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Updated September 2021

WELCOME TO "RPI FOR DIVISION I WOMEN'S SOCCER"

PURPOSE

This website is a resource for NCAA Division I women's soccer coaches and fans. Its purposes are:

1. To provide information on what the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is. The website focuses strictly on the RPI as used for Division I women's soccer. Much of the information about the RPI, however, should apply equally to the other NCAA sports that use the RPI, since the RPI's basic architecture is the same for all sports that use it.

2. To provide information on how the NCAA's Women's Soccer Committee uses the RPI in making at large selections, in seeding, and in placing teams in the bracket for the NCAA Tournament.

3. To provide Division I women's soccer teams' detailed RPI ratings and RPI-based information over the course of each NCAA season. This allows coaches and fans to see how their teams are doing in the RPI rating process, to see how teams' RPI ratings evolve over the course of the season, and to better understand how the RPI works in real life. RPI ratings current through the previous Sunday's games appear on the "RPI REPORTS" page by Tuesday each week, once teams have played enough games to make teams' RPIs useful. In addition, RPI end-of-regular-season reports for previous years are available on the "Reports Archive" page.

4. To evaluate how well the RPI measures teams' performance. This includes evaluating the different versions of the RPI as the Women's Soccer Committee has changed it over time. It also includes identifying changes that would improve the RPI's performance. And, it includes showing how well the RPI measures teams' performance as compared to how well other rating systems measure teams' performance.

5. To provide information on the rules that govern the NCAA Women's Soccer Committee's at large selection, seeding, and bracket formation for the NCAA Tournament; to suggest guidelines for those who want to predict what decisions the Committee will make this year; and to provide team result standards that are consistent with the decisions the Committee has made over time, so that those interested can compare their team's results to those standards as a way of determining whether their team is likely to get an at large selection or seed for this year's NCAA tournament.

6. To provide information for coaches to use in scheduling with a view to maximizing their teams' chances of getting NCAA Tournament at large selections and seeds.

BLOG

This website has a "sister" blog, the "RPI and Bracketology for DI Women's Soccer Blogspace." I post there regularly during the soccer season and also post in depth articles periodically over the balance of the year.

PAGES

I've tried to arrange the webpages in a logical order. Here's a brief description of each page:

"Getting the Correct Data": This page describes how the NCAA gathers game data and potential problems in data gathering.

"RPI: Formula": This page shows how the NCAA computes the RPI for Division I women's soccer. It also shows the changes the NCAA Division I women's Soccer Committee has made in the RPI formula during the period beginning with the 2007 season.

"RPI: Measuring the Correlation Between Teams' Performance and Their Ratings": This page describes a system I have developed for measuring how teams in different groups perform in relation to their ratings. I refer to these measurements in a number of other pages.

"RPI: Non-Conference RPI": This page shows how the NCAA computes the Non-Conference RPI and provides information about the NCAA's rationale for using the NCRPI. It also discusses the problem the RPI has fairly rating teams from different conferences in relation to each other.

"RPI: Regional Issues": This page discusses the problem the RPI has fairly rating teams from different regions in relation to each other.

"RPI: Bonus/Penalty Adjustment Effects: In 2012, the Women's Soccer Committee significantly changed the bonus/penalty adjustment formula for the Adjusted RPI. This page discusses the effects of the change.

"RPI: Element 2 Issues": This page discusses issues related to how the NCAA computes Element 2 (part of "strength of schedule") of the RPI. It also discusses an alternative way the NCAA could compute Element 2.

"RPI: Strength of Schedule Problem": This page discusses a significant problem the RPI has due to the way it computes strength of schedule.

"RPI: Home/Away/Neutral Issues": This page discusses issues related to home, neutral, and away game locations and the RPI.

"RPI: Modified RPI?": This page provides detailed comparisons of the different versions of the RPI that the Women's Soccer Committee has used since 2007 and also compares those versions to a better RPI variation I have developed and to Kenneth Massey's rating system.

"NCAA Tournament: Selection, Seeding, and Bracketing Criteria": This page explains the NCAA rules that apply to the selection of teams to participate in the NCAA Tournament, the seeding of teams in the Tournament, and the placement of teams within the bracket.

"NCAA Tournament: Bracket Procedure": This page explains the procedural steps that the NCAA staff and the Division I Women's Soccer Committee go through in formation of the NCAA Tournament bracket.

