The undefeated Foothill girls lacrosse team has established itself as a clear No. 1, according to the 2019 MaxLax OC Girls Power Rankings, but there are a number of teams bunched up between Nos. 2-6 and even more bunched up between 11 and 20.

Foothill is undefeated at 6-0, with victories over three OC Top 10 teams, as well as La Costa Canyon from San Diego and Agoura from LA. This week will be key for the Knights, who face road games at Corona del Mar, Santa Margarita and Newport Harbor.

Santa Margarita is among five teams bunched up behind the Knights in the power rankings, and Newport Harbor is only a few spots behind that group.

further down the list, teams ranked No. 11 through No. 20 are separated by only about 2.5 rating points.

The complete MaxLax OC Girls Lacrosse Power Rankings are available here, with a MaxLax subscription.

For an explanation of the MaxLax algorithm, read on:

Developed by Michael Traub (Aliso Niguel ’13, MIT ’17), the algorithm processes the final scores of completed games to calculate a rating based on each team’s goal differential in competitive games.

The objective is to determine what each game outcome teaches us about a given team, then reflect that in a numerical rating. An expected blowout that actually ends as a blowout is non-competitive and teaches us nothing. An expected blowout that winds up being close, or competitive, teaches us something.

For these reasons, the algorithm relies heavily on the concept of competitive games, defined as those in which the score was close or was expected to be close based on each team’s relative power rating. These games reveal a team’s true quality and have much more influence over the ratings than non-competitive games.

To hedge against teams receiving credit for running up the score in non-competitive games, the algorithm also evaluates how much a particular game should influence the ratings by calculating a “competitive factor” (CF).  Games with a high CF influence the power ratings more than a game with a low CF.

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Editor’s Note: MaxLax is a community- and subscription-supported website whose mission is to spotlight lacrosse, its teams and its players in Southern California. This post is available to the public, with no subscription required. If you follow lacrosse in SoCal and enjoy our coverage, please consider supporting MaxLax with a subscription.


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