Forum Archive : Ratings

What are rating points?

From:   Lou Poppler
Address:   lwp@garnet.msen.com
Date:   6 April 1995
Subject:   The souls of departed players
Forum:   rec.games.backgammon
Google:   im7gvMz2BknW083yn@garnet.msen.com

Rating points are an integral part of the FIBS experience.
They help separate us into wizards, duffers, and opinionated 16xx players.
They color our images of other players and ourselves.
We trade them back and forth, harvest them, squander them.
Some writers claim we are way too obsessed with our rating points.

But what are rating points, exactly?

At first glance, the rating function is a zero-sum deal: when two players
with more than 500 experience play a match, the winner gains exactly the
amount of points the loser gives up.  Newer players gain or giveup larger
numbers of starter points, which makes an inexact science of any averaging.
The calculated rating mean is somewhere around 1515.
There are something over 2100 current players.  Thus there are something
like 30,000 surplus rating points floating around our economy, give or
take your personal estimate of a correction addend for the starter-points
phenomenon.  But what are they, exactly?

Some of my own ratings points were snatched from much better players.
Some of them were harvested off of terrible players.  Some are a gift from
the dice-gods.  Some are hard-earned wages for tense matches vs my peers.
This is a daily give-and-take, and some days I only give back points to
all the above sources.  Some of the rating points, however, represent
all I have left of a departed player.  My rating, while modest, does
include a few fatboy points.  These points make me happy, because they
help me remember the chubby, taciturn one.  I think I might have a couple
points left that I got from sandyirwanti.  You'll have to roll really well
to get those sandy points away from me.  There are ghosts of many other
players in all of our numbers.  I'm sure I have a couple points left from
vax6 in the Philippines.  Think of the vast number of souls nurtured in
the rating of one of our tribal elders such as the Kits.

These players, although no longer responsive to 'whois', are still with us.
They live on in our ratings.  To those who complain that we worship ratings
obsessively, I say it is only respect for departed souls.

-- Spider
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Constructing a ratings system  (Matti Rinta-Nikkola, Dec 1998) 
Converting to points-per-game  (David Montgomery, Aug 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Cube error rates  (Joe Russell+, July 2009)  [Long message]
Different length matches  (Jim Williams+, Oct 1998) 
Different length matches  (Tom Keith, May 1998)  [Recommended reading]
ELO system  (seeker, Nov 1995) 
Effect of droppers on ratings  (Gary Wong+, Feb 1998) 
Emperical analysis  (Gary Wong, Oct 1998) 
Error rates  (David Levy, July 2009) 
Experience required for accurate rating  (Jon Brown+, Nov 2002) 
FIBS rating distribution  (Gary Wong, Nov 2000) 
FIBS rating formula  (Patti Beadles, Dec 2003) 
FIBS vs. GamesGrid ratings  (Raccoon+, Mar 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Fastest way to improve your rating  (Backgammon Man+, May 2004) 
Field size and ratings spread  (Daniel Murphy+, June 2000)  [Long message]
Improving the rating system  (Matti Rinta-Nikkola, Nov 2000)  [Long message]
KG rating list  (Daniel Murphy, Feb 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
KG rating list  (Tapio Palmroth, Oct 2002) 
MSN Zone ratings flaw  (Hank Youngerman, May 2004) 
No limit to ratings  (David desJardins+, Dec 1998) 
On different sites  (Bob Newell+, Apr 2004) 
Opponent's strength  (William Hill+, Apr 1998) 
Possible adjustments  (Christopher Yep+, Oct 1998) 
Rating versus error rate  (Douglas Zare, July 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ratings and rankings  (Chuck Bower, Dec 1997)  [Long message]
Ratings and rankings  (Jim Wallace, Nov 1997) 
Ratings on Gamesgrid  (Gregg Cattanach, Dec 2001) 
Ratings variation  (Kevin Bastian+, Feb 1999) 
Ratings variation  (FLMaster39+, Aug 1997) 
Ratings variation  (Ed Rybak+, Sept 1994) 
Strange behavior with large rating difference  (Ron Karr, May 1996) 
Table of ratings changes  (Patti Beadles, Aug 1994) 
Table of win rates  (William C. Bitting, Aug 1995) 
Unbounded rating theorem  (David desJardins+, Dec 1998) 
What are rating points?  (Lou Poppler, Apr 1995) 
Why high ratings for one-point matches?  (David Montgomery, Sept 1995) 

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

  Book Suggestions
Computer Dice
Cube Handling
Cube Handling in Races
Extreme Gammon
Fun and frustration
GNU Backgammon
Luck versus Skill
Magazines & E-zines
Match Archives
Match Equities
Match Play
Match Play at 2-away/2-away
Opening Rolls
Pip Counting
Play Sites
Probability and Statistics
Source Code
Strategy--Bearing Off
Strategy--Checker play


Return to:  Backgammon Galore : Forum Archive Main Page