UPDATE, MARCH 29: Rosinette Does the Math: The Points System

This is a guest post by Rosinette. She ran some spreadsheets, and the results are verrry interesting. Take it away, Rosinette!

It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize that the new points system does not add up.

Now that we’re nearly four months into the 2015 season, let’s take a look at where things stand as of March 23, 2015, by examining the rankings in two different ways and comparing to the current PBR rankings.

% Ridden

Many fans have suggested that this is the best measure of success. It rewards consistency and therefore the talent and work it takes to consistently ride bulls weekend after weekend. Ultimately, it rewards the very thing that the sport of bull riding is based on – staying on for 8 seconds. It’s a simple, cut and dried method. Either you make the buzzer or you don’t. That is the premise of bull riding, after all. (Duh)

If the PBR were to rank riders using this method, here is how the standings would look:

% Ridden Rank PBR rank Rider % Ridden
1 3 Silvano Alves 66.67%
2 7 Valdiron de Oliveira 59.57%
3 22 Bonner Bolton 55.56%
4 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira 55.26%
5 5 Kaique Pacheco 54.17%
6 1 Matt Triplett 54%
7 8 Ben Jones 52%
8 21 Tanner Byrne 50%
9 9 Fabiano Vieira 47.50%
10 14 Cody Nance 46.15%
11 17 Shane Proctor 45.71%
12 13 Chase Outlaw 45.45%
13 10 Guilherme Marchi 45.24%
14 12 Nathan Schaper 45.24%
15 11 J.B. Mauney 43.33%
16 18 Eduardo Aparecido 41.67%
17 4 J.W. Harris 41.03%
18 24 L.J. Jenkins 40.91%
19 19 Ryan Dirteater 38.89%
20 20 Stormy Wing 37.14%
21 15 Stetson Lawrence 36.36%
22 6 Reese Cates 36.11%
23 25 Renato Nunes 34.21%
24 16 Mike Lee 33.33%
25 23 Kasey Hayes 31.25%

It’s no surprise that Silvano would land at the top of the rankings for % ridden. After all, he has been one of the most consistent rider for years. (The scores the judges give him is another issue, but I digress). And guess what? It’s not even that close. The difference between Silvano and the rider with the next closest riding percentage trails by seven percentage points. This might surprise folks but Matt Triplett – ranked #1 under PBR current system – ranks at #6, JB at #15, JW Harris at #17 and Mike Lee at #24 in riding percentage tabulations.

Dollars Earned

This is also simple math. Fans have also suggested that this would be an appropriate method for BFTS rankings and awarding points. Here is how the rankings would look under dollars earned:

Dollars Won Rank PBR rank Rider % Ridden Dollars Won
1 2 Joao Ricardo Vieira 55.26% $246,150.00
2 3 Silvano Alves 66.67% $209,921.22
3 1 Matt Triplett 54% $138,827.67
4 8 Ben Jones 52% $97,902.56
5 6 Reese Cates 36.11% $91,231.72
6 5 Kaique Pacheco 54.17% $87,571.40
7 4 J.W. Harris 41.03% $86,265.00
8 7 Valdiron de Oliveira 59.57% $82,658.82
9 9 Fabiano Vieira 47.50% $71,292.24
10 11 J.B. Mauney 43.33% $65,711.67
11 10 Guilherme Marchi 45.24% $63,831.19
12 13 Chase Outlaw 45.45% $50,136.07
13 16 Mike Lee 33.33% $49,203.33
14 12 Nathan Schaper 45.24% $47,586.19
15 14 Cody Nance 46.15% $46,563.38
16 15 Stetson Lawrence 36.36% $46,050.00
17 21 Tanner Byrne 50% $35,176.57
18 22 Bonner Bolton 55.56% $35,002.70
19 17 Shane Proctor 45.71% $33,536.67
20 18 Eduardo Aparecido 41.67% $33,051.67
21 19 Ryan Dirteater 38.89% $30,688.33
22 20 Stormy Wing 37.14% $29,018.33
23 24 L.J. Jenkins 40.91% $27,680.19
24 23 Kasey Hayes 31.25% $27,103.33
25 25 Renato Nunes 34.21% $25,451.13

It’s worth noting that under this method, it’s the same top three guys as current PBR BFTS rankings but in a different order; here, JR Vieira is first, Silvano Alves is second and Matt Triplett is third. Ben Jones jumps to fourth, whereas he currently sits in the eighth spot by PBR system.

