Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our new payout system for major matches at York

The problem with our new unsanctioned matches is that there are no classes.  I know there is a 3 Gun Nation classification system in the works, but it is a ways off from being ready, and we don't want to pay their fees.  We just got away from USPSA.  There is no need to leave one relationship and jump into the first thing that comes along.  We're not getting involved in that.  Maybe someday.

The problem with "top down" payouts, meaning prizes that start with the winner and dwindle down proportionally to the bottom of the list, which I do understand, and personally like, is that the newer guys, and people who don't live at the range have no chance unless the prizes go very, very deep.  "Top down" works at really big sponsored matches because the sponsors donate so much to make them happen that the prizes often do go very deep.  But these sponsors give a ton to the really big matches and I don't want to hound them, and it is a lot of work getting those sponsors.  Without sponsorship it is not possible to pay cash deep enough with meaningful prizes without bankrupting the match to make a difference.  So "top down" is out.

We tried "Cash optional" payouts, where the shooters who want to be in the prize pool paid in extra money, and 100% of that money was paid back.  That's just another version of "top down" and after a while all but a few get wise and quit playing.  So there's so little money in it that it's not worth the administration of it.

There is another cash payout system called "Lewis scoring".  "Lewis", I believe originated in trap or skeet shooting and the way it is supposed to work is that payout is done on set percentiles.  For instance the winner(100%) gets paid, whoever finishes at 75% gets paid, whoever finishes at 50% gets paid and whoever finishes at 25% gets paid.  It has the advantage of spreading the money out all over the list, but with the exception of the match winner it's really about dumb luck.  Somehow it either makes you very happy or it makes you feel like you got cheated.  I always feel cheated.  We won't use this form of dumb luck payouts.

At future club level or monthly matches we will not be doing any kind of payouts.  We haven't raised our match fees in years and $20 is very reasonable in our estimation.  We can still buy props and targets, make range improvements, and make some money for the club, and we can  give some discounts to the guys who help run the program. (email me if you want to get in on that and you're not already) We won't be running "cash optional" either.  If you want to shoot for something talk your buddies into a friendly wager to buy lunch or something.

So, here's where were at with the June 8th and 9th "2013 York Izaak Walton Multi-gun Challenge", the July 27th "Blasphemous Steel" match, and the September 8th "2M3G".  I think I have devised a system using parts of the "Top down" and "Lewis" systems combined with bracket racing from drag racing that should work to satisfy the people at the top, and some people farther down the list, and while there will still be some luck involved you will control your own destiny.

On the match application it will ask which percentile you want to shoot in.  Now you can choose the 100-90.001% meaning you intend to win the match or any of the lower percentile brackets based on you past experiences, lack of experience, what kind of breakfast you had, the phase of the moon, or any criteria you choose.  Here's the trick: You can't shoot better than you predicted.

If you chose to shoot in the 80-70.001 percentile and you finished the match at 84% of the match winner you "broke out" of your bracket and aren't eligible for prizes.  The good news is that you shot better than you expected and you can be proud of that.

On the other hand if you chose the 80-70.001 percentile and only shot 62% of the winner it is quite likely that people did shoot closer to 80% than you and you're not going to win anything either.  So going under is not going to sink you automatically, but will realistically in most cases.

So be optimistic in your prediction.

Your choices of brackets or percentiles will be:
50% and under

Here's an example of how this payout system may work in a hypothetical match:
Shooter Predicted bracket Actual % Prize
G 100-90.001% 100 $200
H 100-90.001% 94 $100
I 100-90.001% 89 $50
J 90-80.001% 88 $180
K 90-80.001% 86 $90
L 90-80.001% 85 $45
M 90-80.001% 83 0
N 80-70.001% 81 0
O 80-70.001% 79 $160
P 80-70.001% 77 $80
Q 80-70.001% 72 $40
R 80-70.001% 71 0
S 70-60.001% 82 0
T 70-60.001% 71 0
U 70-60.001% 69 $140
V 70-60.001% 68 $70
W 70-60.001% 65 $35
X 70-60.001% 64 0
Y 60-50.001% 61 0
Z 60-50.001% 59 $120
A 60-50.001% 58 $60
B 60-50.001% 57 $30
C 60-50.001% 56 0
D 50% and under 50 $100
E 50% and under 45 $50
F 50% and under 32 $25
GG 50% and under 30 0

You should notice several things:
1. The match winner "G" is still the highest paid, and should always be. The winner of each bracket gets less than the bracket above.  Second place in each bracket is half of what the winner got.  Third in each bracket is half of what second got.
2. Shooters "M, R, X, C, and G" all shot within their predicted brackets, but weren't in the top 3 so they don't get paid.  That's going to happen.  This isn't pre-K soccer.  We do keep score. Not everyone gets a trophy.
3. Shooters "N, S, T, and Y" all shot above their predicted brackets, or "broke out".  That could have been avoided by being more optimistic in their predictions.  They can still be proud that they exceeded their expectations.

I don't think this system is perfect, but I think it's better than anything I've seen to this point that is ready to go.  I reserve the right to tweak it, and the numbers above are just for illustrative purposes.  To achieve those numbers there would be a lot more shooters involved than what is listed, probably 3-4 times as many.

I welcome your comments and suggestions.


Kevin Downing said...

I think it's a good idea!..... Can u let me know when Gregg Jordan is going to be at a match so I can make my decision of what percentage class!!!!! LOL

Bob Opsitos said...

