Updated & Enhanced 400m duncanScores

  •  – Photo courtesy Doug Shaggy Smith –

For new followers of the duncanScore, here is some background.

To date  duncanScore “scores” have been based on the accumulation of mastersrankings.com best annual individual performances for the years 2013-2016.  (For more detail here are the nuts and bolts on how the calculator works and the results generated.)

And now the calculator for the 400m age-groups has been updated to include international performances from mastersrankings.com for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019.  As well, for additional robustness, US-only performances from 2006-2012 have also been included.

This means that all 400m duncanScores are based on results from 2006-2019. (2006-2012 US results only). This is for both Men and Women. (Note age-groups 75+ were already enhanced with these added years and performances from other additional sources. You can read the details here if curious.)

What does this mean for the “Scores” and percentiles? It gives us scores with better precision since the number of performances in each age group has pretty much doubled.

However, at the same time, because the existing 4 years included (usually) thousands of performances, changes tend to be fairly minor. Typically your percentile, if it changes, will likely be only 1 or at most, 2 percentiles. .

This is part of duncanScore 2.0, and this upgrade to other events will be announced as they are completed.

So please try the new calculators to see how you rate against your 400m peers across the world. Just click here

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Then from the drop down menu choose your age-group. Next select  “400m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds) and then click the green  “Ok … Done …GO” button.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Enhanced 800m duncanScores

  • – Photo courtesy Doug Shaggy Smith –

To date  duncanScore “scores” have been based on the accumulation of mastersrankings.com best individual performances for the years 2013-2016.  (In case you  would like a refresher, here are the nuts and bolts how the calculator works and the results generated.)

Previously I had “beefed up” the number of performances included for track events (including the 800m) for the age groups 75+. This involved adding the results from various sources including mastersrankings.com for 2017-2019, as well as some other sources. You can read the details here if interested.

But time marches on!

I am happy to announce that the calculator for all 800m age-groups has now been updated! I have added worldwide mastersrankings.com performances for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019.  Additionally, to enhance robustness, US-only performances from 2006-2012 have also been included. This means that all 800m duncanScores are based on results from 2006-2019! (2006-2012 US results only). This is for both Men and Women. (Note age-groups 75+ continue to be enhanced with additional performances from other additional sources)

What does this mean for the “Scores” and percentiles you get? Well it means scores with better precision. The number of performances in each age group has increased by a minimum of 86% and up to 141%.

However, at the same time, because the existing 4 years included (usually) thousands of performances, changes tend to be fairly minor. Typically your percentile, if it changes, will likely be only 1 or at most, 2 percent. .

This is part of duncanScore 2.0, and this upgrade to other events will be announced as soon as they are completed.

So go ahead and try it out. See how you rate against your 800m peers across the world. Just click here

Track DE

Then from the drop down menu choose your age-group. Next select  “800m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds) and then click the green  “Ok … Done …GO” button.

Voila!

What I’ve Been Working On – The Dashboard

It’s been a very busy time here at duncanScore.

As you might remember, duncanScores are calculated from mastersrankings.com performances from 2013-2016.  I am in the process of adding results from 2017-2019 and recalculating the averages and standard deviations which will yield updated/revised duncanScores.

I am pleased (though not surprised) that with the addition of 2017-2019, so far duncanScores change only marginally. So I am confident the process is solid, and over the next 1-2 months I will be posting updated calculators.

And there are a few other improvements I am hoping to implement. The first is a kind of dashboard for results. Here is how it may look. As an example I am going to use my 400m performance the summer after I turned 65 to illustrate it.

That year my best 400m performance at 65 was 68.53 seconds. Using the new (yet to be posted) updated factors, this gives me an M65 duncanScore of 800, meaning that at 65 I was as fast or faster than 80% of M65s in the 400m. Not wonderfully exceptional, or good enough to make the final at a WC, but a good shot for the semi-final. See here why

By the way, the score of 800 is very close to the “original” duncanScore calculator (with only 2013-2016 performances) which yielded a 793 score. So adding 3 more years of results for the calculations made no material difference. The dashboard for the 5 year Age Group (M65) results would look like this.

 

But as the announcer on the television infomercial inevitably says, “Wait … there’s more!”

Recently turning 65 would give me a bit of a “youth” advantage over most of the other M65s (aged 66 to 69). How good was I versus all the other 65 year old 400m men runners?  For that we would need a duncanScore for individual age-years.

And here it is!  …

So there you have it! While I may have been as fast as 80% of the M65s, I was only as fast as 75% of the 65-year olds. And with this new metric, as I age, year by year, I can truly see how well I am keeping pace with my age specific comrades.

