Posted On: 02/12/20 4:00 PM
What is in a ranking? That is quite the loaded question at Prep Dig. With the new Class of 2023 rankings for Wisconsin recently posted, there are plenty of questions around a ranking and this is always a good time for us at Prep Dig to really think about what a ranking reflects.
How do ranking lists get built?
At Prep Dig we have spreadsheets we are keeping notes of players we see throughout the club and high school season. For example, in August of 2019, we published a Class of 2023 Watch List which was comprised of athletes we saw make an impact for their club towards the end of their 14s year (however there are athletes who play up or down age groups). From there, we continue to add to the spreadsheet in the high school season of athletes we see make an impact for their high school teams and continue to add to our list from our Prep Dig Top 250 Expo and club tournaments in the month of January for our most recent update which included 100 athletes in the Class of 2023.
How do we decide on where the athletes fall into place?
We do our best to have athletes from all over the state. We value the impact the athletes have for their team, but we also factor in the level of competition they are playing against. There is also a difference between high school and club as far as the contributions different athletes are making (again, factoring in the level of competition they are making an impact at). Athletes who are succeeding at an Open level against top competition will typically be ranked higher than others. From there it gets incredibly grey as far as a ranking, especially with newly formed classes. That’s why we continue to always watch and evaluate at events throughout the club and high school season. We will talk with other club, high school, and college coaches to consider what and who they are seeing, a definite group effort. There is an element of collaboration that goes into this process that we are continually trying to improve. Do we miss kids or have someone too high or too low? We’ve had a little bit of everything happen. Maybe we saw them play on an off day. Maybe we saw them play a new position or they have switched positions. This is why we continue to watch, watch again, and collaborate on where athletes are currently at in comparison to others in their class.
How often do rankings get updated?
At Prep Dig, we update our rankings two to three times a year. There may be significant changes in our rankings once we see athletes play more and also add new athletes to our list. At the 15s level, we are constantly adding names to our list. I finished the Wisconsin Class of 2023 rankings last week, went to Badger Region Power League over the weekend, and found more names that needed to be added, great players who I know will be on the next update. This happens for all of our classes. There are athletes in the Wisconsin Class of 2020 top twenty who weren’t even on the radar as Sophomores. We take our time in evaluating and again, are looking to continuously add and evaluate athletes who are making an impact for their teams.
What is the value in rankings?
When athletes are ranked, this allows us to keep track of their progress through their high school and club careers. However, this does not define the player in everything they have to offer to a team. We see a snapshot of what they do on the court. College coaches will use Prep Dig as a resource, but is not the be all end all for the athlete or the college program. Like any ranking, they are always evolving and changes are being made. At Prep Dig, we know there is an athlete behind that name and we take great pride in reporting on as many athletes as we possibly can. We are continually looking to add more athletes to our list by spending as much time in the gym and reporting on the stories of these athletes with what they love to do.