Measuring your skill level

For a long time I have wondered if it might be possible to develop a simple method for measuring (assigning a numeric value to) a player’s skill level. If so, then a player looking for a partner for a competition could use the value to help find a partner with a similar skill level. Before a competition it could be used to seed teams. A player could measure his/her improvement as he/she practices.

My idea is that the the measurement should consist of two numbers representing the player’s success percentages for pointing and shooting respectively— like this: 80/20, meaning an 80% success rate at pointing and a 20% success rate at shooting.

The percentages would be calculated this way. A target circle, 1 meter in diameter, would be drawn on the ground 8 meters from a throwing circle. The terrain should be as similar as possible to the terrain that a player would encounter in a competition.

  • A successful pointing throw is one in which the thrown boule rolls to a stop inside the target circle.
  • A successful shooting throw is one in which the thrown boule hits and knocks a target boule (located in the center of the target circle) out of the circle. A shooting attempt is NOT considered successful if the thrown boule hits the ground outside of the target circle before hitting the target boule.

If any part of a boule or a hole made by a boule overlaps the target circle, the boule or hole is considered to be inside the circle.

A player’s score (as a pointer or a shooter) is expressed as a success percentage— i.e. the number of successful throws divided by the total number of throws, multiplied by 100. For the number to be precise enough to be useful (i.e. precise to the 5% level) there needs to be least 20 pointing throws and 20 shooting throws. More throws, accumulated perhaps over several days, will produce a more precise pair of numbers.

With these measures in mind, a player might express his skill level as 80/5 (80% successful as a pointer, and 5% successful as a shooter) or 90/60 (90% successful as a pointer, and 60% successful as a shooter), and so on.

The easiest way to make the measurements is with two people. While one person throws, the other stands near the target circle, keeps the score, if necessary resets the target area between throws, and tosses the thrown boules back to the thrower.

Admittedly, such measurements would be very rough. Still, I think even such rough measurements might be useful.


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