Home (you are here)

Why Masterpoints Deserve Care

Principles of Masterpoint Administration

Teams Versus Pairs
Changing the massive discrepancy between team and pair events

Building a Better Formula
Criteria for a good formula, problems with the current formulas, and a better formula.

What You Can Do

Other Information

Messageboard, email


Teams Versus Pairs

If there are 80 players in a Regional event, they may form themselves into teams or pairs. Either way, there are 20 tables and the awards are exactly the same:

10.50     7.88     5.91     4.43     3.32     2.49

However, in the pairs event each award is given to two players. In the team event, each award is given to four players. In the pairs event, 68 players (85%) do not win any awards; in the team event, 56 players (70%) do not win any awards.

This does not consider stratification, but the stratification comes out the same. If 60 of these players were B players, and they formed either 15 teams or 30 pairs, the awards again would be the same for both events. However, two players would receive each award in the pairs event and 4 players would receive each award in the pairs event.

I am looking at a stratified Regional Swiss teams in which 19 of the 53 teams won overalls. That's 36%. Had they instead organized themselves into pairs and had the same outcome, 19 of the 106 pairs would have won overalls. That's 18%.

And if..

What would happen if the formula was changed to be competitors instead of tables? The Swiss team awards of course stay the same. With the current formula, the awards for the pairs event would be

17.50     13.13     9.84     7.38     5.54     4.15

So someone is going to win more points for being in the pairs event. However, they have more merit -- they are first out of 80 instead of first out of 40. Actually, the players who come in second out of 80 receive more masterpoints than the players who were first out of 40 in the team game. That might not seem right to you. It isn't, but that's problem with the ACBL formula. The same problem occurs for comparing a team game of 20 teams to a team game with 40 teams -- second place out of 40 receives more points than first place out of 20.

Even with the larger first place awards, the new awards give out fewer masterpoints per person -- the players in the Swiss teams receive 1.73 masterpoints per person, and the players in the pairs events with the above awards would receive 1.44 masterpoints per person. Because the above awards give more to the elite teams yet less on average, you may expect that the difference is taken out on the lower placings. That is what happens, and again it is a property of the current fomula. I recommend that the current formula be changed.