Imminent Improvements

This road to create and produce an enhanced yet simpler alternative method of evaluating performances in Masters Athletics has been quite long. Already about 4 1/2 years for me so far!

It took quite a while to settle on the methodology, acquire all the data, program the data systems, create the databases and calculators, and then get it all converted into a format that was web enabled.

Once that was all done, I tried to apply myself to looking at all that data and make some sense of it. To my knowledge, there never has been an accumulation of Masters track and field information in one place like John Seto has gathered. To me this was a treasure trove that needed to be mined. I tried to do a bit of that with several posts during the past 18 months.,

But now it’s time to move on. Time for some improvements to the initial concept. I have some ideas.

Here is an outline of what is coming up first.

One of the shortcomings for duncanScore is weakness in the much older age groups, beginning with ages 85 plus.

As you can well imagine, the number of performances tends to decline with 3 factors. Women participate less than Men. Then, after about age-group M and W 50 general participation goes down. Over age 80, very dramatically. And the longer and/or more technical the event, the fewer the competitors.  Think 100m vs Steeplechase. So as these factors compound and we get beyond age-group M/W 80, the number of entries from mastersrankings.com and, hence, the utility of duncanScore, declines.

To remedy as much of this problem as possible, I have added a bunch of performances for older age-groups. Those who have been on this journey with me for awhile will probably recall that the primary data source for duncanSCORE is from mastersrankings.com. The base dataset is the performances from the years 2013-2016.

As part of what I am calling duncanSCORE 2.0, we are adding more years for our calculations. But let’s stay with the older age-groups right now, and let me tell you what I have done to boost the “robustness” of the data.

For the age-groups M-W75 and older, we will now be adding worldwide performances from 2017, 2018, and the available data from 2019 from mastersrankings.com. As well, John Seto, before he took on worldwide rankings from Martin Gasselberger in 2014, tabulated in his high quality, thorough style, US rankings from at least 2008. So, I have included those exclusive US performances from 2008-2012, along with Martin Gasselberger’s international available data from 2008-2012. Additionally, available British best performances from 2008-2012 from www.thepowerof10.info have also been added. So that means age-groups 75 plus have significant numbers of performances from 2008-2019.

All told this more than doubles the performances included to create calculations for age-groups 75 plus. For example in the 100m, W85 performances used for calculations go from 70 to 175. In the 200m,  M90 entries increase from 60 to 175.

I am in the process of redoing the statistics necessary for the calculators to use the additional performances. Over the next few days, these will become available, beginning with the Sprints. So if you are a Sprinter and aged 75 plus, check-in in a couple of days and see if there are any differences.

It should be a better evaluation! Stay tuned.

 

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… And We’re Back!

Yes, it’s been quite a while.

I’ve been busy these past few months on different aspects of the duncanSCORE, which I hope you will be seeing over the next 1-2 months. There are several improvements coming, and some new features. But given the way I tend to work (if I get bored with one thing, I’ll switch over to something else) and my tendency to get a new idea to work on (i.e. a new shiny object to distract me), sometimes there are delays. But right now several improvements and additions all are approaching completion very much together.

The duncanSCORE is now fully open again, so feel free to try it out and see how well you score against everyone else in the world in your event and age category.

For evaluation of TRACK performances, go here:

Track DE

and for FIELD Performances (Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, and Weight Throw) go here:

Field DE

(And if you are new here and are not clear what the duncanSCORE is about as an alternative to age-grading for Masters Track and Field athletes, here is an outline of how it works)

Worldwide, unfortunately,  this is a very unique time. Across the globe due to Covid-19, we are “social distancing” and have to come up with exercise routines at home as our gyms, health clubs, and tracks close. National championships, WMA Regionals, and now WMAToronto2020 Championships have been cancelled. Yet regular exercise is a key to staying healthy and we want to be prepared for that next competitive meet, whenever it will be. Probably you are doing some exercise daily outside. Recently while jogging through my neighbourhood and letting my mind wander, I imagined myself running along the (now likely) deserted streets of one of France’s most picturesque historical villages (see the picture above) that I visited while in Lyon 5 years ago.

It’s fun, too, to note that many of us feed on competition even if there are no track meets. Virtual competitions are all the rage right now. How about some statistical-virtual competition? If you have kept your results from competitions over several years (and if you haven’t, go to mastersrankings.com to get your results), why not use the duncanScore to “compete” with yourself? Here’s how.

Let’s say you are a W60 sprinter, and your best time last year in the 200 was a spectacular 29.11. An amazing time. And as you can see if you use the duncanSCORE calculator

Track DE

that gives you a duncanSCORE of 934 and a percentile of 93  … meaning you are as fast or faster than 93% of the W60s ever in the 200. But you are hard on yourself. After all, you are slowing down. 5 years ago as a W55, you raced the 200 a full 8/10 of a second faster in 28.31. Gosh, that’s nearly a second slower! But are you slowing down at the same rate as your age peers? Lets see. Run that calculator again, this time using the W55 age-group and your faster time from 5 years ago? OMG! Your duncanSCORE is 907 and your percentile 91 … You were (as fast or) faster than 91% of all W55 200m racers. So in fact, relative to your peers you are actually much faster than you were 5 years ago. The best virtual competition. Not only are you beating your peers, you’re also bettering yourself. Congratulations!

So play with the calculators. See how your performances have held up over time. Compare results from different events.

Enjoy!

 

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