When applied to sports teams, a poll (sometimes called a rating) involves an opinion of a team’s performances by someone who is knowledgeable about both the sport involved and the team in question. A poll is thus an informed opinion and a subsequent ordering of teams based upon this informed opinion. A ranking involves an analysis, either mathematical or statistical, based on the performance of a team and the performances of its opponents. A ranking is thus a mathematical or statistical analysis which evaluates the performances of teams. Polls and rankings complement each other since each represents a different viewpoint and a different “skill set” in terms of evaluating volleyball performance.
The Net Set Preseason (PS) poll uses last season’s data in the NCAA 2016 Final RPI Index and the 2016 Final Pablo Ranking. This data is, in a sense, outdated, since last season’s teams no longer exist in the same composition. However, it is still the best statistical measure to rank these teams since it the last statistical evaluation of the closest version that exists to last season’s team, and it is equally as correct as relying on human insight perceptions and opinions based on last year. (Scroll to bottom now if you only want to see the Rankings!)
The Net Set Ranking is a mathematical, numerical average based upon the performances of teams in three other polls/rankings. In the Net Set Ranking, the team’s position in each of the three other polls is totaled and then averaged to create a Net Set Index. This Net Set Index is then arranged, or ranked, in ascending order, with the lowest Net Set Index determining the number 1 team, the next lowest Net Set Index determining the number 2 team, and so forth. By combining polls and rankings into a single index number, we obtain both the mathematical benefits of the rankings and the human performance insights of coaches and journalists from the polls. Net Set Rankings and the Net Set Index are a mathematical average from these three polls/rankings below.
1. The AVCA Coaches Poll, preseason, 12/8/16. AVCA, or the American Volleyball Coaches Association, publishes an outstanding weekly poll for each volleyball division from its member coaches in that division. Thus, DI – DII Coaches are voting on the teams in the DI – DII poll, providing their unique insights. (https://www.avca.org/polls/dii-men/12-8-2016.html).
2. The NCAA RPI Index, 5/9/16. The RPI ranking is one of the discriminators for determining the at-large bids to the National Championship Tournament, and here is the basic formula for RPI rankings. Several variations of this RPI formula exist, but the one shown here is the recognized basic RPI formula.
RPI = (Winning %*.25) + (Opponent’s Winning %*.50) + (Opponent’s Opponents Winning *.25).
(Winning % is calculated by dividing team’s wins by the number of games played.)
In this RPI formula, 75% of the RPI comes from how a team’s opponents performed (Strength of Schedule), while only 25% of the RPI is based on the team’s actual performance. (http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/volleyball-men/nc/nc-mens-volleyball-rpi).
“MIDDLE HITTER” 3. The Pablo Rankings on MiddleHitter.com, 4/11/16. The Pablo Rankings are an incredibly ingenious ranking system that operates on a probabilistic, algorithmic approach and analyzes and measures the difference in abilities between two teams overall and in a match. In terms of accuracy and predictive analytics, the Pablo Rankings are the most accurate mathematical model available today. (http://www.middlehitter.com/MHPR/Rankings/2016_Rankings/mhpr_rankings_page.aspx).
There is a detailed explanation of the Pablo Rankings at this location: (http://www.middlehitter.com/MHPR/Rankings/Pablo_Rankings_FAQ-MHPR_Version.pdf).
NET SET PRESEASON (PS) RANKING, 12/12/2016
Other Teams with a Net Set Index of ≤ 20.00: Erskine (16.67), St. Francis (17.67), California Baptist University (18.00) and USC (20.00).
LET’S GROW VOLLEYBALL!