This list is super late, late-issimo, inexcusably late and I apologize. A couple factors collided to delay them – starting a new job and compiling an unprecedented amount of Worlds data. The result: the rankings are a little more than a month late, and another, newer rankings list for September will be announced in the next few days (fingers crossed).
I wanted to do a lengthy analysis of these rankings because they are pretty earthshattering, but that would delay them even more, so I’ll just summarize some of the highlights:
– We have a new Women’s #1. Congratulations to Mary Lowry for taking over the #1 spot! Her win in Women’s at FPAW allowed her to squeak by Lisa Hunrichs and reign supreme.
– Tom Leitner remains the Open #1 player. With two world championships titles in the past 2 years plus a second (FPAW2006 pairs) and a fourth (FPAW2006 co-op), he maintains a healthy lead over all other players.
– There is a youth invasion in the top 10. Fabio Sannam Matt Gauthier and Andrea Meola all enter the top 10. A note about youth, though. The top 5 players are all 40+ years old, but the spirit of one of them is younger than us all – Clay Collera, who reaches a career high of #4. In some sports, being 40 is a problem, but it’s really an asset in freestyle. Our sport is one for a lifetime. It keeps us young. The more we play, the more we embrace the wonder of flight, the energy of creativity, the glow of athleticism. And remember, those creaking, old 40+ year old veterans have had a lot of time to build up their skills, think about freestyle and develop the competitive mind that earns them the megapoints needed for the top 5. The new generation will eventually take over, but the old geezers won’t go down without a fight. 😉
– Randy Silvey and I fall out of the top 10. That’s what we get for not playing at a worlds.
– Toddy Brodeur drops 9 spots despite winning another world title. This is because his first co-op win in 2004 expired with this list, so he kind of broke even on those points. The big change was that Toddy ruled the summer of 2004, winning four or five tournaments in a row leading into the worlds. Those points all went away this month, ironically lowering his points even though he rocked this worlds. It’s a reminder that the rankings are a reflection of the entire two years of play, even though the worlds tends to make a big contribution to the point total.
– The size of the rankings list is actually smaller this month than last because many summer tournaments from 2004 expired. The next list should get bigger as there were a lot of August events this year. The October list should be even bigger with all the September European events.
– It seemed like the top finishers earned more bonus points this year than in previous years because there were so many players from the Top 200 at Berlin. That helps the top finishers, but if you didn’t progress through many cuts at the Worlds, your points might be lower than you expect. In fact, we reached the limit of the current point scale with this year’s worlds, so I will be revising the point scale to reflect the new definition of a huge event. Thanks again, Kolja, the entire Berlin planning team, and everyone who attended FPAW2006!
Please add your observations in the comments. Brag about your ranking. Speculate about next month. And as always, if you think there’s a mistake, just contact me. Mistakes happen, and I’ll fix them.