I like it; a self classification system. I think the breakout will keep people from dropping down a level and trying to grab some money. It spreads the money about and gives the guys at the lower end a chance to win something. Also sets up a more competitive atmosphere.

The only thing I would mention is for the guys in the middle and bottom, does the level you fall into depend on who shows up at the top and how they do. If Mr/Ms Awesome shows up, maybe your performance is 70% of his/hers. If they don't show up maybe your performance is an 80% of who is at the top. The only other thing I could think of is if an undisclosed par score were created and everyone was %'d against that. Mr/ms awesome would score in the 110-120% category of par, and the rest of us mortals would fall below that. The difficulty is obviously establishing the par and then keeping it a secret so people don't start gaming just to snag prize money.


Paul said...

I like it.
It spreads the money around, keeps things interesting for everyone and ads a little dumb luck because no matter how you game it you don't know exactly how the top people in your bracket are shooting. There is always the risk of busting out of your bracket which is going to lead you to want to be in the highest bracket you think you can shoot in....
You really can't afford to throttle back because you could wind up getting beat down and lose money.....
Very interesting...
I think the Mr/Ms Awesome thing really affects the top bracket the most and when you shoot that level it's just going to be up to the top shooters to keep enough pressure on to make the wheels fall off! Even the best can choke under pressure.... Like Howard said, we play a big boy sport, we keep score, not everybody gets a trophy.....
No other sport offers you the chance to wind up playing with the best weather you are a beginner or a pro..
I'm always learning something new, every time.....
It not like bowling or golf since we don't do the same thing over and over.
It would be hard to have an average or handicap.
I like the percent idea.
You just have to figure out how good you can be.......

George Dorbert said...

Mr. H,
I like this system. Have a question though. I read through and understand that shooters over and under their percentile do not receive payout but shooter
I 100-90.001% 89 $50 was under his/her percentile and received a payout, was this a typo? Sorry not trying to pick just noticed this.

Kevin Downing said...

George u are aloud to come in under your projected bracket and still get a pay out just can't finish over your bracket percentage.... Finishing below your projection can still pay but you have less chance cause the odds of someone shooting a 90 or 91 and beating your 89 is better than if you had shot 98 percent...... The mr and mrs awesome does affect all brackets..... For example if you shoot 80% of Howard and he wins the match and then the next match Greg Jordan shoots now Howard is shooting in the 80% range and your shooting in the 60% range

Paul said...

Maybe I'm confused but whoever shoots in the top bracket is still shooting against people in that 25% bracket....
If Howard picks that bracket to shoot in he is shooting against the top 25% no matter who they are. If he falls out of that bracket he just looses, he doesn't win the next lower bracket.
If he chooses to shoot in a lower bracket he has to then figure out a way to consistently shoot in a way that is not natural for him.
I used to drag race way back in the day and the thing about bracket racing is to be consistent. You want to function at the highest level you can be consistent. It is very hard to slow yourself down to control your time and win.
If your skills start putting you out of your bracket then you need to think of moving up a level....
This will encourage shooters of all levels because we will all be playing for money and it ads a little strategy to what you have to plan for......

Kevin Downing said...

I understand that u need to shoot inside your bracket and if u fall out then u do not get to win the next lower bracket...... But before the match begins deciding what bracket you would like to place yourself in does depend on who is shooting in the match..... I may be able to shoot 80% of Howard but only 60% of Gregg depending on who I think will win the match and what percentage of them I can shoot will way on what bracket I decide to place myself the way I am by no means saying I can shoot 80% of Howard or 60% of Gregg... That's just an example

Howard C. Thompson said...

I think you guys have the right understanding. Yes, you could throttle back but that's going to be tricky. It will depend who shows up but we're only talking about our big matches and good shooters are always going to be at them. Aim high!

Paul said...

I see what you mean now Kevin....
I think when you get to that level of shooting that is just something you are going to have to deal with.
Like Howard said "Aim High" Greg Jordan has to face that expectation and pressure every time he steps up to shoot. He has the top guys right there just waiting for him to choke, or if he doesn't choke they are always there trying to burn down a stage and catch him....
I think that is just how it is going to play out.
I think we all think we can shoot better than we do, that is why we keep coming back, keep practicing....
We all like to think way far down in our subconscious somewhere, If we could just get enough practice and ammo we can beat Howard or Kirk or Greg.........
We may not say it out loud (at least some of us don't say it out loud!) but that is what we are all trying to do.......

TOM L. said...

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this together Howard. My comment is a little late. But if you are going to reconsider at some point, I vote for Lewis class.

With the Lewis class system, a shooter can just show up and shoot the match. The best shooter wins something. If you aren't the best, you could still get lucky and win something.

Your bracket racing system requires someone to be familiar with the match format, be familiar with who is shooting, and know their own skills relative to those factors.

That's not a big deal if you are an experienced shooter at York. But I think your system makes it less attractive for others to enter (like people new to the sport, new to shooting, or new to the area). Also, I think new shooters are the most important group. It's the future of our sport and the gun community in general. The more people we have involved, the better.

I know there are "fun shoots" at York. But those aren't the "real" matches that a lot of people want to shoot. I think we should be as inviting as possible to *anyone* who wants to shoot.

The more complicated rules you have, the more it heads in the direction of IPSC/USPSA. I mean that in a bad way.

Bernie R.

Kirk M. said...

My vote:
1st 50% of pot.
2nd 30%
3rd 20%
Min of 6 entrees for payout to occur.

That’s easy and just be done with it.