"NCAA Tournament: Predicting the Bracket, Interim Ranking Reports": This page provides resource information for those interested, as the season progresses, in seeing who are potential candidates for at large selections and seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

"NCAA Tournament: Predicting the Bracket, At Large Selections": This page describes a series of data-based standards that all Women's Soccer Committee at large selections have met beginning with the 2007 season and also a series of standards that all teams not getting at large selections have met. Those interested can use the standards to try to predict the Committee's at large selections. And, the standards provide a basis for seeing whether the Committee's decision-making is consistent from year to year.

"NCAA Tournament: Predicting the Bracket, Seeding": This page follows on to the "NCAA Tournament: Predicting the Bracket, At Large Selections" page by describing a series of standards that all Women's Soccer Committee seeds have met and also a series of standards that all teams not receiving seeds have met. It breaks the standards down by the four seed "pods" -- #1 seeds, #2 seeds, #3 seeds, and #4 seeds.

"NCAA Tournament: Predicting the Bracket, Track Your Team": This page provides tools for tracking a particular team's NCAA Tournament seeding and at large selection prospects as it progresses through the season.

"NCAA Tournament: Scheduling Towards the Tournament": This page is a resource for coaches in setting their non-conference schedules with a view towards getting an at large selection for, or a seed in, the NCAA Tournament. It includes downloadable tools coaches can use in the non-conference scheduling process.

"RPI: THIS YEAR'S REPORTS": This page contains the weekly RPI reports for the current season.

"RPI: Reports Archive": This page contains an archive of end of regular season (including conference tournaments) RPI reports for previous years.

PRINTING WEBSITE PAGES

To print a page from this website, click on the "Print Page" command at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a printable version of the page. Then use the "Print" command in your "File" menu to print the page.

WHO AM I?

My name is Chris Thomas. I am a retired attorney and a nearly life-long soccer player and fan. I played high school and college soccer in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I live in Portland, Oregon and am a University of Portland women's soccer fan and a fan of the NWSL's Portland Thorns. I was head coach of the St. Mary's Academy (Portland, OR) girls tennis team for 19 years, ending with the 2014 season, and have coached U8 through U10 girls rec soccer and futsal, have managed a group of competitive girls U12 teams, and have coached competitive girls U11 futsal. I have a US Soccer Federation "E" license (which simply means I took the course).

I began studying the RPI and how the NCAA uses it for Division I women's soccer in 2006, in an attempt to understand why the Women's Soccer Committee did not select the University of Oregon to participate as an at large selection in the NCAA Tournament, notwithstanding its having finished second in the then Pac 10 Conference. I "cloned" the RPI at the beginning of the 2007 season using Excel and have done RPI calculations for Division I women's soccer each year since then. I also have done studies of the Women's Soccer Committee's decision making process on seeds and at large selections for the NCAA Tournament, as well as of how teams desiring at large selections and seeds in the Tournament might do their non-conference scheduling with a view to maximizing their chances for a seed or at large selection. In addition, for Division I coaches I answer (for free) scheduling, RPI, and NCAA Tournament-related at large selection and seeding inquiries both between and during the course of seasons. Coaches I've done work for include coaches from all of the Power 5 conferences and several of the top mid-majors. I also provide consulting assistance to some conferences as a whole.

I do my RPI work to support women's soccer, to have fun, and to help build understanding, within the Division I women's soccer coaching and fan community, of the RPI and of the Women's Soccer Committee's decision-making process. As part of my support for women's soccer, one of my objectives is to provide for the Division I women's soccer community an RPI information resource that is at least as good as any RPI resource available for other sports, including for men's sports.

My approach is to try to provide clear, accurate, and unbiased information about the RPI and how the NCAA uses it, as related to Division I women's soccer. When I want to express my own opinion about the RPI, I try to be clear that is what I am doing. My objective is to provide information in a way that will help readers form their own independent, well-grounded understandings of and opinions about the RPI: I would rather give coaches and fans the tools they need to answer their RPI questions than have them look to me for answers. Thus although I field and answer questions from coaches and fans, in my answers I try to lay out the process I went through in arriving at the answers so that in the future, if possible, the question askers will have the tools to answer their questions themselves. There also is some information about the RPI and how the NCAA uses it that I believe to be true but cannot absolutely verify. When I provide that information, I try to remember to include appropriate disclaimers so readers will be able to make their own judgments about its reliability.

In addition, on request by email, I provide an Excel workbook scheduling tool to any Division I women's soccer team that wants one. The tool is custom-made for that team and lets it try out different schedules and results to see how they compare in relation to the team's NCAA tournament seeding and at large selection prospects. In addition, I can provide a similar workbook for an entire conference so that the conference's teams as a group can see how each team's scheduling will affect all the other teams' NCAA tournament prospects.

You can contact me by email at cpthomas@q.com.