Why does the ECF have categories?
In particular, categories help competition organisers with setting competition limits, and leagues concerning team order. Some ratings are unreliable and should be given less weight in rules.
Why change the system?
The existing categories are based around the old grading system and are not appropriate for monthly Elo rating. The existing categories were altered to extend the inactivity period after which you lost a rating to take account of the pandemic and need unwinding. Also online ratings have not been categorised yet and need to be brought into a single system.
When will the new set of categories start?
1st February 2022 with one category of ratings being reviewed for 1st September 2022. These dates fit in with the reporting cycle of some leagues and internal club events.
What is the new system?
The following categories will apply to each list separately
A player who has played 30 or more games in the previous 12 months
For OTB players who inherited a rating converted from the old grading system on 1st July 2020, but who had played less than 9 games in the 60 months prior to 1st July 2020 and has not played since; For Online a player with a rating inherited from the online system on 1st September 2021 and has not played since. When a player with an H rating subsequently plays, their rating will convert to a K-rating.
All ratings of other players with active ratings that will be updated by the Elo K- factor approach, described as the K- method.
This is a category for players with a limited number of rated results and will be updated by the P-method
Details on K and P rating methods can be found here – https://www.ecfrating.org.uk/v2/help/help_rating.php
How should these ratings be interpreted?
Category A ratings are reliable. In most circumstances, both K and H ratings should be treated as valid. P-category ratings are of limited value as the rating is based on a small sample, but provide some information and should be considered alongside other information available (e.g. expert opinion or other rating lists)
How long do ratings stay active?
For category H, the rule will be that all players who play a game in that list before 1st September 2022 will keep their rating using the K methodology otherwise the player will revert to a new player. Otherwise a player will become unrated after 36 months with no submitted result. On returning the rating will be restarted and calculated using the p-rating method.
How do you get information on unrated players?
A player’s rating history (with the category at that time), will still be available in their profile.
Is a category applicable to each list?
Each rating in each list will be categorised based on the results from that list, independent of results from other sources of results.