"Points" are not "points"

We've all heard about "new math," but it didn't hit the Bassmaster Elite Series and Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Yerar race until 2012. The new math and new points system are going to have a big impact on the AOY race this year.

In years past, the winner of an Elite event got 300 points plus five more for every day he led the tournament. Therefore, the minimum number of points a winner would get was 305.

Beginning in 2012, the winner gets one point for each entry in the tournament. That means the winner of each event gets 99 points. Second place will get 98 points, third place gets 97 points, etc. The last place finisher gets one point.

If you finish in the top half of the field, the new system treats you pretty well. But if you finish in the bottom half — and especially if you finish near the bottom — the new system can crush you.

Let's take a look at how it works, comparing finishes under last year's system with finishes this year.



2011 points (percent of winner)

2012 points (percent of winner)


260 (85 percent)

90 (90 percent)


225 (74 percent)

75 (76 percent)


175 (57 percent)

50 (51 percent)


125 (41 percent)

25 (25 percent)


77 (25 percent)

1 (1 percent)

Take a good long look at the bottom numbers. If you're 75th or worse, the new system is crippling. The lower you finish, the bigger the difference between the old and the new and the bigger the hole you're digging. It's clear to me that our eventual AOY will have to avoid even one finish below 60th place, and if you want to go to the Bassmaster Classic, there's just about no way you can have a disaster anymore — 90th or worse.

In years past, anglers could have one complete disaster event — even two — and still earn a Classic berth. No more. The new system will reward consistency and the avoidance of disaster.

Think about it this way. If you finish last, the 89th place angler gets 10 times as many points as you do, even though you may be separated in the standings by just a pound or two. Seventy-fifth place is the new "last." Anything worse than 75th this year is worse than you could ever finish before this season.

So how far off the lead can you be after two tournaments and still have a fighting chance at AOY? I'm guessing that if you're further back than the mid teens, you have no chance at all. Anything further back than that is not only too many points behind to have a realistic chance, but there are too many great anglers between you and the lead.

Need an example? Ott DeFoe is currently 16th and having a nice season, but he's 48 points off the lead with six events to go. He'd not only have to average being eight spots higher in the standings than Skeet Reese for each of the remaining tournaments, but he'd have to hope that the 14 guys between him and Reese falter. Those guys have names like Chapman, Faircloth, Scroggins, Walker, Swindle, Evers and VanDam. Will some of them slip? Probably. Will all of them stumble? Not a chance.

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