One of the most difficult and daunting tasks assigned to the Redfish World Series Selection Committee was to be as accurate as possible with the creation of a list of 48 of the best teams in the country. These would be the teams invited to the inaugural 2019 Redfish World Series to compete for the title of 2019 Redfish World Champions.
Several Legacy teams were selected first. Then came the work of compiling data for the years 2016-2018 which was the only reasonable way to compare apples, oranges, and pears. It was a massive and complicated undertaking because there is no comprehensive and reliable system available to utilize for the selection process.
Each tour compiles data differently and in varying formats. Simply collecting the data was a time intensive task by itself. Compiling it into a usable form was even more difficult. All the while, the great concern of everyone on the committee was that a deserving team might be overlooked. Tremendous effort was put into the final selections and, while we are sure that not everyone agrees, we are content that we did the best we could with a very complex ranking system.
In the end we realize that the process, while not perfect, led to a field of talent never before assembled in a single event. It also led to dozens of hours of discussions about comparisons of various tours and trails and ultimately to the formation of a National Ranking System that will be in place throughout 2019 for the 2020 RWS event.
This first ranking system may not be perfect either, but it makes sense, it is simple, and it comprehensively includes every level of competition while addressing the variables presented by each tour. Utilizing this ranking system, every team on every tour can follow their status as results and standings are posted by the RWS every Wednesday throughout the year.
Our hope is that the development of a fair and accurate ranking system will create increased interest and participation in competitive redfish events. This, in turn, will escalate the popularity, exposure, fan base, and corporate/sponsor participation in competitive redfish events, tours, and trails.
Another point of interest is that, if redfish competition as sport is to ever become recognized as a professional venue, there must be leagues, divisions, definitions, global rules, and a qualified, competent, and unbiased central organization. All of that won’t happen in one year but if we don’t start thinking and talking about it now, if we don’t realize the danger of remaining splintered, if we don’t plan for the future and act on those plans – it will never happen.
So, here’s how it goes:
To accumulate points teams must remain intact. (Example: A + B fish together and A also fishes with C. This would constitute two teams – AB and AC - even though one of the members is the same. So, Team AB could accumulate points and Team AC could accumulate points, but they would not be able to combine points.)
For 2019 the RWS National Ranking System will recognize Six Tour Divisions and One Wild Card Division. The number of qualifying teams from each division is listed in parentheses beside the Divisions below. Each Qualifying Team will earn an invitation to the 2020 RWS. The Divisions are as follows:
The Wild Card Division will be comprised of the top ten teams that accumulate points from more than one Tour Division. For example; a team may not accumulate enough points on a single tour to qualify in that division but by virtue of accumulating points from additional divisions they could qualify as a Top Ten in the Wild Card Division.
Points will be awarded to the Top Ten finishers in each event of each Tour Division as follows;
1st = 10 points, 2nd = 9 points, 3rd = 8 points, and so on by one-point increments down to 10th = 1 point. Every Wednesday the RWS will post the running points total of every Division so every team will know exactly where they stand throughout the year.
At the end of the year, the qualifying teams in each of the six Tour Divisions and the Wild Card Division will earn an invitation to the RWS for the following year.
If a team qualifies through more than one avenue, the next team in that division will be moved up. Example: If a team finishes in the Top Six in the 2019 RWS and then is one of the qualifiers in another tour they would be removed from that division’s qualifying list and the next highest place team would move up. Or, if a team qualifies in more than one division during 2019, they would be removed from the division with the fewest qualifying spots available. If the available spots are the same, they would be removed from the division they had the fewest qualifying points in, etc.
This will be the first time a National Ranking System has been devised and used to rank teams for qualification to the year-end World Championship. It will undoubtedly be modified to some degree over the coming years, but this looks like a good place to start. It is simple, it is fair, and it gives ample and equal opportunity to all tours and all competitive redfish teams to be eligible to compete in a Redfish World Series Championship.