USA 12U Girls Tier 1 Ranking Category Update

MHR’s Staff wanted to provide the hockey community with an update on the USA 12U Girls Tier 1 ranking category. Many people have reached out on the subject matter, so we felt it was important to educate the public on why some of the issues are occurring and why we decided to move the USA 12U Girls Tier 1 ranking category offline.

The USA 12U Girls Tier 1 rankings have been moved offline for the time being due to accuracy issues. It is a scenario we would have liked to avoid at all costs. However, it is necessary to take this unprecedented action since we cannot stand behind the accuracy and integrity of our USA 12U Girls Tier 1 rankings due to the lack of data in the system. For those curious, many of the issues detailed below are the exact reason we do not have a 10U girls ranking category at this time.

Throughout MHR’s 18+ year history, our algorithm has been able to properly rank teams of all skill level from multiple continents due to a connecting web of game results between teams of different playing levels and geographic areas. Interplay in a normal season includes: East coast teams vs. West coast teams. USA teams vs. Canadian teams. Western Canada teams vs. Ontario teams. Tier 1 teams vs. Tier 2 teams. AA level teams vs. A level teams. A level teams vs. B level teams, etc. In addition, tournaments, showcases and non-league games play a crucial role in the overall accuracy of the rankings.

This season due to both local restrictions and health concerns, many teams have cut back or removed non-essential games from their schedule. The Fall tournament interplay games that usually sort all this out before the rankings even go-live in October did not take place this season. Neither did the typical winter holiday tournaments. That is having a serious negative impact on the USA 12U Girls Tier 1 rankings. Much more than any other ranking category this season.

At the end of the day, the algorithm is only as good as the data entered into the system. The rankings are accurate based upon the game scores that have been reported. The problem is those few interplay game scores do not accurately reflect what we believe to be the playing capabilities of many of the teams in the USA 12U Girls Tier 1 rankings. There are multiple factors that are contributing to the negative impact but it all comes down to a lack of game results.

1. Lack of Interplay - The pandemic has led to very few interplay games between the top Midwest and top New England/Mass teams. There are also no Canadian teams playing games right now either to help with the interplay factor. Canadian teams play an integral part in interplay during a normal season. In essence, the Midwest and East Coast teams are connected by only 8 to 10 interplay games this seson instead of the hundreds of interplay games in a normal season. As many of you would agree, that is simply not very many connecting game results. Especially when those games may not accurately reflect the true playing capabilities of the teams involved.
2. Mrs. Hockey Invitational – This was a great interplay opportunity between the Midwest teams and one of the New England/Mass teams. Unfortunately, it looks like the interplay games actually caused the rankings to be less accurate. The Boston Jr Shamrocks, #19 ranked 12U Tier 2 team, greatly overperformed against some of the best Midwest Tier 1 teams. Those 5 interplay games are over half the interplay games in the system between Midwest and Mass/New England teams and play a large role in connecting the two geographic areas. That was the reason for the major drop among Tier 1 Midwest teams and the rise among Tier 1 East coast teams in the week 17 rankings update.
3. Unsanctioned and/or Non-reported Game Scores - MHR has been made aware of numerous game results that would greatly help the accuracy of the rankings but cannot be entered due to local restrictions. Due to our unsanctioned game rule as a result of the pandemic, there is nothing we can do about games that fall into that category. Using game results that are not in the system to argue one team is better than another team is like comparing apples and oranges. Our system cannot take into account game results that have not been entered into the system. In essence, our algorithm is only as good as the data entered.

Luckily, the answer is extremely simple. More counting game scores!!! More interplay!!! The rankings will work themselves out, like they have for every other ranking category this season and for the past 18 years across all 250+ ranking categories, once there is enough data in the system.

Until we reach that point, the USA 12U Girls Tier 1 ranking category will remain offline. Guests, members, and volunteers will still be able to enter team info, scheduled games, and game results as normal. Teams will still have an overall rating. The rankings simply will not be set live.

Please feel free to reach out to director@myhockeyrankings with any questions or feedback. Thanks!

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