Category: Rankings

Sandslash 2014


Open Pairs Final:

1.Jakub Hosek / Phil Kruger – EX:10.60 / AI:11.70 / DIF:15.13 – TOTAL: 38.53
2.Jan Sorensen / Thomas Notzel – EX:11.40 / AI:9.60 / DIF:15.34 – TOTAL: 36.54
3.Kolja Hanneman / Markus Hein – EX:11.00 / AI:10.00 / DIF:15.33 – TOTAL: 36.33
4.Graf Mordi / Benjamin Edelmann – EX:10.60 / AI:11.70 / DIF:12.70 – TOTAL: 35.00
5.Sasha Hohne / Jan Schrek – EX:11.20 / AI:10.90 / DIF:12.73 – TOTAL: 34.83
6.Bianca Strunz / Irena Kulisanova – EX:11.10 / AI:10.30 / DIF:12.76 – TOTAL: 34.16

Co-op Final:
1.Jan Sorensen / Jakub Hosek / Phil Kruger – EX:13.50 / AI:9.80 / DIF:13.7 – TOTAL: 37.00
2.Ilka Simon / Irena Kulisanova / Bianca Strunz – EX:13.00 / AI:8.00 / DIF:12.7 – TOTAL: 33.70
3.Kolja Hanemann / Markus Hein / Benjamin Edelmann – EX:11.40 / AI:7.40 / DIF:13.3 – TOTAL: 32.10
4.Konrad Patris / Michal Maciolek / Dawid Tomiak – EX:14.80 / AI:6.00 / DIF:10.8 – TOTAL: 31.60
5.Thomas Notzel / Tobi Burzan / Jan Schrek – EX:12.20 / AI:6.40 / DIF:12.3 – TOTAL: 30.90

Spirit of the Party and Jam: 
Jan Moller Sorensen
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The Future of the Freestyle Rankings

In the summer of 1993, I published the first freestyle rankings. First they covered open events, then later I added a separate list for women. Each month since then – and sometimes more often – I have published a new rankings list. It’s time for someone else to lead this project. I will continue to compile rankings through this year’s FPA World Championships. After that, my intention is to step away from the rankings.

I’m excited to see which freestylers are interested in shepherding the rankings through its next chapter. I’m possibly even more excited by how the next team can improve them. The rankings can get better in so many ways:


Compiling the rankings is labor-intensive. Lots of data entry and calculations and not enough automation. A freestyler with database skills could simplify the workflow for compiling each rankings list. Flo Hess has done amazing work with the competition spreadsheet and tools to export results into formats for web publishing. It would be great to see a link between his spreadsheet and an automated system.


The rankings are kind of a mystery for most freestylers. While the process for calculating rankings points is published on the rankings homepage, there could be much more access to information. I’d love for players to be able to drill down from their total points and see the points they received at every event they played. I’ve love for players to be able to see the results of a tournament and how that translates into rankings points. I’d love for players to be able to see statistics and graphs of their rankings performance over their career.


The rankings are solid. I’ve updated the system throughout the years to reflect the evolution of freestyle and improve accuracy. Below are some opportunities I see for the rankings.

Equalizing Points
We play freestyle in formats that range from individual turboshreds to 3- or more person teams. That creates some unequal situations if the point scale is based purely on tournament placing (1st, 2nd, 3rd). It’s harder to win a turboshred than it is to win a pairs event, if only because winning turboshred means you’ve beaten every competitor, and the pairs winners didn’t have to beat their teammate. 2nd place in co-op means you’ve beaten all but 3 players, which maps to 4th place in a turboshred. I’d like to see a point scale that reflects the relative difficulty of placements across different divisions.

Rewarding Larger Events
When the rankings started, we had official FPA tour events and official status for then-successful WFDF and US Open events. Freestyle has evolved in a more homogenous direction. Tournaments are tournaments. Some are big and some are small, but all are valid. And the FPA Worlds is the big one. Right now, there are some rewards for the number of players entered in an event, and there are rewards in the bonus points for beating lots of players. There is room for improvement here.

