I just did some quick math for the PPB in the Preliminary, Consolation, and Championship Rounds at LIFT, and I can see why you might like to use Preliminary Rounds for assessing the big picture. After I give the stats, this comment might make more sense. Assuming my math is accurate, in the Preliminary Rounds, 40 Teams earned 2449 Bonus opportunities, scoring 31,240 Bonus points, for an overall average of 12.76 PPB for the 40 Preliminary Teams.
In the afternoon, 10 Teams played in the Championship brackets, while 15 stayed to play consolation rounds, meaning 15 teams did not stay. The 10 teams in the Championship Brackets earned 389 Bonus opportunities, scoring 7875 points, or, 20.24 PPB. Meanwhile, the 15 teams that stayed to play consolation rounds in the afternoon scored 2720 points on 268 bonus opportunities for an average of 10.15 PPB for those 15 teams. Combined, the 25 Championship and Consolation teams scored a total of 10,595 points as a result of their 657 oppoortunies, for a combined average of 16.13 PPB in the PM games. But, of course, 15 teams that played in the Prelims chose not to stay and play in the afternoon consolation rounds, so, if you want to see how the field as a whole performs, given the fact that a significant % of teams did leave after the Prelims, perhaps Prelim stats are best, at least to determine Set difficuty for an entire field.
Conversely, if you wish to use Sets to help identify with a rough chance of accuracy the best teams across regions, doubtless the combined stats for each team are best. And, BTW, the 10 teams that did make the playoffs at LIFT improved their PPB by almost 4% during their play in the Championship Playoffs. In the morning Prelims, the 10 teams that would make the playoffs scored 16,780 points on 861 Bonus opportunities for a PPB of 19.49. And, as indicated above, in the Championship Playoffs these same teams scored 7875 points on their combined 389 opportunities, for an impressive average of 20.24 PPB.
Whether or not such a 4 % increase for 10 teams in Championship Play is statistically significant or not, I do not know, but it seems these stats, if accurate, do provide a reason for using Preliminary results to gauge ALL teams playing the set, while suggesting that their use to rank TOP teams indicates that Overall or Combined stats should be used. Or so it seems to me. If others with a better grasp of the math can add insight here, it would be appreciated.
SJHS Academic Team