Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 00:24:58 +0100
From: Tim Watt 
Subject: t-and-f: Book Review- New Hungarian Tables

Further to the earlier review of the new 'IAAF Scoring Tables of Athletics'
(sic), I've already had a chance to curl up in front of the fireplace with
it and I thought this list might want a more detailed review.

A possible reason for the shortfall in page numbers mentioned is that the
multi-events are excluded for some unexplained reason.

The basis for calculating the numbers for performances is not entirely
explained - though I see no reason why a valid system could not be
developed and that such a system be widely used. The two problems with this
scoring system seem to be that it does not reflect the latest performance
standards and that it tries to be all things to all men and women. It is
pleasing to see my best performance given a nice big score of 1036 points
which would lead me to believe I'm as good as a 10.6 100m sprinter or 4:03
miler. Such a relationship is impossible to prove or disprove but the
system falls down at elite level as points are allocated to such a wide
variance in performance; for the 100m you can score 1 point for 17.28s to
1400 points for 9.48s and for the mile 1 point=6:49,1400 points=3:35.31.
This may be fine for athletes like me in between these extremes but if you
look at the top level the IAAF system seems to fail. Firstly, there is not
enough differentiation between similar performances and second, the
relative merits of performances does not stand up to our perception of how
good the performances are.

 To illustrate this here is my ranking of the best individual male athletes
for 1997 ranked purely in terms of best performance in the year. I have
used my own scoring system based on world record and current elite standard
in each event.



My      Name            Best perf.      Score           IAAF    IAAF
ranking                                                 score   ranking

1       Wilson Kipketer 1:41.11         1599            1290    4
2       B. Barmasai     7:55.72         1578            1283    5
3       Daniel Komen    12:39.74        1562            1301    2
4       Paul Tergat     26:27.85        1559            1306    1
5       Moses Kiptanui  7:56.16         1555            1281    6
6       H. Gebrselassie 26:31.32        1505            1300    3
7       WB Kipketer     7:59.08         1405            1269    8
8       Allen Johnson   12.93           1359            1247    18
9       Tomas Dvorak    8837            1322            *       *
10      Maurice Green   9.86            1320            1270    7
11      Ato Bolden      9.87            1280            1267    10
12      K. Khannouchi   2:07:10         1263            1234    21
13      Daniel Garcia   1:18:27         1263            1228    23
14      Jesus Garcia    3:39:54         1239            1229    22
15      E. Hamalainen   8730            1167            *       *
16      Sergey Bubka    6.05            1167            1259    14
17      F. Fredericks   9.9             1160            1257    15
18      H. El Geuroujj  3:28.91         1150            1260    12
19      Fermin Cacho    3:28.95         1143            1260    13
20      Donovan Bailey  9.91            1120            1254    17
21      Colin Jackson   13.05           1116            1247    19
22      Micheal Johnson 43.75           1111            1255    16
23      Lars Reidel     71.5            1098            1268    9
24      Yoelvis Quesada 17.85           987             1239    20
25      Heinz Weis      83.04           971             1227    24
26      Ivan Pedroso    8.63            908             1260    11

* no IAAF scores

To list the IAAF top 24(26) in 1997 from my selection.

Position        IAAF ranking order

1       Paul Tergat
2       Daniel Komen
3       Haile Gebrselassie
4       Wilson Kipketer
5       Bernard Barmasai
6       Moses Kiptanui
7       Maurice Green
8       Wilson Boit Kipketer
9       Lars Reidel
10      Ato Bolden
11      Ivan Pedroso
12      Fermin Cacho
13      Hichin El Geuroujj
14      Sergey Bubka
15      Frank Fredericks
16      Micheal Johnson
17      Donovan Bailey
18      Allen Johnson
19      Colin Jackson
20      Yoelvis Quesada
21      Khalid Khannouchi
22      Jesus Garcia
23      Daniel Garcia
24      Heinz Weis
*       Eduard Hamalainen
*       Tomas Dvorak


I hope you will agree that my ranking ties in nicely with perceived level
of performance. I think everyone will agree that Wilson Kipketer was tops
in 1997. On my scoring system he was well ahead; according to the IAAF
scoring his WR was only the 4th best performance in the year!. Also the
IAAF ranking gives top score for a WR that was easily beaten this year.
These don't just seem to be exceptions; it also seems to mark down
Steeplechase, walks, 100mh and of course the decathlon.

So don't expect the IAAF tables to settle too many arguments.

Tim