Since the inception of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals' ranking system, the Overall Ranking has been the most coveted honor on the AFP World Tour. It helps signify who the best all-around competitive freeskiers on the planet are, and crowns a male and female as AFP Overall World Champions at the end of each winter.
Over the years, the system the AFP has used to calculate the Overall Rankings and determine the champions has not been without debate, so in lieu of this, we've decided to make some slight modifications to the formula for the Men's Overall Rankings (note that the Women's formula will not be affected by these changes).
Currently, the Men's Overall Ranking is determined by taking the top results, and associated AFP points, from events that fall within the 52-week ranking window as follows: Top 4 Halfpipe Results + Top 4 Slopestyle Results + Top 2 Big Air Results. This formula requires 10 results.
Over the last few seasons, the Men's Overall race hasn't even been a competition, with Gus Kenworthy running away with the Overall title, and deservedly so. Without taking anything away from Gus, who we consulted with on this issue (along with the Athlete Representatives that sit on our Advisory Board) and in turn provided us valuable feedback, with all agreeing that a new formula was warranted. As a result of this athlete-driven feedback, we'd like to make things a bit more realistic, fair and competitive for all male athletes competing on the AFP World Tour, in an effort to include more of them in the battle to become Men's Overall World Champion.
So with that being said, a new formula will be implemented for the 2014/2015 season, (which will have no impact on historical rankings or results, or the Women's Overall Rankings), as the Men's Overall Ranking will now be determined by taking the top results, and associated AFP points, from events that fall within the 52-week ranking window as follows: Top 2 Halfpipe Results + Top 2 Slopestyle Results + 1 Top Big Air Result + next highest result. This new formula requires 6 results, as opposed to 10.
While this is not a huge change, we have decreased the total number of results and opened it up to include an athlete's highest result in any discipline after the required number of Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air results. When applying this formula to past rankings, Gus would have still come out on top in the years he was crowned AFP Men's Overall World Champion, but the margin of victory is smaller, thus making for a more competitive race.
On behalf of everyone at the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, good luck to all athletes vying for the chance to become AFP Overall World Champion under this new formula.