“But wait!” says the infomercial announcer … “we have more!” My 68 second 400m was approximately the average time for a 57 year old competitive Masters man. I could say, then, that my “running age”, or what I’m calling my Athletic Age, was 57.  I might say I was running 8 years younger than my actual age (see the yellow circle in the chart).

That is another metric worth tracking over time.

So that’s what I’m working on.

The next phase is incorporating mastersrankings results from 2017-2019 and updating the factors for upgraded duncanScores for all 5 year age groups in all events. After some more final checks, I will release new 400m factors for the calculator next week.

After that, the big job will be providing factors for individual age years … so you can get your duncanScore for your event by your age year. Then the Dashboard.

Hurdles, Steeplechase – Older Age Groups

  • – Photo Courtesy Doug Shaggy Smith –

I have always admired the courage/foolishness of those runners who feel the need to have obstacles inserted into their path. I love watching them thunder down the stretch to the finish line, with one more hurdle to go. The fire in their eyes, the determination to summon the strength to lift tired legs … to hold their form … just one more time.

In the continuation to make improvements to duncanSCORE, I have beefed up the number of performances included in the calculator for Sprint Hurdles, Long Hurdles, and the Steeplechase for older age groups.

Previously for other events, performances were added for M75, W75 and older. These extra race results came from Mastersrankings for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019, as well as its US rankings from 2008-2012 and available British rankings (the Power of 10) from 2008-2012. Added also were Martin Gasselsberger’s pre 2013 World rankings 2008-2012, and Dave Clingan’s World listings (1999-2002).

But for the Hurdles and Steeple, given their specialized nature and relatively fewer number of competitors, I have searched out more sources of valid performances not included in the above lists. These include the European Championships from 2004, and WMA Championships from 2003 and 2005. I also referenced several older European alltime “Top Lists”.

I have also added all these performance lists to W65 and W70 Hurdles and Steeplechase.

Whew!

What does this mean? Changes?

What it means is that data sets have usually more than doubled (sometimes tripled). For Women 65+ and Men 75+ that means higher quality evaluations. The better performances (duncanSCORE scores of approximately 825+) could change by 1-3 percentiles, while slower performances will likely decline by somewhat more.

So all you Hurdlers and Chasers need to take a look!

Just click on the link and enter your age group, the event, and your performance time.

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Should you be new to the duncanSCORE … the standardized alternative to age grading … and wonder what all the fuss is about, you can get more information here.

Upgrading – Men’s M75+ 5000m

– Photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith –

“Upgrading” duncanSCORE for the older (70+) age groups has been an interesting adventure. Slow and a bit tedious (lots and lots of copy/paste) yes, but ultimately worth-while.

As I have discussed before, when we get into older age-groups and/or longer distances, the participation rate by Masters athletes declines. The 5000m is a prime example.

What Has Been Added?

Like the other events so far (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m) I have added to the performances already included for 2013-2016 from mastersrankings.com. :

1. Martin Gasselsberger’s pre 2013 World rankings (2008-2012)

2. British Masters rankings from 2008-2012 (from the powerof10.info)

3. mastersrankingscom World performances from 2017, 2018, and those from 2019 available at time of processing

4. US rankings for 2008-2012 from mastersrankings.com

In addition, for the Men’s 5000m 70+ I have added Dave Clingan’s world rankings (not on other lists 1999-2002) and for 85+ ARRS Veterans Rankings (not included in other lists).

All these additional performances (in total just under 1,000) have greatly added to the robustness in the older age-groups for the 5000m. M75 is extremely deep (over a thousand performances), M80 is solid (almost 500), M85 is not bad (124), while M90 admittedly is very low performance (25), and M95 is not usable.

Has Anything Changed?

All these performance additions have made only minor changes in the percentiles for the top performers (essentially 75th percentile plus), but lesser percentiles from the original dataset now are somewhat lower. But I think this is a much better reflection of the reality for Men 75+.

So try it out and see how your performance in the 5000m on the track rates against everyone else in the world. It’s fun to have a look.  Click below:

Track DE

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Older Age Groups 1500m

– Photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith –

The duncanSCORE is a new method of evaluating Masters’ performances. And it is different than age-grading. Different how? Better then age-grading?

Age grading compares how you did against an estimate of the maximum possible performance in the event for your age-group. That’s right. Not against the World Record. It’s a bit more complicated. It’s compared to a performance beyond the WR. One never accomplished when the factors were created.  These theoretical maximums are produced/updated about every 8-10 years (2 Olympiads).

