By now, you are probably familiar with the Rolex AJGA Rankings. In 2005, they were called the AJGA Invitational Rankings and were used as a means to fill unclaimed spots in AJGA Invitationals.
The rankings also proved to be valuable as an extra tool for the selection committee in naming the Rolex Junior All-America Teams.
Because of the rankings’ accuracy in identifying the players who had the best year in junior golf, they will take a more central role in 2006 as the AJGA strives toward objectivity.
You’ve seen it with Performance Based Entry. Years ago, the AJGA introduced PBE and put an end to the resume process, where a committee sorted through resumes to fill a tournament field. With the new emphasis on the Rolex AJGA Rankings, this move toward objectivity will take another giant leap forward.
HOW THE RANKINGS WILL BE USED
1) The AJGA will continue to use the rankings to round out the fields at AJGA Invitationals. Most spots in these fields will be filled through established criteria, as outlined in the AJGA Handbook and at ajga.org. However, unfilled spots will be awarded to those with the highest rank, but have not yet earned an invitation.
2) Canon Cup teams will be named entirely according to the Rolex AJGA Rankings, eliminating all captains’ picks. On June 30, 2006, the top eight boys and top eight girls from each side of the Mississippi River will be invited to play in the Canon Cup. On July 10, following the Rolex Tournament of Champions, the final two boys’ and girls’ spots on each team will be awarded to the highest ranked players not already invited.
3) Also in 2006, to determine the Rolex Junior All-America Teams more objectively, the AJGA Rankings will be the major factor in the selection process. With the Rolex AJGA Rankings viewable to the public, the selection process will be transparent and players will know where they stand on a year-round basis. In March, the AJGA will release more specific information concerning the selection of these teams.
HOW THE RANKINGS SYSTEM WORKS
Under the AJGA system, three variables affect a player’s rank:
1) Players are awarded points on a per-event basis. A player’s total points are then divided by the number of events played to derive a points average. Players are ranked according to this points average. A minimum denominator of six is set, so a player who competes in fewer than six events during a 52-week period may still be ranked, but will not receive full credit for their performance.
2) The rankings will be calculated on a 52-week rolling points cycle, so only the most recent 52 weeks are included in the rankings cycle.
3) Players are rewarded for playing tournaments with stronger fields. Each tournament’s point values are based on the strength of field for that event. Strength of field is measured by calculating the combined top-10 finishes (top-5 finishes for girls) of a given field over the past 52 weeks in events ranked by the AJGA. Invitational events, along with other historically strong events such as the USGA Junior Championships, Western Junior and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior, are locked in at the highest point level. Champions of those events are awarded 200 points. Champions of other events receive between 20 and 100 points.