Seeding Pairs

Our Tuesday Afternoon (Hosted Pairs) section is getting more popular with several relatively strong pairs now coming on a regular basis.

Whilst NGS changes are automatics, some of the 'weaker' pairs are a bit unhappy about consistently being lower in the results and therefore missing out on those precious masterpoints. They may also feel that they are been taken as cannon fodder for the better pairs.

There are about 13 tables in the afternoon. I have suggested an 8-table 'revenge' Mitchell for the lower pairs but have a 5 table 3/4 Howell for the better ones (boards to be shared, scoring accross both sections - 8 rounds of 3) since the players may perceive it as 'fairer' that the strong players have to play each other (whether that is the case is debatable.)

However, suppose I decided to seed the stronger pairs: what would you suggest to be suitable sensible locations to place them? (preferably a generalisation if possible).

Comments

  • TagTag
    edited December 2018

    One of the clubs I attend has a relatively weaker evening, typically replete with improvers and moderate players but with some strong players. We simply have the weaker players sit EW and the stronger players sit NS. The disparity of average NGS grading between EW and NS can be as much as eight or nine points and it works to everyone's satisfaction.

  • @Tag said:
    One of the clubs I attend has a relatively weaker evening, typically replete with improvers and moderate players but with some strong players. We simply have the weaker players sit EW and the stronger players sit NS. The disparity of average NGS grading between EW and NS can be as much as eight or nine points and it works to everyone's satisfaction.

    As long as the improvers/ moderate players realise that is to make the movement fairer. Do you have a 1-winner or 2-winner event?

  • Usually (almost always) a two-winner event. Of course, sometimes, we have to go to a one-winner event but I can't remember when that last happened.

    People seem to know whether they should be EW or NS and we discourage any strong pair from sitting EW, so it really doesn't happen.

  • You could try stratification and also spread the load by making tables A, B or C stratification tables for the start. So if out of 13 tables you have 8 pairs that are A strat then you allocate 2 tables as A. If there are 8 pairs of C strat then make 2 other tables C Strat and the rest are B strat (or anyone else can sit there when the A strat and C strat tables are full). It gives a better split and lets the C level players "earn" master points. By Playing at least 2 A Startified pairs they get better experience as well.

    Hope this helps

    CMOT_Dibbler

  • edited December 2018

    Why not just stratify the event (based on NGS) and then everyone has a chance of masterpoints?

  • I echo the stratification. In my experience, (at least some of) the weaker players like playing against the stronger players particularly if they get their own masterpoint awards. I remember playing at the club at one point, conceding 470 on one hand as we moved to the next table, heard one player say to his partner "do you realise who we just played? We got 100% on that board against them!"

  • We had one pair high-five one another across the table after getting two tops against a strong pair. I still rib them about it.

    As Frances says, they do enjoy getting their licks in against better players, even when the Birdgemate gives them a bottom. Maybe it also helps their game to be given fewer gifts as they play, rather than playing in an all-weak event. For the strong players, it's often a matter of who can best chop up the opposition but there can be a large element of randomness to the results on any given board. Then again, that's just club bridge.

  • This all illustrates how ridiculously unfair the outdated Master Points system is.
    Now that we have NGS it is well past its Sell By date.
    Alan

    Alan

  • For the most part, local Master Points are a long-service award for playing the game.

  • @16248 said:
    This all illustrates how ridiculously unfair the outdated Master Points system is.
    Now that we have NGS it is well past its Sell By date.
    Alan

    They are different measures for different things. Everyone can prefer whichever they like, but I don't think there's any case for getting rid of master points.

  • I used to hate on master points too, but if you look at the data they're actually a pretty good indicator of strength. There are exceptions, of course, and they're the ones you notice, but the correlation is still quite strong. I made a graph of this a while back, which you can see here:

    Richard Willey made nicer graphs, but they don't seem to be available any more.

  • Interesting chart really, doesn't look like a linear relationship but you clearly can't get to the highest masterpoint ranks without at least a decent ngs grade. The lower ranks seem far more variable, I guess because strong newcomers do have to take their time to work through the ranks. Either way, as Gordon says there are some players who like to collect them, like working their way towards the ranks, and it would be a shame to deprive them of this just because we don't really care about them (and I used not to even bother cashing them).

