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A New Ranking System

Recent discussions have covered most of the virtues and the flaws of our current masterpoint system and of The Champion Power Rating System. I realize that without approaching the BOD with an idea for reform, there really is no reason to discuss change. But I'm hoping enough interest is generated that those of us who feel passionately about the flaws of the current system might approach our BOD members and begin a campaign toward reform. I've been grappling with an idea for quite a while and I would enjoy hearing other's opinion of it.

Keep the current masterpoint system - for non-LifeMasters. In other words, continue to require 50 gold points, 50 black points, 25 red points or whatever the mix is these days until one accumulates a total of 500 points with the correct pigmentation. Call those people LifeMasters. One you become a LifeMaster you stop accumulating masterpoints. No masterpoints will ever be awarded to a person who has become a LifeMaster. Sadie Cumquat in DesMoines will have the same rank as Zia Mahmood of NYC - "LifeMaster". However, once you become a LifeMaster, the incentive to continue to play, particularly in difficult events is that you want to establish a high power rating. And you want to continue to climb up the power rating scale (or "list"). Once a month or once a year or on an ongoing basis, the power ranks of all players will be available through the Bulletin or the website. There can be district lists, unit lists, men's list, women's lists, foreign-born players lists or whatever lists people want. So, if you play well and you increase the difficulty of events you enter, you will climb up the list. We may even choose to name the top 100 or 250 or thousand players on the open power list "Grand LifeMasters" or "Power LifeMasters" or something else. That elite status would change every day or every month, depending on what results were generated during that time period. One day you might be a "Grand LifeMaster", ranked 98th overall in North America. The next day or month you might have not fared so well during the previous period and are now ranked 102nd - no longer a "Grand LifeMaster". You should have won that last Swiss match at your sectional.

The point is that the beginning or advancing players can retain their achievable goal of becoming a LifeMaster - the highest rank in the land. Yet top players or those who want to not just achieve, but excel, can attain a high rank on an elite list - since that floats the boat of many players. If you want to stratify events such as Regional KO's (yuk - is there any way out of this?) you can use power ratings to form brackets. Everyone who enters will be a Life Master except those in the bottom brackets who are trying to win masterpoints to become LifeMasters. They can win masterpoints competing against each other. The rest of us can win...an increase in our power rating and the warm congratulations of our friends and a boost to our self-esteem. Aren't these things more valuable - more truly worthy - than our 15,281st masterpoint?

So what do you think? Is a new system which uses masterpoints for the advancing player and power rankings for the top players a good idea?

Please ignore the fact that the resistance for change from the ACBL will be fierce and it will be a difficult battle to get change - any change - enacted. But it appears a lot of us are ready for change of some sort. Is this idea one of the possible solutions?

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