SMW Ranking Rules and Regulations

There are four factors that need to be kept in mind when considering how the ranking system works.

First, this ranking system only considers duathlons & triathlons that are conducted within our region(Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma & Texas expect for the Mountain Time Zone of Texas) and those that are USA Triathlon sanctioned.

Secondly, any national championship events held within the region, while counted very heavily in thenational ranking system, are treated with the same weight as any non-regional event. This is because the  USAT/SMW ranking system is a regional rankings system, which is trying to highlight regional performances.

Thirdly, the regional ranking system depicts an athlete’s performance as he/she competes against the overall male/female winners of each race. Specifically, how you finish in your age group may help you gain hardware, but if the age group was comparatively weak, your relative performance may actually hinder your overall rankings. Bottom line: to do well in the annual rankings, you must strive to come as close as possible to the overall winning time in each race. As you will see below, this is what has the greatest bearing on your final score.

Finally, at the beginning of each new season, the top 20 male & 10 female duathletes and the top 40 male & 20 female triathletes are selected. These selections come straight from the previous year’s final rankings and are used to factor the strength of the race. Non-championship races start with a minimum weight of 90 points (adjusted based on the number of Top Guns in the Race:

  • State sprint championships are worth 100 points

  • Regional sprint championship events are worth 102 points 

  • Regional intermediate championships are worth 105 points

  • Regional long distance championships are worth 110 points

The difference in the weight of the race depends on how many elite athletes finish the race. For an event to receive its maximum weight, 10 elite duathletes (for duathlons) or 20 elite triathletes (for triathlons) must complete the event. This rule does not apply to state or regional championship events, which maintain their max score no matter how many elites, are present.

Example of how this works:

XYZ Duathlon - 4 elites finish the race, so the race would be worth 94 points.

XYZ State Championship Duathlon – Since this is a state championship event it will be worth 100 points.

XYZ Triathlon – 12 elites finish the race, so the race would be worth 96 points. (gaining ½ point per elite x 12 = 6 points)

XYZ Regional Championship Triathlon – Since this a regional championship event it will be worth 105 points.

Some athletes may not like this method of scoring, but it is an essential aspect to keep athletes from “cherry picking,” that is competing in weak races to avoid head to head competition.

Example of how the formula works in determining your ranking score for a race:

The men’s times are compared to the men’s winning time & the women’s times are compared to the women’s winning time. Change the finishing time to hours & fractions of an hour.

Winner’s time 1:57:10 = 1.9527 (1+ (57/60) + (10/3600))
Athlete’s time 2:18:30 = 2.308 (2+ (18/60) + (30/3600))
Divide the winner’s time by the athlete’s time. 1.9527/2.308 = .846
Multiply that time by the point value of the race. Let’s say the race was worth 93 points.  93 x .846 = 78.7 points for that race.

There are several factors that also go into determining who is eligible for the rankings:

In order to be ranked, each athlete must be a member in good standing of USA Triathlon and the regional federation (annual member & resident in the USAT/SMW region). Buying a 1 day membership will eliminate you from the rankings.

To be included in the final rankings an athlete must complete a minimum of three duathlons or three triathlons held in this region.

A permanent requirement is that all athletes who wish to be ranked must have a current USAT number, & must provide each race they compete in with this number. Athletes will be ranked by their USAT number in order to eliminate confusion from misspelled or duplicate names.

That’s the ranking system as it is administered. The explanation is long, but should answer many of your questions. If you have problems or corrections to your ranking, please send an email to  The rankings season closes out every December 31st. The cutoff for corrections/additions is 30 days after this date.