The duncanSCORE is simpler

 

The duncanSCORE is a heck of a lot simpler. It takes performances (principally from mastersrankings.com) and creates a bell curve. As you probably remember from your high school or university stats courses, 68% of results are within 2 standard deviations of the average (the mean). One standard deviation above. One below. A little over 95% of performances are bounded by 4 standard deviations (2 above, 2 below).

Using this methodology, the duncanSCORE gives you a key statistic. You get a percentile of where you stand i.e. the percentage of athletes that your performance equals or exceeds. The “what” you are compared against is consistent. Your age-group. Your event. Not a single, theoretical performance that falls on a curve.

We need performances

But to do this well, the duncanSCORE needs performances. The more the better.

However, as the age-groups get older, after about age 55 or 60, the number of participants begins to decline fairly rapidly. This is especially the case for Women.  And the longer, more technical events

To improve this situation, more results have been sought out and added. From mastersrankings.com we have added the years 2017, 2018, and the performances posted for 2019 at time of processing. Additional results from British Masters rankings 2008-2012 and Martin Gasselsberger’s world rankings 2008-2012 have also been utilized.

All these additions for age-groups 75+ have been completed now for the 1500m.

My desire in all the new input for the duncanSCORE has been to improve the depth of the data, yet minimize the impact of any changes. Mission accomplished for the 1500!

But like the other events there still aren’t enough performances for M95, and W90 and W95.

Perfection is elusive.

If you are 75 or older and race the 1500m, check out how you rate against your peers from around the world. And if you’ve just turned 75 or moved into an older age-group, put in last year’s time and see how it would fare in your new age-group.  It’s very easy, click here

Track DE

Then from the drop down menu choose your age-group. Next select  “1500m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds) and then click the green  “Ok … Done …GO” button.

You will be given a “score” and a “percentile”. The percentile tells you what percentage of your age-group peers across the globe you are (as fast as or) faster than. Very easy!

To be notified immediately for the next post, click on the “follow” button at the bottom right of your screen OR become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook here 

Test Drive 800m for M-W 75+, A Better Read on Older Age Groups (3)

Photo courtesy of Doug Shaggy Smith

This is the 3rd post detailing what’s happening to improve the quality and depth of duncanSCORE  for older age-groups (75 plus). It’s also part of duncanSCORE 2.0, a general improvement in the ways this new method of evaluating Masters’ performances can work for you.

I have now updated the data for the 800m. Prior posts highlighted the work done for the 100m and  200m, and 400m.

A Brief Recap

Here is a quick review. To date all duncanSCORE calculations are based on an accumulation of mastersrankings.com best individual performances for the years 2013-2016 inclusive. In case you are interested or would like a refresher, here are the nuts and bolts of how the calculator works and the results generated.

For most age-groups and events there are many hundreds and often, thousands, of performances. But as the age-groups get older, after about age 55, the number of participants begins to decline rapidly. This is especially the case for Women, and the longer, more technical events.

To add performances to these older age-groups I am including from mastersrankings.com the years 2017, 2018, and for 2019 the performances posted at processing time. Further, to boost the number of performances, I have included the US rankings John Seto had produced for the years 2008-2012. Before John did the World rankings, they were maintained by Martin Gasselsberger and I have used Martin’s top ranking performances from 2008-2012. The British Masters also keep rankings and I have used those available from 2008-2012.

What You Get

What this means is that I have been able to more than double the number of performances accessed by the calculator, which improves the quality of the output.

For the 800m this really impacts M85 and M90 and W80 and W85, making the duncanSCOREs for these age-groups much more solid. Even for these age-groups though, results versus the previous release differ by no more than 1 or 2 percentiles for the vast majority of race results. For M75 and M80, and W75, the added performances don’t materially change the results.

Sadly, however, there still are not enough performances to have reliable scores for M95 and W90 and W95 age-groups.

Take a test drive

If you are 75 or older and race the 800m, take a quick peek at how you rate against your peers from around the world. And if you’ve just turned 75 or moved into an older age-group, put in last year’s time and see how it would fare in your new age-group.  It’s very easy, click here

Track DE

Then from the drop down menu choose your age-group. Next select  “800m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds) and then click the green  “Ok … Done …GO” button.

You will be given a “score” and a “percentile”. The percentile tells you what percentage of your age-group peers across the globe you are (as fast as or) faster than.

Test it out!

