The Weekly Volkswagen Premier Performer Updates Need Some Adjustments
As each week of Canadian Premier League action concludes, league officials post an update regarding who’s the frontrunner for the Volkswagen Premier Performer award. For the uninitiated, the league rates every player with a score from 1-100 after each game, and at the end of the season the player with the highest average rating will win a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
However, there’s a problem: while Pacific FC‘s Hendrik Starostzik has topped the chart for three weeks running, he’s only played a single match. Valour goalkeeper Mathias Janssens, who occupies the second spot, is in the same boat. The league states that once each club has played five matches the chart will reset, with players who didn’t accumulate at least 300 minutes of playtime being discarded from this window’s entries.
While the Canadian Premier League is asking if Starostzik can maintain his current form, the question should really be if he can rack up 300 minutes before the chart resets (he can’t). If the league is going to do weekly updates regarding the Volkswagen Premier Performer, it’d be lot more useful to know who actually performed best in that given week as opposed to seeing older performance ratings for players who can’t make the 300 minute cutoff. Even the second-placed Janssens can only achieve a maximum of 270 minutes before the chart resets, so he’s automatically out of the running, too.
To that end, a cutoff time of ‘once every team has played five matches’ feels slightly arbitrary. FC Edmonton will be the last club to clock in 5 games when it plays against Valour FC on June 1, which will trigger the resetting of the chart via the 300 minute cutoff. By that time Pacific FC will have played 6 matches, and Forge FC will have played 7. This indicates that some clubs will have had more time for players to become eligible for the Volkswagen Premier Performer award for this window.
It’s unclear what the window for the second period of the award will be. Forge FC will only have three spring season games remaining when it starts, as opposed to FC Edmonton and York9 FC having five.
In the event the league meant 5 games played on a per-club basis, Starostzik was already out of the running midway through Pacific FC’s match against Forge FC last week, which still makes this week’s question of if he can maintain his form relatively moot. Even with a game-in-hand, there’s no way for Hendrik to hit 300 minutes by the time the other clubs all reach their fifth match and the chart resets.
Evidently, the way the Volkswagen Premier Performer Award update is presented each week needs some fine-tuning in terms of relevance.
The system also begs another question: if a player registers 300 minutes from this first window and remains in the chart, but then misses the cutoff from the next window, are they wiped out from contention? Does the player need to be present for all periods of both the spring and fall seasons, or is there room for injury?
While at face value it’s not a bad idea to log eligible player progress by the half-season, would it not make sense just to release weekly Volkswagen Premier Performer updates that focus on each particular week, allowing fans to see more current (and relevant) information? Of course, the actual award needs a cutoff point featuring a certain amount of matches played – but there needs to be a much clearer way for fans to look at who each week’s best performers are, while allowing players an equal and fair chance to make themselves eligible for the award.
These are just the general growing pains that come with a brand new league, and in the future one can hope for great data-driven discussion items like a Team of the Week. Sportlogiq, the company behind the award’s performance data, works with some 25 different NHL teams and the entirety of the Swedish Hockey League. Suffice to say, Sportlogiq knows how to get the numbers – it’s just up to the Canadian Premier League to figure out the best way to use them.
Source: Canadian Premier League