What to do with rankings?

In my last post I put out the rankings for the Women’s 2nd Eight.  There are a couple different things teams can do with these:

  1. Ignore them.
  2. Dismiss them (as inaccurate)
  3. Get depressed (or elated) over them
  4. Use them as a tool.

I’ll say right off the bat that #3 is the wrong thing to do.  Some unknown guy posts charts and numbers on a website and you have no idea what his qualifications are.  Why would you listen to him?

What about dismissing them?  That might be a good idea.  If you know something about the race that I don’t know (from simply charting the results) then you have information I don’t have.  If you feel you have a good plan for the season and you are working through it as expected – it would be silly to change it for some unknown evaluation.

Ignore them?  That might be a logical choice.  But then again, I might be somewhat correct.  What if you don’t know anything about the teams you are going up against in the next heat.  Is my information better than nothing?  (I like to think so…)

Use them as a tool?  This is one of those easy multiple choice questions 🙂  This answer sounds logical, but doesn’t fully commit to an answer.  It sounds a lot like “It depends”  (and as you will find out in the real world – this the the correct answer quite often…)


Offhand I can think of a couple uses for these rankings:

As a potential tool to understand teams you haven’t directly competed against.

As a potential tool to evaluate your heat placement.

As another method to gauge the progress of your team during the year (other than using times.)


I try to be ambivalent with these rankings.  I hope I don’t show a bias to one team or another.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  I have three biases I know about:

  1. St Albans has an awesome Men’s team.
  2. Madison has an awesome Women’s team.
  3. Thomas Jefferson’s Men’s team gets proportionally better during the year.

So use these as one more piece of information as you go through the season, but don’t get tricked into believing that I have found “the answer.”  Even I don’t believe that 😉

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