 

 

To be notified immediately for the next post, click on the “follow” button at the bottom right of your screen OR become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook here 

A Better Read on Older Age Groups (2) – 400m

Photo courtesy Doug Shaggy Smith

This is the 2nd post on my work to improve the quality and depth of duncanSCORE readings for the older age-groups (75 plus) and another installment on duncanSCORE 2.0. I have now updated the data for the 400m. The previous post highlighted the work done for the 100m and 200m.

Let’s Review

Here is a quick review. To date all duncanSCORE calculations are based on an accumulation of mastersrankings.com best individual performances for the years 2013-2016 inclusive. In case you are interested or would like a refresher, here are the nuts and bolts of how the calculator works and the results generated.

For most age-groups and events there are many hundreds and often, thousands, of performances. But as the age-groups get older, after about age 55, the number of participants begins to decline rapidly. This is especially the case for Women, and the longer, more technical events.

To add performances to these older age-groups I am including from mastersrankings.com the years 2017, 2018, and for 2019 the performances posted at processing time. Further, to boost the number of performances, I have included the US rankings John Seto had produced for the years 2008-2012. Before John did the World rankings, they were maintained by Martin Gasselsberger and I have used Martin’s data from 2008-2012. The British Masters also keep rankings and I have used those available from 2008-2012.

What this means

What this means is that I have been able to more than double the number of performances accessed by the calculator, which improves the quality of the output. For the 400m this really impacts M85 and M90 and W80 and W85, making the duncanSCOREs for these age-groups much more solid. For M75 and M80, and W75, the added performances don’t materially change the results.

Sadly, however, there still are not enough performances to have reliable scores for M95 and W90 and W95 age-groups.

Take a test drive

If you are 75 or older and race the 400m, take a quick peek at how you rate against your peers from around the world. And if you’ve just turned 75 or moved into an older age-group, put in last year’s time and see how it would fare in your new age-group.  It’s very easy, click here

Track DE

Then from the drop down menu choose your age-group. Next select  “400m” from the track EVENT drop down list. Finally, enter your time (in minutes and seconds, or just in seconds), click the green  “Ok … Done …GO” button.

You will be given a “score” and a “percentile”. The percentile tells you what percentage of your age-group peers across the globe you are faster than.

Have fun!

 

To be notified immediately for the next post, click on the “follow” button at the bottom right of your screen OR become a duncanSCORE friend on Facebook here 

More Results-A Better Read on Older Age Groups

Photo courtesy of Dan Slovitt

Let’s get down to it!

The previous post introduced some of what’s coming in the next few months (duncanScore 2.0), and here is some more detail on the first improvement now released.

Rates of Participation Decline With Age and Distance

As a general rule, the number of performances in any particular age group gets fewer as the groups get older beyond M-W 50.  Also, Women tend to participate less than Men. The participation further declines fairly dramatically the longer the event. Think 10000m vs 100m) and with increases in difficulty/danger (hurdles/steeplechase vs the “flat” events).

But here’s the thing. There is an inherent weakness. Where there aren’t a lot of performances, the projected resulting output can be misleading. As you can imagine, it will be many more years before there will be enough performances for an accurate read of Women’s 95 Pole Vault in duncanScore. It’s not an issue for the vast majority of the results produced by duncanScore, but when we go beyond M85 and W80, sometimes the output can be a little “shakey”.

As I wrote in the previous post, in order to boost the “robustness” of these older age-groups I have added legitimate outdoor performances to bolster the duncanScore wherever I could find them. Currently all results are based upon 2013-2016 input from mastersrankings.com. But now for age-groups M75 and W75 and older I have added performances from:

  1. mastersrankings.com World rankings from 2017, 2018, and available 2019 rankings
  2. mastersrankings.com U.S. rankings from 2008-2012
  3. British rankings from Power of 10 2008-2012
  4. Martin Gasselsberger’s (the keeper of World rankings before John Seto) World rankings from 2008-2012.

More Than Double the Performances

By adding these other years and data sources,  we have more than doubled the number of performances for these older age-groups, enhancing the quality of the Scores and percentiles.What’s also interesting (and good!), looking at results so far, this has usually meant only small changes. Most performances register a difference of perhaps 1 or at most 2 points in the percentile from before.

This is the first part of duncanScore 2.0 … a plan to enhance quality, usability and add useful features for you the Athletics competitor. Ultimately all events for these older age-groups will have the results from these additional data sources.

I have now completed Men’s and Women’s 100m and 200m and they are “live”.

By all means, if you are a Sprinter and 75 or older, have a look and see how your times stack up in version 2.0 with everyone else in the world in the 100m and 200m.

 

Track DE

 

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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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