Introducing The Cross Country Rating Index For NCAA Division I
The coaches of NCAA Division I Cross Country, at the USTFCCCA Convention last December, strongly voted in favor (75% in favor, membership vote) of an objective ranking system to be produced by the national office on a bi-weekly basis, starting with the period after the Pre-National Invitational weekend.
The original proposal was rooted by an algorithm that was adapted around the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) model. You may recall hearing about the RPI mostly because of its role in NCAA at-large selections for basketball, volleyball, soccer, etc.
In preparation for this implementation, we found a method that takes some of the basic concepts of the RPI model — head-to-head performance and strength of schedule — and added elements relevant to cross country — margin of victory, individual performance, and potential head-to-head matchups based on existing results.
This is the CROSS COUNTRY RATING INDEX (CCRI).
If RPI was the tip of the iceberg, the CCRI is 95% of the iceberg.
The RPI was found to be rigid, using strict win-loss records from full-field team scores (e.g., finishing fifth in a 20-team meet yields a record of 15-4 for that meet). Calculations for season winning percentage and strength of schedule used that concept.
The CCRI is rooted first on season-long individual performance of team members, paired with actual head-to-head team results, scored in a dual-meet fashion with added components of margin of victory or defeat. The scoring concepts in the mix include elements from the ELO ranking system used in rating chess players and from GolfStat, the NCAA’s rating system for golf.
All performances are rated as they were reported to TFRRS as of Monday evening.
An in-depth look at the rating system is available HERE.
Look for the release of post-conference ratings on Thursday, November 1.