifying races they ran.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 5:52 PM


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