ProSkill: What It Is, How It Works, Why You Should Care
When you race at one of our facilities you may have noticed something on your race results printout called ProSkill. We get a lot of questions about what ProSkill is, why the ProSkill score goes up or down and also why does it seems to go up or down faster in some race heats than in others. In this article we will attempt answer all of your questions about ProSkill.
Points Based Ranking Systems: How Champions Are Made
Point based systems are used in many forms of professional auto racing to determine the ranking of the drivers throughout the race season. NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar and many others all use points based ranking systems.
Each of these racing series calculates point differently, however, they all have two things in common. First, everyone starts out the racing season with the same number of points. Second, the Champion of the racing series is the one with the most points at the end of the season.
ProSkill is based on the same concepts but it is applied to a year long season of “arrive and drive” kart racing. It is the points based ranking system that we use to rank racers that race at our facilities across the country. It allows racers to compete for best ProSkill on a location by location basis but also on a nationwide basis. Also, just like in professional racing, everyone starts off the season with the same number of points.
How ProSkill Points Are Awarded
Our racing ‘season’ begins on January 1st each year and ends on December 31st of the same year. This is why we reset everyone’s ProSkill at the beginning of the year. On January 1st all racers start the year with 1,200 ProSkill points.
One of the easiest ways to increase your ProSkill is to race more often. This is because each racer receives 5 points just for participating in a race heat. The only way to improve your racecraft is to get out there and race on a regular basis and this encourages you to do exactly that.
However, the way to really up your ProSkill is to beat other racers that have a high ProSkill. This is because ProSkill is a ‘weighted’ system that rewards you more for beating a racer with a higher ProSkill vs. a racer with a low ProSkill. What this means is that each time you race, the number of points you gain or lose depends on the ProSkill of the other racers in the race. The number of points you are awarded, or lose, is based on the skill (the ProSkill) of the other drivers to beat or lose to.
So, for example, if I have a very high ProSkill and you had a low ProSkill, and I beat you I would be awarded a small number of your ProSkill points from you. However, if you pull off an upset and beat me (the high ProSkill racer) you might be award 100 or more of my much larger number of ProSkill points because of the upset.
In a full heat of ten racers there is a lot of sophisticated math that goes on, based on who is beating who, that ends up determining how many points each racer wins and loses. In most cases, about half of the racers will gain ProSkill points and the rest will lose points.
Example: The First Two Races of The New Race Year
As previously mentioned, all racers begin the year (our ‘arrive and drive’ racing ‘season’) with 1,200 ProSkill points, and each racer received 5 points just for racing in a heat. If there were five racers in the first heat when we opened on January 1, they would have 1,205 point as soon as the race begins. However, after the race is over two of the racers would lose enough points to end up below 1,200 points and two racers would gain points and be above 1,200 points:
- 1st Place: Racer A gains 5 + 40 points for a new ProSkill of 1,245
- 2nd Place: Racer B gains 5 + 20 points for a new ProSkill of 1,225
- 3rd Place: Racer C just gets the 5 points for racing in the heat for a total of 1,205 points
- 4th Place: Racer D gains 5 points but loses 20 points for a new ProSkill of 1,185
- 5th Place: Racer E gains 5 points but loses 40 points and ends up with just 1,165 points
For this race the ProSkill math was very easy because each racer started the heat with an equal ProSkill. However, if these same racers also raced each other in the second heat of the year the calculations gets much more complex.
If the results of the second race were as follows:
- 1st Place: Racer B gains 5 + 33 points for a new ProSkill of 1,268
- 2nd Place: Racer C gains 5 +19 points for a new ProSkill of 1,229
- 3rd Place: Racer A gains 5 points but loses 2 point to end up with 1,248 points
- 4th Place: Racer D gains 5 points but loses 18 points for a new ProSkill of 1,172
- 5th Place: Racer E gains 5 points but loses 37 points and ends up with just 1,133 points
Why Should You Care?
First of all, because like any sport, it really is not any fun for some of us unless someone is keeping score. Our competitive drive is strong and we want to get better every time we get out and race. Beginning at the end this year we will be adding even more incentive for you to care about ProSkill because we will begin award special prizes to the top ProSkill ranked racers at the end of each year (the end of our ‘arrive and drive season’). We will crown a ProSkill Champion at each location as well as a Champion of Champions for the top ProSkill in the country.