Athlete Ranking Information

Look at the most recent South Midwest rankings listed on the each specific discipline’s rankings page. Verify that all of your races are listed. If they are then your rankings score should be correct.

You must complete three (3) Triathlons or three (3) Duathlons or two (2) Aquabikes or one (1) Aquathlons in our region to be ranked at the end of the year. You can be ranked in more than one discipline.

Preliminary rankings are posted throughout the year, and the number of required races to be ranked changes based on time. For Tri and Du, your ranking should appear if you have done 1 race by April, 2 races by June, and 3 races by September. For Aquabike, your ranking will appear if you have done 1 race by June and 2 by September.

This means if you have NOT done that number of races by that time, you will not be ranked.

The UNRANKED athletes list is NOT a list of athletes who have not done the necessary number of races to have a ranking. Instead, it is a list of athletes who registered for a race either using a 1-Day license or whose license number was not included in the race results. If your name appears in this list but you have a USAT number, contact rankings@smwtriathlon.org to have this corrected.

To be clear: If you have not done enough races to be ranked, your name will not appear in either the ranked or unranked list. Once you have done the required number of races, your ranking should appear. If not, contact rankings@smwtriathlon.org with your questions.

Elite Waves are ranked. 

USAT National Rankings are separate and have absolutely nothing to do with SMW regional rankings. You can be ranked higher or lower in either, or ranked in one, and not the other. 

If you still are unsure of why a race is not listed or ranked then Read the Top 10 Reason's why athletes don't get ranked. If you want to understand how your score was calculated then read the Ranking RulesClick below to view the list of Top Gun Athletes for the season to see who helps raise the point value of your races:

Depth of Awards/Recipients for year-end rankings.  

Number in Each Age Group

  • 1-3:  1 award
  • 4-6:  2 awards
  • 7-30:  3 awards
  • 31-45:  4 awards
  • 46+:  5 awards


SMW regional racing calendar runs from January 1 till December 31 each year. 

For questions about rankings, please email smwrankings@gmail.com. 

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 rankings@smwtriathlon.org.  The rankings season closes out every December 31st. The cutoff for corrections/additions is 30 days after this date.

Top 10 Reasons Why an Athlete isn't Ranked

10. Problem: Didn't do the required number of races. You must do 3 sanctioned races in the SMW region for Du and for Tri.

Solution: Do more than the required number in case there are mistakes or a Race Director fails to turn in results. 

9. Problem: Race Director didn't send in results. 

Solution: Don't patronize those races and pursue the RD till results are submitted. 

8. Problem: Name misspelled in results.

Solution: Notify the proper people to fix it. We get the same results the athlete does.

7. Problem: Not a current USAT member. 

Solution: Self explanatory. 

6. Problem: Changed name during season, as in marriage. 

Solution: Self explanatory. 

5. Problem: Used a hyphenated name, as in Rodham-Clinton. 

Solution: Some software only uses a certain number of characters per name, eliminating the last few letters, resulting in a misspelling. Data entry personnel enter hyphenated names in different ways which also cause a mismatch between your name in the master file and the name from the race. 

4. Problem: Used a middle initial. 

Solution: Never use a middle initial on an entry form. The program will enter you with only your first name and middle initial, no last name (race directors: Please remove middle initials from your entry forms).

3. Problem: Name contains a space, as in Erick Van Steele. 

Solution: Enter your name as VanSteele. The above example would be ranked as though Erick was the first name and Van was the last name. 

2. Problem: An apostrophe, as in O'Hara. 

Solution: Probably not fixable, except by the athlete's careful observance of race results. Some data entry personnel use the apostrophe and some don't. Once again, it would cause a mismatch. 

1. Problem: The number one reason for not being ranked is the age old problem of not being consistent with first names, as in Ed in some races and Edward in others. 

Solution: Use the name as it appears on your license. This one is entirely under the athlete's control.

Actually, the NEW number one reason for not being ranked is failure to put your USAT number on your entry forms!