    Regarding the issue with mixed club fields, I'm inclined to agree stratification might be a good solution. Coralling the weak players can mean they only play weak players, when it's hard for them to progress (and some of them may want to), it seems a shame to separate the strong players completely.

  • @michael said:
    I used to hate on master points too, but if you look at the data they're actually a pretty good indicator of strength. There are exceptions, of course, and they're the ones you notice, but the correlation is still quite strong. I made a graph of this a while back, which you can see here:

    Richard Willey made nicer graphs, but they don't seem to be available any more.

    This misses the point. I have about 15000 Master Points but almost all of them come from before the time of NGS. My MP ranking shows my age more than it shows my ability.

    Alan

  • @16248 said:
    This misses the point. I have about 15000 Master Points but almost all of them come from before the time of NGS. My MP ranking shows my age more than it shows my ability.

    I'm not sure I understand your point. Master Points didn't stop being issued when the NGS came in. Are you saying that you no longer play as much as you used to? And that there's a connection?

  • There's an inherent disconnect between NGS and master points. Most clubs have weaker sessions where improvers can rack up master points and they are often well attended, at least locally to me. Well-attended sessions give out more points. The stronger sessions are less well attended and give out fewer points.

  • There is probably some bias also as to where you live. Up in the NE there aren't that many green-pointed events within easy travel time - unlike further south where you can probably attend a County event every other weekend.

    (Happens in croquet too, since players who do well at any event used to get their handicaps reduced automatically. southern players (where there are many events) often had handicaps much lower than northerners - who would inevitably wipe them out.)

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @16248 said:
    This misses the point. I have about 15000 Master Points but almost all of them come from before the time of NGS. My MP ranking shows my age more than it shows my ability.

    I'm not sure I understand your point. Master Points didn't stop being issued when the NGS came in. Are you saying that you no longer play as much as you used to? And that there's a connection?

    No. It's just that 80% of my Bridge playing and Master Points come from before NGS days. Master Points reflect how long you have been playing.. And how much you spent on buying Green Points.

    Alan

  • @16248 said:
    Master Points reflect how long you have been playing.. And how much you spent on buying Green Points.

    And people who have played for a long time and enter lots of stronger events tend (on average, and with plenty of counter-examples) to be better bridge players.

  • @michael said:

    @16248 said:
    Master Points reflect how long you have been playing.. And how much you spent on buying Green Points.

    And people who have played for a long time and enter lots of stronger events tend (on average, and with plenty of counter-examples) to be better bridge players.

    Yes. So a new player with a good NGS grading can hope to get an equally good Master Points ranking in fifty years time.

    I won't say any more about Master Point. This is probably not the right place.

    Alan

  • Have tried to re-rate an event using stratification i.e. set it as a stratified event and set players strata - but the reports show no changes. DO I assume this has to be done before starting the event or am I making (yet) another mistake?

  • How did you set the player strats? In EBUScore this is done in a number of steps (Player Management and Properties) - there is something in the EBUScore Pairs Manual. It does not have to be done in advance - but the players should have some expectation that the event would be (could be) stratified.

  • Yep - I changed the event to stratified pairs and set the stratifications. I have reports showing Ranks + masterpoints (A-St). This is what I get

    1 .5 B ......B 24 341.00 480 71.04 40
    2 28 BC ..C 22 271.00 440 61.59 35
    3 25 BCD D 22 255.00 440 57.95 30
    4 .2 BCD D 24 276.00 480 57.50 25
    5 .7 BCD D 24 265.00 480 55.21 20
    6 .8 BCD D 24 264.00 480 55.00 15
    7 .9 BCD D 24 263.00 480 54.79 10
    8 .4 BCD D 24 262.00 480 54.58 5

  • OK - had a look at ranks + stratified awards - show LP LPA LPB LPC LPD. DO I assume the EBU will award the stratified masterpoints when the UMS file is uploaded?

  • The LP column should show the maximum from the LPA LPB LPC LPD column, the UMS file only shows the LP figure: Ranks + stratified awards is just to "show your workings".

  • Right! Got it - thanks!

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