Team Scoring Explanation

What do these points mean?

A team's total point score is the sum of all points earned by that team in each event. Teams are allowed to select up to two athletes per event, and an athlete can only be used in a maximum of three events (not including relays). Only one relay team per event can be selected. Schools are responsible for submitting their own results. The points are based on the best marks in an event in the current season (it's not the athlete's personal best; it's their best this season).

How are the points in each event determined?

The scoring formulas are based on the NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark (AQM) in each event (as of 2001), which is usually set as the seven-point value. The last major revision to the formulas was in 2001, though they were slightly modified in 2005 to include the new events for that year.

Prior to 2001, ten points was equal to the world record for that event when possible (which it wasn't for quite a few of the field events). The 0.1-point mark was set to the 225-point mark in the IAAF tables (the Hungarian Tables) when possible. The goal was to get a progressive curve, meaning that a given performance increase is worth more at higher levels than at lower. For example, which is harder: an improvement in the 5,000-meter run from 18:00 to 17:00 or from 14:00 to 13:00? The latter, of course, so that one-minute improvement should be worth a lot more points than for the former.

There were a few problems with this approach. First, NCAA Division II's AQM was far enough away from the world record in several events (especially the field events) that I wasn't able to set the ten-point mark at the world record in those events. Also, especially in the newer events like the women's pole vault, the event had changed enough that the table wasn't fair for that event any more. It made more sense to set up the formulas so they were relevant for Division II, and basing the formulas on the world record didn't necessarily do that.

The 2001/2005 formulas were still fairly similar to the previous formulas. However, what I did was looked at the average percent difference between the NCAA Division II meet record and the AQM, and set that as the eight point mark (with the old formulas, it was worth approximately 8.2 points). I did something similar with the zero-point mark. Running events and field events were figured separately. This made things fairer across the board, even with emerging events like the women's pole vault where, for example, at the time the outdoor meet record was the same as the AQM!

Are you going to revise them again?

Probably. I haven't for a few years now, but I think the event changes made in 2005 have gone long enough to make it worthwhile to re-evaluate the formulas. However, this won't occur until 2009 at the earliest and, after looking at them, it may be that they don't need to be changed. The current formulas have held up much better than the old ones did.