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StealthyBlagga

Why don’t classifications go down?

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Simple question: If the classification system is supposed to pit shooters of like ability together, why does classification get locked at the highest class a shooter ever attains?

 

We all get older and less sharp over time,  and HHFs get higher, so shouldn't  the system recognize that reality? Yes, I know there is a mechanism for asking to be downgraded, but my guess is few do this because of the prestige and self-esteem associated with a higher ranking. An automatic downgrade according to current performance would ensure folks were placed in a class reflective of their true ability regardless of ego. An agreeable further benefit would be reduction in the “paper GM” problem, and perhaps a reduced incentive for some folks to work the system to get a GM card by what we might call nefarious means.

 

I get that some folks might sandbag to get into a lower class, but I am confident a suitable algorithm could minimize any gaming of the process. 
 

Thoughts?

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I don't really worry about it too much, but can see your point.  Probably the easiest  way would be to reevaluate on an annually or biennially,  and then reclassify as necessary.  But, I don't think it is that big a deal,  if there is an M/GM shooting with the b class guys, does it take away from anything?  

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There is a way to petition headquarters for a reduction in classification.  Probably have to have something of a history on your classifier record showing that you can't perform at the level that you used to.

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54 minutes ago, StealthyBlagga said:

 

some might sandbag, but I am confident a suitable algorithm could minimize any gaming of the process. 
 

I agree with you 100%.

 

I was raised from a C to a B few weeks before my first Nat'ls - I fought it since

it was based on a single COF that I shot twice in a couple months - it was

long range shooting (45 yds) which is my particular strength.   All my other

scores were well within the mid-C level.

 

They wouldn't budge except to inform me of the process I should go thru

locally.     

 

But, I disagree with you about a "suitable algorithm" "minimizing gaming".

 

If it existed, I believe we would have done a much better job "minimizing

gaming" over the past dozen years.   Doesn't seem to happen.    :( 

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On 11/10/2019 at 3:51 PM, StealthyBlagga said:

An agreeable further benefit would be reduction in the “paper GM” problem, and perhaps a reduced incentive for some folks to work the system to get a GM card by what we might call nefarious means.

 

I get that some folks might sandbag to get into a lower class, but I am confident a suitable algorithm could minimize any gaming of the process. 
 

 

I personally think that "paper GMs" aren't a problem, because they get stomped at majors and it doesn't help them in the slightest. 

 

Sandbagging doesn't currently seem to have any suitable algorithm to stop it, and as such I don't see something else magically appearing just because we let people go down in classification.

 

With regard to going down in class:  is there any problem with letting people stay at the highest class they have ever obtained?  Is it harming anyone else?  Making it more difficult for anyone else?   If the only thing it harms is the shooter themselves at matches, the shooter can decide to petition to reduce their own class.  If they don't care, why bother changing it?

 

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Can the next person using the term "paper GM" in any negative sense state their classification and how many times they've actually shot a 95%+ classifier?  Forget about match placement. Just how many times you have been able to hit the standard? 

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On 11/10/2019 at 2:51 PM, StealthyBlagga said:

Simple question: If the classification system is supposed to pit shooters of like ability together, why does classification get locked at the highest class a shooter ever attains?

 

 

Is that the purpose of the classification system? If so, it's a dumb purpose imho, and one that encourages sandbagging and pretending. Having the classifications go down as well as up would cause even more sandbagging and pretending.

 

I see the purpose as 2 things: one, to provide intermediate goals (attain the next class up) to encourage shooters to improve, and second, to let shooters pretend they 'won' something by beating the other people who didn't work hard enough to move up, thus discouraging improvement.  For obvious reasons, I only pay attention to the first part. I compete against every shooter in the division, and try to improve my overall placing and my percentage of the top guys in the division.

Edited by motosapiens

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1 hour ago, Thomas H said:

 

I personally think that "paper GMs" aren't a problem, because they get stomped at majors and it doesn't help them in the slightest. 

 

Sandbagging doesn't currently seem to have any suitable algorithm to stop it, and as such I don't see something else magically appearing just because we let people go down in classification.

 

 

I don't see how it's a problem for me (or the sport) if someone gets stomped at a major. At any rate, as far as I'm concerned, the only 'paper GM' is the one that cheated to get the card, either by changing scores after the fact, or by re-shooting classifiers over and over and over and over and submitting the qualifying scores. I am personally only aware of one example of each type, and both those people are mocked pretty much non-stop by the rest of us, which serves to discourage others from trying the same approach.

 

The way to make sandbagging a total non-issue is to simply not give valuable prizes to class 'winners'. give them a trophy or plaque if that makes their parents proud, but do the prizes either by random draw or order of division finish. People will still sandbag then, but no one will care except other sandbaggers that got out-sandbagged and didn't get a medal to show to their mommies.

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Why doesn't peoples classifications go down automatically? Because that would crush ego's and result in more people losing interest in the game and moving onto something else. Lets face the facts, American's love instant gratification and hate it when something takes a while to achieve. An even bigger group of people hate needing to maintain a high level of participation to justify their achieved ratings. This is a cultural thing that has existed in America for a very long time which permeates nearly all competitive activities. This is why we have individual recognition and rewards for an increasingly fractured competition base (Divisions, Classifications, Categories, etc).

