What is the "Wager Ladder"?

For many reasons, including the size of the leagues, the unpredictability of weather causing rainouts and cancellations, and the skill disparity within each division, OCUA has moved away from the round-robin format for most leagues. For summer and fall seasons, it just isn't feasable.

Instead, over the last few years OCUA has refined various systems for rating and ranking teams with the goals of:

  • Prevent blowout wins/losses by matching teams of roughly equivalent ability.
  • Ensuring that teams see a variety of opponents throughout the season.
  • Ensuring that the "best" teams rise to the top of the division so that an overall winner can be determined

To do this, teams in a division are first given a rating value (higher == better), based on past performance, coordinator knowledge, and feedback from captains. Then, a schedule is generated, and as games are reported, the game results affect a team's position in the division. Teams move up for wins, and down for losses based on a formula that takes into account the relative strength of teams and the score differential.

The current formula is called the "Wager Ladder". In this system, games are worth a variable total of points, based on the final score. Each team contributes some number of points from their ratings value towards this total, but the amount they contribute is not fixed -- it depends on their relative ratings. This contribution is that team's wager contributed to the pot. The losing team wins back the number of points they scored, and the winning team takes the remainder of the pot.

Here's how it works in detail:

  1. A team's percentage chance to win is computed based on the pre-game ratings values. This will determine what percentage of the game's value the team must contribute. For example, if both teams are evenly matched, they will each contribute 50% of the total. If instead, Team A has a 60% chance of winning, they contribute 60% of the total value.
  2. After the game is complete, the pot value is computed. The pot value is double the winning score plus 10. For a normal game to 15, this would make the pot worth 40 points. For a game that ends in a timecapped win at 12, the pot would be 34 points. A game ending 17-16 after an overtime universe point would be worth 44 points.
  3. Each team's contribution is calculated by multiplying the pot value by the team's percentage chance to win. This represents the maximum number of ratings points that team could lose.
  4. The losing team then gains back the number of ratings points equal to their score. In an evenly-matched game ending 15-10, the losing team would gain back 10 points for a total loss of 10.
  5. The winning team then gains the remainder of the pot. So, for example, if their contribution was 20 points, and they won 15-10, they would get a pot of 30, for a net gain of 10.