Current Points System

As we’ve all seen, this is a “winner take all” approach that rewards those who are awarded the high scores. If the judges are particularly hard on certain riders because they don’t agree with a strategy or chute protocol, those riders are at an automatic disadvantage from the get-go. Furthermore, it punishes riders who have been consistently making the buzzer, but have not been ended up in the top five for the round or the top ten for the event.

A clear example of this lack of fluidity with the current point system is the rider currently ranked sixth on the BFTS. He has won $91,231 (which also puts him in fifth for dollars earned). However, his riding percentage is only 36.11%. That’s a whopping 30 percentage points below the guy with the highest riding percentage. Put another way, 22 other riders have higher riding percentages. Does that not seem counterintuitive to the whole premise of the sport?

UPDATE: As of March 29:
Of the current top 10 in PBR standings following this weekend’s results (Seattle), here’s how the top 5 would look using riding percentage:

1. Silvano (67.27%) – PBR rank = #4
2. Valdiron (60.78%) – PBR rank = #3
3. Joao (57.14%) – PBR rank = #1
4. Matt Triplett (54%) – PBR rank = #2
5. Kaique Pacheco (50.98%) – PBR rank = #6

Near total Brazilian domination!!! (Exactly what PBR doesn’t want)

Tanner Byrne is getting screwed. He has a 50% riding percentage but is buried way down at the #22 spot in PBR standings. Using the percentage system, he would be in the 9th spot.



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7 Responses to UPDATE, MARCH 29: Rosinette Does the Math: The Points System

  1. I would like to say ha ha ha. Thank you for working all of that out, big job. Do I think they will change no.


    • Credit goes to Rosinette, for doing the math.
      The PBR never admits it’s wrong, so they won’t change the system this season. However, in the past they’ve made a few changes as a result of (unacknowledged) feedback. They just never tell fans that they’ve done it because of what the fans said. For example, they got rid of that atrocious “commentator” Erin Coscarelli, instituted the chute clock (a half-measure, so we’re not supposed to think they’re picking on Silvano, even though they put him on the clock sooner than anyone else), and (sometimes) explain the (somewhat bendy) rules.
      I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if next season they tell people they’re tweaking the points system to make it less complicated and give all riders a fair chance to earn points/money. (Of course, then they’ll probably make it even more complicated, like that “simplified” TV schedule that required two pages worth of explanation.)


      • S. says:

        I believe they already changed the point system slightly. Now all the guys in the top 15 of the aggregate get some (nominal) points. The initial rules had only the top 10 getting a score, with the 10th guy getting 5 points; and now the 8th guy gets 15 points and the 9th through 15 get 10 points. They made it retroactive, too, it looks like.

        Of course, they didn’t bother to say that anywhere. I just happened to have saved the initial PDF of the “explanation” and noticed the change. I also don’t think that really fixes anything– when a guy can get 500+ points based on round wins and an event win, and a guy who rides two bulls who don’t get round placement points and then ends up 9-15th in an event gets 10 points, it just isn’t right. Especially when it happens multiple events to a guy, like it did to Tanner Byrne; he did his job and the points system failed him. The guys can only ride the bulls they run under him. Maybe the strongly tiered points make sense with a draft, as it’s an incentive to pick a ranker bull, but in the long rounds, it’s ridiculous. Unless the PBR can get an even pen where every guy has the opportunity to get round points– which, of course, they can’t– this point system is fatally flawed.


      • Can I get an Amen?!

        That’s the usual PBR m.o.: never admit you made a mistake; pretend it didn’t exist; and if you change anything as a result of that mistake, don’t tell anyone.


      • S. says:

        Please excuse my several hideous errors. I got a little worked up there.


  2. S. says:

    Since the dollars earned are a function of round placement, which features heavily in winning the event under the new system, I guess it’s not that surprising that the money won is more similar to their current results. I’m not sure what is playing out here was even what the PBR was trying for– riders like Reese Cates who had a couple good events and now hang on and on because of the disproportionate amount of round points awarded.

    Thankfully, it seems like the most talented riders are making their way to the top, however bizarre and laborious the process under the new system. What an uncessary mess, though. I wonder if the PBR is beginning to regret this system. It’s not doing much of anything to stop Silvano Alves, which was obviously the main goal.


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