 

Lastly, the current structure of the Classification system maximizes profits for USPSA. Why would they deploy a change to the classification system that would negatively impact that revenue stream?

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I can give a example of why not to allow classes to go down.

 

When I was younger I played Halo on-line (xbox). They had a classification system built into the game so you'd be playing against guys who where similar skill to you. The scale was 1-50 if I remember correctly and you would go up and down based on how you were doing. I think the highest I ever got was up around 40. Occasionally you'd come into a game and the other team was just letting you kill them. These guys were "De-Leveling" they could be a group of level 50's who wanted to just crush some newbs. So they'd go loose a bunch of games and drop back down to the lowest level only so they could completely crush unsuspecting players as they moved back up. This was typically done for no other reason then they thought it was funny to beat up on low level players.

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A half measure would be you drop a classification if your actual percentage is 2 classes below your highest for a given period of time, say 3 years, and then you only drop 1 class. But, I'd say this isnt a real problem. People slow down with age but they keep their fundamentals for the most part. In the right course of fire, they will shoot like their class.
A bigger problem in the classification system is the need to risk zeroing the stage in order to reach M and GM, which, if you want to finish well in local matches, becomes a big sacrifice potentially.

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I wonder what would happen if all classifiers for a particular division were averaged for a year, or six months, perhaps. There would be more fluctuation of division percentage, and it would definitely be possible to drop classes. 

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4 hours ago, nasty618 said:

Can the next person using the term "paper GM" in any negative sense state their classification and how many times they've actually shot a 95%+ classifier?  Forget about match placement. Just how many times you have been able to hit the standard? 

 

Paper GM. Never. 

 

Some folks hero-zero-attend classifier matches to hose, other folks just seem to pick up their classifier score with their overall skill development. Either route is ok, and I don't know of anyone who tries to hide it. 

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Just for the record, I believe the whole classification systems is a silly "everyone gets a trophy" waste of time and energy. I'd rather it just go away, but I do recognize the revenue stream motivator for USPSA to keep it as it is.

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IPSC has a classification system where you can go up and down.  Nobody cares about or uses it. 

 

Why that is can be left to speculation.

 

 

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The typical, almost weekly, thread about getting rid of classifications. 

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I don't care that classifications stay at whatever highest class one has reached. The percentages going down is fine too, it just means that it takes extra work to start moving up again.

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37 minutes ago, B_RAD said:

The typical, almost weekly, thread about getting rid of classifications. 

 

 

Haha, yep

 

Now we need a how to fix production and a limited minor thread to round out the trifecta.

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5 hours ago, shred said:

IPSC has a classification system where you can go up and down.  Nobody cares about or uses it. 

 

Why that is can be left to speculation.

 

 

The guy who wins, wins. The guy who is halfway down the list is halfway down the list. No reason to have a second list where the guy halfway down the list is at the top.

 

Just checked my standing in national IPSC ranking. No, I'm not a Master or Grand Master. More like the guy halfway down the list.

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13 hours ago, RJH said:

 

 

Haha, yep

 

Now we need a how to fix production and a limited minor thread to round out the trifecta.

Yeah. I forgot about those. 
 

99% of the people proposing no classifications seem to be middle of the pack B class or can’t make it to 95% M’s. 
 

 

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1 minute ago, B_RAD said:

Yeah. I forgot about those. 
 

99% of the people proposing no classifications seem to be middle of the pack B class or can’t make it to 95% M’s. 
 

 

Don’t forget about threads from aspiring statisticians showing elaborate regression analysis of the classification system. Those are fun too.

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What is the purpose of the system, anyway: 1) an indication of what you can do, or 2) a badge of honor for what you did once?

Edited by perttime

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Yeah. I forgot about those. 
 
99% of the people proposing no classifications seem to be middle of the pack B class or can’t make it to 95% M’s. 
 
 
I think it's the opposite. People stop caring about classification when they start getting in the running for a good overall division finish. They are caring about a division win instead of a class win. That is usually guys that are shooting at a master level, give or take.

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6 minutes ago, obsessiveshooter said:

I think it's the opposite. People stop caring about classification when they start getting in the running for a good overall division finish. They are caring about a division win instead of a class win. That is usually guys that are shooting at a master level, give or take.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

I agree. Most M/GM level shooters that are in the running for the Div win don’t care about the class win. 
 

The M/GM and and the other class shooters that are not even in the running for a class win, want to get rid of classes. 30th overall isn’t as bad as 8th B class. 
 

that’s how it seems to me. 

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15 minutes ago, B_RAD said:

The M/GM and and the other class shooters that are not even in the running for a class win, want to get rid of classes. 30th overall isn’t as bad as 8th B class. 

 

i think 30th overall in a big match is way way better than 8th B class, and way less dependent on who shows up, or who practiced hard enough to get out of B class. 

 

but I don't really care if someone in b class gets a plaque. They shouldn't walk the prize table before the A class guys (or C class guys) that finished in front of them, imho.

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