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World Slalom Series Statistics 2007-2012

Skater numbers and scoring method

The WSSA Rankings serve slalom skaters well as a measure of their skills. The main purpose of this work is an attempt to make a wider look at the global picture - the Ranking of entire countries.

In 2007-2012 sportsmen were ranked by sum of 4 best points gained during a year. The points strictly depend on skater's place and competition level. The tables are published on the special WSS page. It's obvious that earning high rank demands visiting high level events ("2c" at least) to get good points even for a low place. Just taking part in it usually gives more points than winning "grey" or "1c" contest! It sets for ambitious slalomers aiming for a Ranking top not only an athletic task but a financial one as well. They have to travel abroad or they won't get decent points otherwise. Therefore Ranking of a country consists not only from blazing wins and proud podiums of its sponsored sportsmen which are few but also from efforts of enthusiastic amateurs and novices spending their own resourses to travel afar for the sake of the favorite sport. They are a base producing new high level atletes. The more both pros and amateurs the higher country level among other countries. With the growth of WSS popularity its events take place in distant regions of the world. Traveling, for example, from South America to European or Asian mega-contests is very expensive. The only solution for local skaters is to organize competitions at homeland which is certainly an evidence of developing sport.

The Rankings give us 2 most important factors to be researched: country level, counted as a sum of its athletes strength, and their number. "Strength" is evaluated by simple formula: the first 10 Ranking places weigh 10 points each, all others 100/place.

Ranking place score

This relation is taken by following reasons. The sportsmen strength distribution in the Rankings is best described by y=a/x. Other dependances are too steep or too low. The constant a is the average number of active sportsmen, which successfully take part in several moderate or high level competitions. Their contribution to their home country level is considered to be more than 1. Until 2010 there were 4 competition levels and activity condition was successful participation in "1c" and higher events. 200 (4 wins by 50 points) was maximum for those who visited only "grey" local contests. In 2010-2012 this condition was raised to 400 points (4 wins by 100) due to the change in levels. Most of former would be "grey" events became "1c" and activity was defined by participation in "2c" and higher. It was impossible to gain more than 400 points in the Rankings without them.

Active slalomers number

The chart above shows the number of active slalomers by the described criteria in all 4 disciplines. It's not difficult to make its own weight function for each of them but there's no such need: not only number of skaters changes but the Ranking system itself and therefore the criteria of activity. For example, in 2010 one level was added, from 2013 5 best scores are summed for Freestyle instead of 4. Adding another level or separating Battle and Classics in Freestyle Ranking are possible in the years ahead. And we can't compare scores and points from different disciplines anyway. Their average line of active skaters is pretty close to 100 which also satisfies our natural appeal to round numbers. Thus 100 was taken as an universal base number.

The 1st 10 places of Rankings are very close to each other in skaters' skills (given enough participants in total, of course), but their points for places differs dramatically - 100, 50, 33 and so on. Their change of places, even small would shake the resulting marks greatly. Because of that, top-10 places were levelled on 10 points.

Total number of skaters

The number of skaters grew year by year. It's obvious that saturation is not yet reached and further growth is expected. The men's numbers doubled and women's even tripled during the examined period. All ups and downs are considered in yearly reports. At the end of 2012 Speed and Freestyle slalomers became very close in numbers for men and for women. The rising popularity of slalom in the world is beyond any doubts. It's really interesting what changes await us in the future.

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