Along with the PBA making great strides in the live presentation of PSP Pro paintball this year they augmented that live presentation with player stats and a supporting website that is bringing a new level of insider info to fans and fellow paintball players.
The move to include stats as a way to both measure the pro players performances and create a way to talk about the players and the sport is a positive step forward.
But--there's room for some improvement and I want to start with the cleverly catchy 'winfluence' rating. At best it's a misleading stat as part of a player's ranking. On the other hand as an internal team assessment tool it's a potentially useful indicator.
Here's how it works: Winfluence is currently assigned a "weight" of 15% of the total player score. As a practical matter that means that the player with the highest calculated 'winfluence' receives a 15 and everyone else is some fraction thereof. Without debating the merits of the whole stats accumulation system (today) the larger issue is just what does 'winfluence' measure? It measures percentage of points won by individual players across a team. And as a result it rewards a wide divergence of ability on a single team. For example, the top 2 'winfluence' rated players play for the same team. The players win around 62% of the points they play in. Their team as a whole wins around 52% and the difference is what 'winfluence' is measuring. The next two highest 'winfluences' among players are also both on the same team but they win around 35% of the points they play in. In neither case is the rating one that measures actual success but only comparative success--and that comparison is only amongst teammates. As a consequence all 'winfluence' tells you is that team A or B has a wide variance of something (experience, talent, skills, etc.) on their roster. Conversely a number of players on the team that won the highest percentage of points played this past season have a minimal 'winfluence' rating or a zero. So as a practical matter all 'winfluence' did this past season is over-value some aspect of a player's play based on the deficiencies of his teammates. Removing 'winfluence' would reorder the player rankings dramatically.
Keep 'winfluence' as a comparative stat within each team but in terms of ranking players replace it with something more on point--maybe something like percentage of critical points played and/or won or lost. And by critical I mean decisive points; points where the team either wins, loses or could win or lose. Who performs in crunch time? Now that I want to know.