Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rankings, Records, and Regional Offset margins

LaxPwower, the statistical source for the sport, recently adjusted their "Regional Offset Margins." What the heck are they, and why do they matter?

LaxPower's ranking algorithms are a mathematical method for comparing teams within regions. Teams who play each other during the season. As the season progresses, the LaxPower rankings are better and better predictors of performance, in my opinion. They use an iterative calculation to create a "good fit" of team rankings within, say, the North Coast Section of California.

The more difficult task of LaxPower is to rank teams from entirely different geographic regions. How does Texas, say, compare to the Southern Section of California, when no team from either area has played a team from the other area? This is where the regional offset margin comes into play. LaxPower's computers compare, say, Brophy Prep - the top team in Arizona, with San Ramon Valley, the top team from the California North Coast Section. What common opponents have they played. How did those games turn out. Then, they let their computers thrash.

Every so often, and yesterday most recently, they adjust the Regional Offset Margin (ROM) in an effort to compare regions – and by derivation, teams within those regions – with other Regions and the teams within those regions. St. Ignatius, the top team in the Central Coast Section of California and the top team in the State of California (according to LaxPower) moved from a Power ranking of 98.88 to a new ranking of 99.28. SI is still the top team in California, but it has now moved higher in the National rankings. The shift in ROM moved them from 24th in the country to 18th, right behind Loyola Blakefield of MIAA A Division. Heady company indeed!

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