I’m in favor of a system that minimizes the categorization of tournaments as important or “major.” The importance or majorness of a tournament comes and goes. I’d love the next rankings system to find other measures to reward importance. One simple approach would be to increase the standard for player turnout. Right now it is 20 players. Raising it to 40 or even 60 players allows tournaments to be differentiated and gives an incentive for events to reach out to new players.

Improving How Multi-Division Events Are Addressed
In the current system, each regular tournament with at least 20 entrants offers the same number of points. If the tournament offers multiple divisions (pairs and co-op, for instance) points are split among those divisions. Points become a measure of performance over the entire tournament. While this has worked fine, one side effect is that it doesn’t reward superior performances fully. A player who wins a deep pairs event but places lower in the same tournament’s co-op event might will probably get lower ranking points than a player who wins a pairs event at a smaller tournament that only offers pairs. I’m not in favor of offering full points for each division. That sets up a glut of points for essentially the same gathering and does not reward the step-up-and-shred reality of one-division tournaments.

One approach I like is to offer points for each division, but for there to be a “drag” on the points with each extra division added. For instance, a tournament with only pairs offers 100% of the normal points. In a tournament with pairs and co-op, both pairs and co-op would offer points like they are separate tournaments, but with a 10% drag. They would each offer 90% of the points of a single-division event. Tournament directors could add as many divisions as they want, but with a diminishing return in rankings points. As always, the tournament director could designate as many or as few divisions as point-earning events as they like.

These are some initial ideas. I’m sure the next team will have their own fresh and inventive ideas. I look forward to seeing how it takes shape.

Wiseman and Hunrichs Top 2013 Year-End Rankings

James Wiseman and Lisa Hunrichs are the year-end number one players on the freestyle rankings for 2013.

Open: James Wiseman

Wiseman linked together strong result after strong result to add to the big points he received in 2012 for winning the FPAW Co-op title. He becomes the youngest year-end number one since the rankings launched in 1993. It was a very tight race throughout the fall among Wiseman, Jake Gauthier, Arthur Coddington and Matt Gauthier. Wiseman took a first or second in every tournament he entered in 2013

Austin: 2nd – pairs; 1st – hat
Virginia: 1st
Jammers: 1st
Boulder: 1st mobop; 1nd pairs
Potlatch: 1st
Worlds: 2nd – open pairs, 6th – open co-op

Though both Gauthiers and Coddington won titles in all their 2013 tournaments, they weren’t able to close the gap. 2014 could be a wild ride as Matt and Jake Gauthier have already made a European road trip and won Frisbeer.

1. Wiseman, James (USA) 1465 points
2. Gauthier, Jake (USA) 1421.5
3. Coddington, Arthur (USA) 1381.25
4. Kenny, Paul (USA) 1347.88
5. Gauthier, Matt (USA) 1335.5
6. Collerà, Clay (ITA) 1315.5
7. Prati, Marco (ITA) 1271.5
8. Leitner, Tom (ITA) 1246.75
9. Cesari, Manuel (ITA) 1214.75
10. Silvey, Randy (USA) 1214.5

Women: Lisa Hunrichs

Lisa Hunrichs is such a dominant force in women’s freestyle that it’s kind of shocking she hasn’t been our year-end number one since 2005. Again, the European dynamic is at play. There are more tournaments in Europe, and more of them offer mixed pairs divisions. The world championships play a big role in the rankings and an even greater one in the women’s rankings. This year Hunrichs won both the Women’s and Mixed titles at FPAW in Santa Cruz, while last year’s number one Eleonora Imazio did not compete and lost hundreds of expired points from her strong play at FPAW Prague in 2011.

