Q: What is Martin RPI?
A: Martin RPI is a metric that is used to rank Ohio high school basketball teams relative to other teams based on their wins and losses, strength of schedule, opponents’ strength of schedule, and the division of their opponents. RPI (ratings percentage index) in general has plenty of different variations that are used one way or another, including by eight states’ HS athletic associations, to rank and seed teams for postseason tournaments.
Q: Why use Martin RPI?
A: The biggest advantages of this metric is its accuracy and transparency. It is publicly known how the rankings are created, and the results can be replicated. It is not a poll, and there is no subjectivity involved in the ranking, as it is solely about calculations from the data compiled.
Q: How are games against Out-of-State (OOS) teams calculated?
A: OOS teams are assigned their true winning percentage, and their SoS rating is an automatic value of .5000. Thousands of results throughout the country in a variety of states that have used the RPI reveal that in the end, the relatively few games against OOS teams over the years average our and vary minimally statistically from that .5000 value.
Q: Are the scores of the games taken into account?
A: No, point differential and margin of victory are not a component of the rankings. There’s no incentive to beat a team by a larger margin. A 100-pt win is the same as a 1-pt win, just as a 100-pt loss is the same as a 1-pt loss.
Q: Why does my team’s ranking change even when we don’t play a game?
A: Teams can play 22 games in a basketball regular season. If any of those 22 teams play on any given night, your ranking may change. And then each of the 22 opponents on each of your opponent’s schedules may play a game, which may also change your ranking.
Q: What happens if multiple teams are tied in the final RPI Rankings?
A: First of all, the RPI is calculated to infinity in the computer system, however only 4 decimal places are displayed on the website. If there were a tie, the first tiebreaker would be the better RPI ranking beyond 4 decimal places. If those teams are still tied after that, the second tiebreaker would be head-to-head result. The third tiebreaker, which would be rare to need, would be winning percentage against common opponents.
Q: How should I schedule?
A: The most important thing to remember with the Martin RPI is that it takes the ENTIRE schedule into account. You cannot look at just one game in a vacuum. In general, a single game out of a 22-game regular season, will not result in a significant change in the calculations. Do not fret over scheduling just one game. Look at your entire schedule as a whole and try to judge if it will be tough enough or not.
Q: How is this different than the Harbin rankings used for football playoffs?
A: There’s two big differences. The Harbin ranking does not have a strength of schedule component, whereas the Martin RPI does. And in the Harbin ranking, you are trying to amass as many points as possible, whereas in the Martin RPI, your ranking is the result of averages graded on a scale from 0 to 1.
Q: How can a team have an RPI ranking greater than 1?
A: Since the Martin RPI takes into account the School Size Factor for 5% of the ranking, this may cause the ranking to rise above 1 on rare occasions.
Q: What happens if I don’t play a full 22-game season?
A: Since the RPI system works off averages, it won’t make a difference if a cancelled game cannot be rescheduled. It wouldn’t penalize or benefit any team involved in that scenario.
Q: Where should I report scores?
A: If you’re a coach or AD, updating your schedule on Arbiter with the results of each game right after it is played would be a tremendous help.
Q: How often will the RPI be published?
A: The RPI will not be published in any season until it reaches near the halfway point. Once they do, it’ll be updated daily.
Q: My team plays a lot of teams outside of the NW District. Teams outside of the NW District do not update Arbiter as much as the NW District teams. So how will the rankings be accurate if those other teams’ schedules aren’t updated?
A: Even though the pilot is just for the NW District teams, I still obtain schedules and scores from every team in the state. That’s the only way to ensure the rankings are as accurate as possible. Every boys & girls team across Ohio will have their schedule & results fully up to date every day, not just teams in the NW District.