Insights on some of the Power Rankings
The reason for 39 players on the list is rather arbitrary. The desire was to extend it for Worlds, as July Power Rankings had just 23 players total. The selection went for those who are playing very well lately or have very good to great numbers in Major type events, in recent years. The final number selected may or may not have something to do with Art’s recent viewing of Hitchcock’s classic, “The 39 Steps.”
Once AF realized Power Rankings would be published after GLO, it seemed highly likely Paul McBeth would be in the top 2. Mainly because his worst finish at Worlds, in the past decade, is 2nd place. It would seem one would be foolish to not put Paul in the top 2 based on that factoid. Were it not for injury related issues in the mix, along with Paul not quite showing up as top 5 of 2023, and that this list combines FPO with MPO, then surely Paul would be top 2. As it stands, AF dared put him outside top 5 into 8th overall, or 6th best for MPO. AF would be very okay being wrong about this rank, and the defending champ doing McBeastly things.
Initially Calvin Heimburg was #1 overall, when GLO was in the mix. Now with Worlds having supreme emphasis, Kristin Tattar is representing:
- Defending Champion of 2022 GMC (Elite)
- Winner of first 2 Majors in 2023
- Defending Champion of 2022 Worlds
As AF sees the Power Rankings, there isn’t really a close to first place player in the field, that matches Kristin.
Ohn after GLO, ties Tattar with best 5 EMSA avg in FPO, both averaging better than 2nd place. Ohn has played 1 Silver in her last 5, winning MAO, the other 4 were Elite events. Tattar has only played Elite or Major in past 5.
Also after GLO, Eagle McMahon ties Calvin on best 5 EMSA avg in MPO. They have played the same 4 Elite and 1 Major events, each averaging 3.2, or slightly over 3rd place.
Matt Orum manages to keep McBeth, Missy Gannon and Gannon Buhr outside the top 6. Matty-O’s excellent Major average is reason why. He took 3rd at Worlds in 2022, and 5th at 2018 Worlds, plus has averaged 5th or better when playing GMC (Elite) events.
Tier 1 players are fully capable of winning Worlds, and quite likely to finish in top 5. With 7 MPO in tier 1, the battle for the top 5 will be fascinating. Maybe a 3 way tie for 5th?
Thing is, Tier 2, as AF sees it, has list of players who would surprise very few if they won Worlds and is last tier where that occurs. All elite pros are capable of winning, but McBeth is prime example of certain players seem to rise in Majors better than many or most others. The 2nd tier laid out with 5 FPO, followed by 3 MPO and that is based on data primarily. All 5 FPO are quite close to top tier, which is exemplified by Catrina Allen being lowest FPO player on tier 2. And who happens to be 2 time champ of Worlds.
Simon Lizotte is fresh off of huge win at GLO and solid top 10 for MPO heading into Worlds. Power Rankings being what they are, he ranks outside top 15 data wise. Primarily because, while he did take 13th at Champs this season:
- he averaged 24th place at 4 Elite events at GMC, past 4 years
- tied for 25th at Worlds last year
- and took 25th at 2018 Worlds at Smuggler’s Notch
Best of the 5 EMSA averages for MPO are in order: Calvin and Eagle tied, then Ricky Wysocki, then Buhr (7.6), and next is Cole Redalen (8.0). Which is why he tops MPO for 3rd tier, even while his Major data leaves a lot to be desired. Certainly in 2023, Cole is significantly stepping up his game.
Jen Allen has top 10 season stats for FPO, and finished 6th at GLO. She sits on lower part 3rd tier due to no 2023 Major data, and non top 10 finishes at least year’s Worlds and 2022 GMC. For Power Rankings, she’s 31st overall, but for FPO only, she is 14th overall.
Heidi Lane was late addition to the Power Rankings, but has been playing as 6th ranked FPO player on the season. She’s played just 3 Elite events, and both Majors. Her Major numbers for 2023 are on par with Holyn Handley and Ella Hansen. And she took 2nd, to Tattar at the 2023 European Open. Her lack of play in 2023, and 15th at 2022 Worlds is why she sits on 4th tier.
4th tier players are the type that if they finish top 5 at Worlds, it wouldn’t surprise any diehard fan of the 2023 season. Yet, there’s just enough slivers of doubt to also understand why they may finish outside top 15.
3rd and 4th tier at Worlds is different than all other events. This Power Ranking represents the elite of the elite and yet is aware of some glaring omissions, like 2018 Worlds winner, Gregg Barsby. Were he not struggling much of 2023, he’d show up in Power Rankings. To do a fuller list of rankings for Worlds, would mean a whole lot more tiers in play, particularly for MPO.