1. Hunrichs, Lisa (USA) 1025 points
2. Daniels, Lori (USA) 934.5
3. Strunz, Bianca (GER) 864.5
4. Kahle, Emma (USA) 847
5. Kulisanova, Irena (CZE) 839.5
6. Imazio, Eleonora (ITA) 770.475
7. St. Mary, Cindy (USA) 738.5
8. Powell, Char (USA) 680.25
9. Simon, Ilka (GER) 627
10. Schiller, Amy (USA) 600

Previous Number Ones

Below is a list of all the year-end number one players since the rankings began. The number of ranked players is in parenthesis.

2013: James Wiseman (387)
2012: Marco Prati (367)
2011: Jake Gauthier (369)
2010: Matteo Gaddoni (382)
2009: Tom Leitner (403)
2008: Tom Leitner (407)
2007: Fabio Sanna (416)
2006: Tom Leitner (413)
2005: Tom Leitner (450)
2004: Dave Lewis (435)
2003: Arthur Coddington (342)
2002: Dave Lewis (311)
2001: Dave Lewis (329)
2000: Dave Lewis (318)
1999: Dave Murphy (293)
1998: Dave Murphy (375)
1997: Arthur Coddington (501)
1996: Arthur Coddington (550)
1995: Bob Coleman (545)
1994: Larry Imperiale (469)
1993: Ted Oberhaus (267)

2013: Lisa Hunrichs (61)
2012: Eleonora Imazio (66)
2011: Eleonora Imazio (65)
2010: Judith Haas (52)
2009: Eleonora Imazio (54)
2008: Eleonora Imazio (54)
2007: Eleonora Imazio (47)
2006: Mary Lowry (39)
2005: Lisa Hunrichs Silvey (44)
2004: Lisa Hunrichs Silvey (61)
2003: Cindy Kruger (61)
2002: Judy Robbins (40)
2001: Lisa Hunrichs Silvey
2000: Lisa Hunrichs Silvey (48)
1999: Judy Robbins
1998: Amy Bekken
1997: Amy Bekken
1996: Amy Bekken
1995: Amy Bekken
1994: Gina Sample

James Wiseman Takes Over The #1 Ranking

Photo courtesy Jordan Haro and Spread The Jam Project

After the world championships, three players were locked in a very tight battle for number one – Jake Gauthier, James Wiseman and Arthur Coddington. Only 16 points separated the three.

James Wiseman struck first post-worlds by playing the Oktoberfest event. His runner up finish with Sophie Wolf was strong, but there weren’t enough entrants to boost his ranking point total. No problem, he just went to the Berlin Hat Autumn 2013 Edition, drew Tobias Burzan and Freddy Finner as his teammates and won it for 146 points. He was the leader in the clubhouse going into Beach Stylers, where both Jake and Arthur would compete. The Berlin Hat win also moved Freddy into the top 20 and Tobias into the top 80.

The math looked like winning Beach Stylers could put either Jake or Arthur on top. The math, though, was more complicated because of Beach Styler’s two divisions – pairs and turboshred. Arthur teamed up with Matt Gauthier to win pairs on the first day of the tournament, with Jake and Amy Schiller coming in a close second. The next day’s turboshred was disastrous for Arthur, where he was edged out of the final by Dave Zeff. Jake had no such problems, sailing through to the final, then winning the event. Jake accumulated 128.75 points across the two divisions, seven points short of James’ point total.

Another interesting dynamic emerged at Beach Stylers. By winning pairs and finishing second in turboshred, Matt Gauthier entered into the mix for the end-of-year number one spot. Matt has had an insane year, winning two titles at the world championships and coming less than a point away from sweeping Open Pairs, Open Co-op and Mixed Pairs. With Virginia States and Beach Stylers wins, he’s racked up dominating results. The factor keeping both Matt and Arthur 30-50 points away from James and Jake is the fact that neither played in the 2012 world championships. Their advantage in closing that gap is their 8th best result. Both of them have much weaker 8th results than James and Jake, giving them big upside for any strong tournament finish.

