With his finals result at the 2023 Longhorn Open, @Conrrado Moscoso has officially ascended to the #1 spot on tour. This is obviously the first time Moscoso has ascended to #1 ranking on tour, and it represents the first time a player from outside the “Big 3” countries USA/Canada/Mexico has risen this far. Moscoso achieved a #1 tournament seed in October 2022 (when DLR skipped the Pleasanton event and Moscoso had risen to #2 temporarily), but now is the top dog.
I’ve seen more than a few comments from KRG and elsewhere online questioning how he could be #1 over Daniel De La Rosa when they met in the Longhorn final and Daniel beat Conrrado heads-up. These comments are misguided and don’t seem to exhibit an understanding of a rolling ranking system.
Why did Conrrado leapfrog Daniel for #1 despite losing the final to him on Sunday?
The answer is simple: the IRT rankings are not based on a “who beat who yesterday” concept, Its based on a rolling calendar of results. Just like Squash, or Tennis, and most any other individual pro sport with a “tour,” the reigning #1 is determined based on the totality of their results over a longer period of time than one specific match.
Right now, the IRT’s ranking system includes every player’s past 11 Tier1/Grand Slam tournaments. In the wake of Covid, the IRT pivoted from a conventional rolling 365-day calendar (which had been in place since the 1981-82 season) to include tournaments that may fall outside that range. The choice of exactly 11 tournaments was specific; that was roughly the average number of events that the tour was hosting before Covid struck, so it made sense to not penalize players who chose to not play events and expand the ranking calendar to include older events.
I maintain a “Rolling 2-year IRT Worksheet” that helps illustrate the points. I use this spreadsheet to write up my “predicted impacts to rankings” in all my recap posts.
I’ve uploaded the latest copy of it here:
When the Longhorn Open finished, the rankings recalculation would take the Longhorn Results and “expire” the 12th oldest tournament. That expiring tournament turned out to be the 2021 US Open, won by Daniel. So, Daniel was set to “lose” 600 points for winning that grand slam, and to replace those points with whatever points he earned in Austin. That turned out to be 400 points for winning. So Take Daniel’s pre-Austin ranking points total (2933), subtract 600, add 400, and you get 2733.
Now lets do the same arithmetic for Connrado: heading into Austin he had 2652 points. His 2021 US Open was disappointing: he lost to Carlos Keller in the 16s, meaning he only earned 135 points there. So take 2652, subtract 135, add in his points for making the Austin final (300), and you get 2817.
2817 is more than 2733 … so that’s why Moscoso is now #1.
(Note: i’m excluding fractions of points earned for specific game wins/losses for simplicity of the post; in reality DLR has exactly 2,733.44 points, and Moscoso has exactly 2817.51 points).
Here’s the next interesting point: NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS in the next IRT event (the Lewis Drug Pro-Am on Jan 22nd), Conrrado will stay #1. Why? Because he did not play the 2021 Arizona event (which will expire next), and thus has no points to “defend.” He can do nothing but improve and increase his lead at the top of the tour. It won’t be until the Suivant Consulting GS in mid February where we might see some changes … that tournament will expire Sarasota from Nov 2021, won by Conrrado, so he’ll have 400 points to defend. But he’ll also have a Grand Slam to replace those points, and if he gets anywhere close to the back end of the tournament he’ll maintain the lead again.
At some point, the IRT probably will pivot back to a conventional 365-year calendar. We’re out of Covid, we’re back to a regular cadence of events (there’s going to be 7 events by the end of April, a very healthy slate, and then we’ll have Denver in the summer and the regular events in the fall, meaning we will have plenty of events in the calendar year on which to base events). DLR may very well trail Conrrado for months … but he will “catch up” greatly come this fall. He missed three IRT events between September and December 2022, meaning he’ll drastically catch-up later this year. It should make for an exciting finish to the 2023 season.
But in the meantime, I hope this explains the reasoning and provides insight to the machinations of the rankings.