Is it point(less) or not?

At first glance, a system which splits large sections into THREE sectors seems a much fairer and manageable way of operating the competition. No longer is each angler trying to beat 38+ of the world’s best in every section, but just 13 or 14 other anglers... perhaps a more humane and manageable task on paper? It is affected by poor draws much less, because any angler can only be penalised 13 points for drawing in a bad area, compared to say 38 under the old system. It also seems to give more teams and individuals the chance of getting to the top.

True, the points do tighten up dramatically, thereby offering opportunities to individuals to gain sector honours. But how much honour is there attached to winning a 13 peg sector with some of the top nations, as opposed to winning a 38 peg one containing ALL the nations?, I am merely pointing out what I believe to be the flawed nature of a system which anglers should be proud to compete under.

In fact, if this year’s results are compared to how they would have been under the old system, then there is little to recommend the new system in terms of opening the competition up to more teams. The same nine teams occupied the same top nine places under both types of scoring, but obviously in a different order! Is this really what FIPSed is trying to achieve, or is it simply to give someone else a go at the top? If so I, and many others, do not believe this is the correct way to go about re-organising a structure which should be stable and promote fair play and balance across the whole competition. The current system looks to have all the attributes of a badly-tilted pinball machine, not a level-playing field!

Here is the real point of my argument. How on earth can any country, or any individual for that matter, stand up and say they have beaten the world's best, when there is the likelihood that they may not?  Indeed, it is possible, under the new system, to win both team and individual world championships by drawing in sectors containing most of the world’s weakest teams! To come out at the end saying you are the world’s best after beating Latvia, USA and Austria, is not the same as having beaten say Hungary, England or France in sector after sector!

The competing countries of the world have traditionally seen their finest anglers in a line, numbered 1 to 38, in each of 5 sections... not split into 3 sectors of 13/12 anglers within each of the 5 sections. So how can anyone say that this new system promotes the Championships reputation as a fair and balanced event?

The 2009 results based on last years system... CLICK

Don’t misunderstand me… it is not the system of dividing big sections into smaller sectors which I object to, it's the way it has been applied! Change is good, IF it benefits the 'Whole' competition. You do not see FIFA randomly drawing the world's national football teams out of a hat, regardless of their status on the world stage... DO YOU? These teams are seeded accordingly, then after they have successfully come through their qualifying groups, they are then drawn into their competition group stages on the basis of their previous seeded positions. Unfortunately, our Championships are held over two days... not over many months of qualifiers and then two weeks of competition. However, these principles of fairness should still apply. You do not randomly draw... you SEED your best teams, then draw. This way you can place proportions of the world's best, with proportions of the world's second best, then randomly draw the remainder... SIMPLE!

Assuming sections will continue to be split into THREE, the draw is something which can easily be accomplished with the aid of three bags, or containers. The top 9 ranked teams are placed in one bag, the next 9 middle-ranked teams in another and the remaining unranked teams in the third. Each sector then has three teams randomly drawn from each of the first two bags and then it's filled up with remaining none-ranked teams until the required number is reached for that sector. Each sector, in each section, goes through the same procedure. What we are then left with is a sector containing three top-ranked teams, three middle-ranked teams and topped up with none-ranked teams! NB: Rankings are strictly controlled by FIPSed, based on the previous 5 years' performances. We also included one we prepared for this feature so you can see how it has all been arrived at... CLICK

If you need any further convincing of just how much the current system is poorly balanced, then check-out the two-day breakdown of competition, showing exactly how the top nine teams fished against each another in their respective sectors. We have placed the top 9 teams in order of ranking, worked out using the same method as FIPSed. That is, each of the top 9 countries previous five year placements in World Championships is added up to give their ranking status. Further proof of these poorly balanced sectors can also be clearly seen by looking at these downloadable Section.pdf's on our Full Results page. The question of individuals being affected by the same poor balance would be neutralised once a correct system of draw is applied.

Day 1 Top 9 teams breakdown... CLICK
Day 2 Top 9 teams breakdown... CLICK

I must confess to originally believing that Slovakia had somehow managed to avoid fishing against many of the top sides in their quest for Gold. On closer inspection it's clear that they had no easy passage as initially assumed, especially on day two, but eventually ended up quite worthy champions! They nevertheless still suffered from the inbred unfairness of the current system. How can you justify any unranked team fishing against 16 of the world’s top 9 teams, whilst two of the top 9 teams only fished against 7 and 8 teams from the same group, as was the case on the final day?

Angling is based around the luck-of-the-draw, for without it no foundation for a successful match can be laid. If you draw badly (whether fish-wise or opponent-wise), it's a certainty you'll finish badly. This is of course the main attraction of adopting the new system. It reduces the impact of a bad draw on a  teams result, by cutting down the points lost. However, when you see one angler struggling for points in a sector containing 4 top level teams, against another in a sector fishing against 1, then the 'Luck of the Draw' takes on a new level of unfairness. There will always be an element of luck within a draw system because NO venue produces perfect and even fishing! Therefore we should not be compounding this by adding a new and unnecessary 'Luck-factor'. Over many years, the rules of FIPSed have been developed to try and reduce the luck factor such as straight banks, even depths, etc., so why add a new major factor into the luck equation, when a basic seeding system could simply eliminate any problems?

It's not that I am against change, I accept that things need to be constantly improved, but our World Championships are meant to be something special. If you want to try and make it fairer for ALL nations, by offering them the opportunity of competing against the worlds best, then you need to set up a form of 'seeded' draw, similar to the one used by FIFA. That is the only way to produce a tournament which can truly be promoted as a 'World Championship'.

Dave Johnson

What do you think about the new points system?
Is it a Good thing or Bad?   Do you have any better suggestions?

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