Zwift category system idea
I have put together a potential mechanism for an improved category system for Zwift Racing.
Disclaimer. I am in no way skilled at putting something like this together. It is open to feedback, please describe its flaws and maybe together we can improve the concept. I have described this as if it is single-gender, but it is applicable when splitting genders too.
- In total there would be 10 categories (A-J, or whatever naming convention you wish!)
- Anybody new to Zwift would start in Category J (bottom level)
- Existing users would be initially designated a category based on their ZP cat
- Every user has a score from 1-100 that determines the rider’s category
- If you enter a race you are automatically entered in to your correct category. Group rides would have optional category enforcement
- Races could have single or multiple category pens, depending on entrant numbers or chosen config. E.g. 10 separate pens, or mixed pens:
- At the end of the race you either gain or lose points depending on your result
- -3 points for quitting prior to the end of a race
- -2 points If the average score of the riders ahead of you in the results is lower than your score
- +2 points f the average score of the riders behind you is higher than your score
- +3 bonus points for a race win
- -1 point if you finish in the bottom 5% (or last place depending on # entrants)
FAQ ( not really – I made these up)
What if the riders ahead of me have a higher average score, but the riders behind me a lower average score?
- This suggests you are riding in the correct category!
What if I win the race?
- There are +3 bonus points for winning a race. If the average score of the riders behind you is higher than your score, this means you could potentially get 5 points! This allows the strongest riders to level up quickly
What if I am good at flat courses but bad at hilly courses?
- You can either stick to your strengths to level up or work on your weakness so it does not impact your score too much
Have you run this through any kind of simulation to see if it actually works?
Is it possible to sandbag?
- You would need to continually rage-quit races to get your score down, and then win. Which will in turn level you up again. It seems like a lot of effort for little reward – and continuous rage-quitters could be flagged.
I just hit cat D in Spring and have a score of 61. I have eaten a lot of cake since then and need to ride a lower level, but the average of the riders ahead of me is always higher than 61. How do I level down?
- Continue to race in your assigned category. If the cake had a big impact, you will finish in the last 5% (or last place) and will soon drop down a level again.
I am A-LEET and have a score of 90. I can never win a race because I have a poor sprint. I want to be in cat A where I feel I belong. How can I level up when the riders ahead of me never have a higher average score?
- A few options. Either work on your sprint to win some races, go for a solo breakaway, or enter some mixed-cat races where you can beat some A riders.
Won’t people enter races where they know the field is weak so they can level up easily?
- What, like real life? This is fine, it’s just tactics. At some point you will meet your match.