A quick look and it makes an interesting read – you two have obviously spent some time thinking about this and much of what you’ve said has been covered in discussions down the pub over the years but it’s a good time with a largely new committee coming to realisation to bring this up again.
The problem is it’s too easy to overthink the league, scoring and positions. Firstly, if you don’t race you don’t get points! – so turn up and race! Essentially, it’s all about rank order of performance, overall for gender and in age groups and somebody will always be at the top and the bottom and the rest in between, and if we’re all honest we could all place ourselves somewhere along that continuum.
But, too few league races and folk can’t make specific dates for all kinds of reasons so don’t get enough in, and too many races means you can cherry-pick poorly attended races and get a high score. So, there’s one thing that can never be properly reconciled as somebody will always lose out or benefit – how many is the right number of races? But does there need to be some slack / flexibility in numbers of races for the inevitable, injuries, illness, work and family related issues that curtail a full set of results or do we accept the premise the league is, say, 7 races and if you don’t get them in, hard luck? (Notts summer road race has this, if you don’t compete the series then no final position; but the English and British fell champs have a maximum number of scoring races eg 4 from six but if you don’t get them all in and score only 1 point in a solitary race you still get a final table position).
As for scoring, the Notts summer league has 1 point for first, 2 for second etc. with lowest final total from all scores counting to final placings and I’ll be adopting this for the Notts fell champs next year for the best 2 out of 3 races (turn up, race, score points!).
The English and British fell champs score 32 points for 1st then 29 for second ie an incentive difference and then 28 for third etc.
My first claim club Dark Peak’s scoring system is that every race within a loose 20 mile radius of Hope in the Peak District is in the annual league. Scoring is your finishing time as a percentage related to the race winner eg winner 80 mins , me 100 mins so 80/100 X 100 = 80%. The incentive is that the faster you finish the closer to the winners time you get and the more points – in the current LERC system you can run a lifetime best and narrow the time to the race winner but still not catch the LERCer in front and don’t get any reward. Your best 10 races then count out of however many races there were available and final and age category positions are calculated. I’ve never heard one critisism or negative comment passed on this system in all the years I’ve been at Dark Peak. Mario has adopted and adapted this scoring system for Long Eaton’s fell league in that every race in the FRA calendar of 500+ is in the league and % scores calculated just for your age group.
Even this % scoring system has pros and cons but if you want simplicity it works and it’s straightforward to manage as Mario has excellently demonstrated with the fell league. You could say 6, 7, or 8 or however many races within a 20, 30 or however many miles of West Park scored by % winners time. Stops race cherry-picking , popular races will still get a big LERC turnout for club atmosphere, time and cash strapped folk get greater flexibility to get their races in and it’s an easy system to administer, and it's more likely to produce the rank order of ability that a league should reflect from performances. Have a look on the Dark Peak website or Mario’s fell league results table to see what it looks like.
Thanks for the time both of you have put into this.