2011 Finals: An Analysis Plus Look at Impact of 10/Day

Scoring Analysis from 2011 Finals

Lisbeth and I enjoy statistical analysis and looking at probability analysis.  We both were intrigued with the question  posed about possible changes in the way we select who moves on to the semi-finals at the National Finals.  So, we sat down and did a quick look at this year’s data.

We went back and looked at the preliminary scores to discern how many handlers went forward on each of the preliminary days.  Because of ties this year, 43 handler/dog teams moved forward into this year’s semi-finals (versus the prescribed 40). We found that the following number moved forward on Tuesday: 10; Wednesday: 11; Thursday: 9; and, Friday: 13.

We believe that this amount of discrepancy by day would not support the notion that one day was significantly more difficult or easier than another. To analyze this further, we totaled the number of handlers who received no scores (RTs/DQs)—Tuesday: 9; Wednesday: 7; Thursday: 9; Friday: 9. These figures also seem to support the notion that one day was not any harder or easier than another.

We also looked at which handlers would have qualified for the semi-finals if the ten highest scores per day where selected (as is currently being proposed).  For this year, that would mean that on Tuesday qualifiers would remain the same.  On Wednesday, one qualifier would be omitted (in this case Noel Williams/Lad). On Thursday, the ten highest scores would have included Vergil Holland/Scott with a 127.  The ten highest scores on Friday would have knocked out Vickie Close/Hanna with a 130, Louanne Twa/Meg with a 131, and, possibly either Don Helsley/Tag with a 133, or, Rose Anderson/Shen with a 133 (depending on new rules would propose to handle ties).  Remember that if you are choosing teams by the day they competed, tie scores would not be by overall competition, but by the day on which the tie occurred.  So, each of the 130s that happened on the other days would only count if they were part of the top ten on THAT particular day. (Example: Noelle Williams/Lad; Mary Thompson/Beauty; Roy Taber/Craig; and, Mike Hanley/Moss received a 130 on the “right” days.) Another way to look at these data are that the team Holland/Scott placed 49th after the preliminary runs.  They would compete in semi-finals, while teams that were ranked 34th, 35th, 36th, 38th, and 43rd would potentially be out.

Further examination reveals that D. Keeton/York (129), C.Riley/Nan(128), D. Boyce/Tink(129), T. Fleming/Bill(128), and, Emil Luedcke/Spot(127)–although scoring equal to or higher than Vergil Holland/Scott (127)–achieved their scores on the “wrong” day.  We are not sure who would want to tell those people that they did not make the semi-finals, while Holland/Scott did.  (See tables below.)

We are not convinced that if you were to ask someone who ran on Friday (which had the most qualifying runs this year), that they would say that Friday was a lucky draw and an easy day to run on compared to the other 3 days.

As a side note, Lisbeth and I have also looked at the data over several years from Meeker (another trial that covers several days of runs that move into the semi-finals).  We have observed that day of the week has not generally been a major factor over who qualifies for the semi-finals.

In conclusion, we would suggest that before the Board of Directors changes the method for choosing the semi-finalists at National Finals, an analysis such as we have computed for 2011 be done on data from the 2007 through 2010 years.  We have never gone to Nationals when they were held in the East.  We think it is important to analyze data from those trial settings before considering a rule change.

I hope this makes sense.

Linda (and Lisbeth)

PS  We have nothing against Vergil Holland.  This is just how the numbers turned out! J


Table Example: A look at top ten from each of the preliminary runs on each of the days:

**Note:  Green—indicates the handler would have been in if a 10/day had been used. Red—indicates that the handler team would have been out.  Yellow—indicates that the handler team might have been out depending on how ties would be handled.

Tuesday (10 qualifiers)—RT (1), DQ(8) total 9

Placing Name Prelim-Score AM/PM
23 A.Holmes/Chip 138 AM
8 P. Shannahan/Andi 150 AM
39 M. Thompson/Beauty 130 AM
40 R. Taber/Craig 130 PM
13 V. Holland/Brooke 146 PM
4 D. Edwards/Nap 163 PM
29 S. Applegate/Buzz 136 PM
16 J.Tholkes/Doc 141 PM
30 D.Gellings/Jake 135 PM
7 S.Glenn/Maid 153 PM

Wednesday (11 qualifiers)– RT(4), DQ(3) total 7

Placing Name Prelim-Score AM/PM
25 A.Milliken/Roz 137 AM
18 K.Fassbender/Shep 140 AM
41 (Out) N.Williams/Lad 130 AM
37 R.Burkey/Sky 131 PM
31 M.Schreeder/Penny 135 PM
21 R.French/Bill 135 PM
32 R.Enzeron/Dusty 135 PM
26 T.LePlatt/Tess 137 PM
5 T.Guidry/Tipper 156 PM
24 G.Byrne/Jim 138 PM
10 C.Riley/Moss 149 PM

Thursday (9 qualifiers)– RT(4), DQ(5) total 9

Placing Name Prelim-Score AM/PM
6 A.Mills/Sis 156 AM
42 M.Hanley/Moss 130 AM
33 L.Greene/Kurt 134 AM
14 J.Swanke/Griz 142 AM
22 J.Swift/Zac 139 AM
2 D.Gellings/Jan 175 AM
19 A.MaCrae/Star 140 PM
27 C.Jobe/Jill 137 PM
28 S.Glenn/Don 137 PM
49 (In) V.Holland/Scott 127 AM

Friday (13 qualifiers)– RT(5), DQ(4) total 9

Placing Name Prelim-Score AM/PM
11 L.Tesdahl/Juno 147 AM
17 C.Williams/Spot 141 AM
20 A.Milliken/Clive 140 AM
15 S.Applegate/Dot 142 AM
43 (Out) V.Close/Hanna 130 AM
35 (Tie-Possible out) D.Helsley/Tag 133 AM
9 S.Craig/Walt 150 PM
34 I.Zoerb/Sam 134 PM
12 H.Holmes/Juno 147 PM
1 P.Shannahan/Riggs 184 PM
3 A.Holmes/Rhy 171 PM
36 (Tie-Possible out) R.Anderson/Shen 133 PM
38 (Out) L.Twa/Meg 132 PM

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