The U.S. Club Rankings announced the final 2014 softball rankings for 16u and 18u teams. The mission of U.S. Club Rankings is to provide a valid national ranking system that is inclusive of all teams that compete in different governing bodies and event producers across the nation.
The 18u final rankings use a blended formula combining three elements: (1.) National Points System (NPS) which is a team’s on-field performance, (2.) College Player Index (CPI) a team’s ability to place players in college to continue their fastpitch career, and (3.) National Ballot, an opinion vote based on a team’s past prowess, present performance, and future potential. Each segment of the ranking is weighted then calculated into an overall rank. The 16u poll uses only the NPS to calculate the final rankings.
18’s Top 10
The 18U Corona Angels – Tyson from California secured the No. 1 spot knocking So Cal Athletics out of the top spot for the first time since 2011. The Corona Angels finished No. 1 in all three calculated categories with key first-place finishes at the Independence Day event in Boulder and the TC/USA Nationals in Atlanta. The Angels also finished second at both the Premier National Championships and Champions Cup.
The Orange County Batbusters – Haning finished No. 2 after winning the Premier National Championships and earning the most votes in the ballot rank. Tony Rico’s Firecrackers squad is in familiar territory at No. 3. Since 2012, Rico’s team has finished in the top three inlcuding the No. 2 spot in 2013.
The Beverly Bandits grabbed the fourth spot with a key first-place win at the Northern Territory Gold Qualifier and finishing the ballot and CPI rank in third and fourth, respectively. No. 5 Texas Glory had a solid year which featured winning the 18 Power Pool of the Colorado Fireworks in Aurora. Finishing out the top 10 included No. 6 So Cal Athletics – Richardson, No. 7 East Cobb Bullets – Schnute, No. 8 Gold Coast Hurricanes – Cooper, No. 9 Sorcerers – Mumma, and No. 10 So Cal Explosion – Denio.
16’s Top 10
The So Cal Athletics – Meyers squad earned the No. 1 spot in the 2014 final rankings. The Athletics finished with the most points at 145 with a key first-place victory at the Premier National Championships in the Gold division. The Firecrackers – Brashear and Beverly Bandits tied for No. 2 with 140 points apiece. Rounding out the top 10 included No. 4 Corona Angels – Slye, No. 5 Lady Magic – Harvey, No. 6 Georgia Elite – Caldwell, No. 7 Tennessee Fury 97, No. 8 Texas Impact Gold – Elder, No. 9 Florida Power Black, and No. 10 Tulsa Elite 98.
About the Components
The NPS takes the 2013 and 2014 on-field performance into account; for this ranking, the same event mixture was used for each year (Colorado 4th of July, Top National Tournament finish, and up to two Regional Tournaments) but were weighted with 2014 carrying 60% and the 2013 covering 40%.
The CPI is again using a five-year snapshot encompassing the graduating classes of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. The point scale will remain the same with NCAA DI = 4 points, NCAA DII and NAIA = 3 points, NCAA DIII = 2 points, and NJCAA DI, DII, DIII, CCCAA, NWAACC = 1 point, players that have signed with a college in the major 6 conferences (Pac 12, BIG Ten, SEC, ACC, Big East and Big 12) will receive an additional point.
National Ballot has been sent out to select voters that were asked to vote based upon their knowledge of a team’s past, the performance in the current year, and the potential of that team to continue to finish high on a national stage and to send their players to top collegiate programs.
Each of the three pieces were weighted: NPS made up 58%, National Ballot weighed in at 40%, and the CPI at 2%. This process will grow and evolve as it continues and participation from ALL teams is a must in order for it to be valid and inclusive in years to come.