The 2013 rankings battle is not quite over. James has entered Lazzaroni later this month, and a Northern California turboshred event is forming around the annual post-Thanksgiving jam at Sonoma State. JikJam looms too. Strong finishes by any of the four top players could shift the end-of-year rankings picture.

The Santa Cruzification of the Rankings

The beautiful sea breezes of UC Santa Cruz have blown away the previous order on the freestyle rankings and unseated the #1 players on both the Open and Women’s list. This month, FPA Worlds Prague, the Summer 2011 Berlin hat and the 2011 Butch Cassidy Cup all fell off the rankings lists. Four new events – the 2013 FPA Worlds, the 2013 Japan Overall Championships, 2013 Sandslash and the 2013 Butch Cassidy Cup – were added.

There are a slew of changes beyond the #1’s on both the Open and Women’s lists. Let’s talk about Open first.

Open Rankings

Jake Gauthier ends Marco Prati’s 12 month reign at number one, taking back the top spot that Cega earned last summer. It’s not lonely at the top, though. The top three players are separated by only 16 points. The top five are within 65 points of #1, and the top six are within 100 points of the summit.

James Wiseman started 2013 ranked 17. He’s now ranked 2, only eight points behind Jake, after a strong season that culminated in his runner up finish in Open Pairs at the worlds. Here’s how close James got to number one. His team finished sixth in the co-op final with the same points as the fifth place team. They lost on a tiebreaker. Winning that tiebreaker or scoring 0.1 more points would have given James the number one spot. Matt Gauthier and James finished 0.7 points short of winning Open Pairs. If they had won, James would have the number one spot and a commanding cushion. Second by decimals.

The top places at the world are worth a lot of points. Winning both Open Pairs (for 299.5 points) and Open Co-op (for 292 points) brings me from number 20 to number 3. I also had the fortune of defending very few points from Prague after scratching from co-op and finishing in the middle of the pack in the Open Pairs finals.

Jake, James and myself all have a strong mathematical chance of ending the year at number one. But that’s not all! Paul Kenny jumps back into the top five from #11 after a 2nd in Co-op and a 3rd in Pairs. He’s within striking distance too.

Of the top five players, Clay Collera weathered the storm the best. Despite missing both finals in Santa Cruz, he moves up to #5. This anomaly is mainly due to so many players losing large chunks of points. Clay’s points stay exactly the same because he has such a strong cushion of results with few Prague points to defend.

Matt Gauthier and Dave Murphy both make big moves after winning Co-op. In Matt’s case, a first in Co-op and a second in Pairs move him from 14 to 6. Murf’s 1st in Co-op and 3rd in Pairs vault him from 46 all the way to 17.

Other upward movers included Co-op runner up Jeff O’Brien (41 to 29), Dave Schiller (79 to 49) and Co-op finalist Matteo Feller (121 to 71).

Those who didn’t defend their Prague points lost a lot of ground. Cega (1 to 8), Randy Silvey (2 to 10), Claudio Cigna (3 to 11), Chris Lamred (10 to 18), Balu (13 to 21), Dave Lewis (28 to 67) and Mahoney (55 to 104) all tumbled on this month’s list.

Women’s Rankings

This month brings another return to number one. Lisa Hunrichs ends Eleonora Imazio and Judith Haas’ hold on the top spot. The last time Lisa was at number one was all the way back in August 2006. Eleonora falls to 6 after losing all her points from Prague, including a first place reward for Mixed Pairs. Meanwhile, Irena Kulisanova’s runner up finish in Mixed Pairs in Santa Cruz helps her rise to number 3, and Lori Daniels holds at number 2. The other strong movers in the top ten are Emma Kahle, rising from 7 to 4, and Cindy St. Mary, re-entering the top 10 at 7 from 14 last month.

Because of the scarcity of women’s and mixed pairs events, the top 10 is likely to keep its shape through the end of the year, and Lisa Hunrichs is almost assured of finishing 2013 at the top.