US Squash announced the upcoming release of a new player rating algorithm to take effect the first week of January 2014. The current US Squash rating algorithm was based off the ELO chess rankings algorithm.
The new algorithm, developed by the data analytics firm Elder Research, solves for several persistent challenges including separated “pockets” of play around the country, the need to differentiate between how competitively a match was played, the weighting of match results, and adjusting players who start and remain outside of their appropriate rating groupings.
While the ELO algorithm works off a starting rating and calculates each player’s match history once, the new system is iterative, calculating the results for players many times relative to one another in order to bring all players to the appropriate rating level. The new algorithm has the ability to weight play, both by placing more importance on the most recently played matches and by weighting the importance of certain types of matches more significantly over others. Matches are considered differently based on whether the result is 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2. In addition, the new system uses players with many match results (and therefore generally more accurate ratings) to refine the ratings of opponents who have fewer results in the US Squash system.
US Squash will begin this rollout as of January 2014, and will follow the general timeline:
As of January 8, 2014:
• For Adults: New algorithm will calculate alongside the ELO algorithm. ELO will still determine player rankings.
• Junior Tournament Players: New algorithm calculates alongside the ELO algorithm. Since junior rankings are determined by points, this will not impact rankings.
• High School League Players: New algorithm is used as sole calculation to determine High School rankings.
As of February 26, 2014:
• Adults: The new rating calculation will be used to determine adult rankings. ELO rating will still display concurrently.
As of June 25, 2014
• For all players, the ELO algorithm will no longer be calculated or displayed on US Squash player profiles, except for in historical records.