This website was originally devoted to a mathematically objective method of ranking Kentucky high school soccer teams. The rankings were started in 2010 on a trial basis for girls high school soccer. Once parameters were tweaked to reach a consistent 75% game prediction rate, the results were sent to a wider audience for review. Posted on this website are the 2011 girls rankings. Boys and girls rankings are included for 2012, and 2013.
Soccer is a growing sport in Kentucky, and the skill-base is not evenly distributed throughout the state. The rankings give teams a chance to see how they compare, and who to select for future opponents for a quality match. It also generates more and better discussion about teams across the state among fans. All of these benefits will promote growth, and broaden competition in soccer across Kentucky, giving more kids the chance to enjoy the game. Lastly, it is a lot of fun to track the progress of your favorite team.
The system is based on the assumption that a team’s performance on a given day will vary with a normal distribution. The mean of these performances will more or less be centered around that team’s ability level over the long term. Basically, teams will have good days and bad days, fair results and unfair results, but given enough data points, the average of all performances should be a close representation of their quality.
This ranking system is purely mathematical, using only game scores and home field advantage as inputs to rank all Kentucky High School soccer teams. The system is based on the relative strengths of the opposing teams in each match. The chance of winning a game against a certain opponent depends on the strength of your team and the strength of your opponent. The system compares these chances with the actual result, and uses the difference to adjust each team’s ranking heading into the next game.
Of course, a team’s strength depends on your ranking and the ranking of the opponent, which depended upon the rankings of all of their opponents, and the results of their games, which depended on, the rankings of their opponents and the results of their games, which… well you get the idea. Because of this, it takes a many iterations to get it close.
The most important factor is winning, followed by the score, followed by home field advantage. It is possible to win a game and decrease your scaled rating, if your opponent was much weaker. Conversely, it is possible to lose a game and increase your scaled rating.
Historically, the system has performed with an 80-88% prediction accuracy, measured over 500 game stretches. Accuracy generally increases throughout each season, as shown on the top pages for each respective sport.
The rankings only include in-state Kentucky and Ohio High School games.
With the success of the system in 2013, as measured by a game prediction rate in excess of 88% over the last 500 games of the season, a system for ranking Ohio high school soccer is now under development. Please read, enjoy, comment and criticize. Our philosophy is that criticism can only make the rankings better, we never take it personally!
Starting in 2015, the Maher Rankings are now making their first foray into Kentucky High School Basketball Rankings. Please check them out, and let us know what you think, by leaving a comment!