Frequently Asked Questions - Ratings
Ratings updates occur on the second Tuesday of each month. The online event report submission deadline is the Sunday prior to the ratings publication date. However, reports submitted via email must be received the Thursday prior to the publication date.
|Report Submission Deadline||Ratings Publication Date|
|April 10, 2022||April 12, 2022|
|May 08, 2022||May 10, 2022|
|June 12, 2022||June 14, 2022|
|July 10, 2022||July 12, 2022|
|August 07, 2022||August 09, 2022|
|September 11, 2022||September 13, 2022|
|October 09, 2022||October 11, 2022|
Your PDGA Player Rating is a number that shows how well you have played in PDGA competitions in the past year in comparison to the Scratch Scoring Average (SSA) of the course layouts you played. Players who average the course layout SSA will have a rating of 1000. As of 2021, top pro players who average scores lower than SSA have ratings over 1000 ranging up to 1050. PDGA amateur men average around 860 and women around 725. Each additional throw in your score will reduce your rating from 7 to 13 rating points depending on the SSA of the course.
Players who enter a PDGA event in a division tracked by the PDGA will automatically get their results entered into the ratings system. A new member will receive a Preliminary Rating as soon as they play an event when the TD posts Unofficial Results.
All rated rounds you have played and have been reported to the PDGA within 12 months of your most recently rated round will be included in the calculation. However, if any one of those ratings is either more than 100 points below your average rating or more than 2.5 standard deviations below your rating – whichever number is smaller – that round will not be included. That works out to about 1 in 50 rounds getting dropped. Rounds where you DNF (Do Not Finish) are never counted in your rating. The most recent 25% of your rounds get double weighted which slightly boosts your rating if you have been steadily improving. If a player has fewer than 8 rounds in the last 12 months since their most recent round, then we’ll go back up to another 12 months until we find up to 8 rounds but never go back any farther than a total of 24 months.
Check how many rounds were included in your current player rating calculation on your “Ratings History” tab. You probably had older rounds drop off from your current player rating calculation.
If you have at least nine rounds, the last 25% of rounds are double-weighted. Did you include that in your calculation?
Your first rating can be calculated after just one valid round of tournament play. It will be posted on the PDGA website the next time the ratings are updated.
All amateurs with the exception of aged based divisions, like Juniors or Masters and older, compete in divisions based on rating levels. You may not play in a lower division if your rating is above a certain number. The ratings breaks for each division is shown on page 5 of the PDGA Tour Standards. In addition, there are ratings events where everyone – Ams and Pros – play in a division based on their rating.
If you have pre-registered, the TD may allow you to remain in that division as long as the event is within two weeks of the ratings posting date. If you did not pre-register before the new ratings were posted, then you are expected to play in the division (or higher) where your new rating now resides. This only applies to Amateur players registered for amateur ratings-based divisons, it does not apply to a Pro class player taking advantage of the Pros Playing in Amateur Divisions program.
Tournament Directors may upload tournament scores using the PDGA Tournament Manager web app. Preliminary unofficial ratings will be calculated for each round (click on the Show Ratings link). The results of the event at this stage are considered "Unofficial Results". When the PDGA receives the official tournament report from the tournament director, course layout assignments are verified, points are calculated, and scores are certified as official.
If you don’t see any scores or unofficial ratings during or just after the event, it’s because the Tournament Director has not uploaded the scores.
Your rating is only updated when an event director has submitted an official event report for an event you played in by the deadline before each update is posted. If you haven't played in any new events or in those that have been reported to the PDGA, your update date and rating will remain unchanged.
Either an event you played quite a while ago just got reported for this update or it’s possible an older event you entered needed to be corrected when a scoring or course layout assignment mistake was reported or discovered.
If you are looking at Unofficial Results or ratings, contact the TD about making corrections. The PDGA office cannot help you since they do not have the tournament report from the TD yet. If you are looking at Official Results and see a problem, send email to [email protected] and include a link to the event.
Propagators are players with a rating above 699 and based on at least 8 rated rounds. Their scores each round are used to determine the course rating (SSA) and subsequent unofficial ratings for each player that round. It takes at least two propagators playing a specific course layout for the online software to calculate unofficial ratings for a round. Propagators are shown on the tournament pages with their rating in bold type.
The unofficial ratings for each round are calculated from only the scores the propagators threw that round. Their scores will naturally vary from round to round even when it looks like the weather conditions are similar either on the same day or even the next week with a completely different set of propagators. The typical variance in a round rating for the same score under similar conditions can range up to 25 rating points (about 5%).
Yes, it can sometimes be true by a few percentage points. However, here's the catch. It's not because these top players have higher ratings. A couple factors are in play. There can be additional tournament pressure in higher tier events especially when local players are grouped with traveling pros.
Yes. The weather and tournament pressure are automatically taken into account resulting from the typically higher scores propagators shoot in tougher conditions. These higher scores thrown by propagators will produce higher ratings for the same score on the same course layout compared with rounds played in milder conditions and recreational play.
Sometimes. Once the tournament scores and report are submitted to the PDGA, a preliminary SSA is calculated for each round. Then, the software compares these preliminary SSAs. If these two SSAs are statistically far enough apart, each round will get separate official ratings because the software identified a statistical difference in playing conditions between rounds. However, in most events these preliminary SSAs are close enough that they will be combined to produce a single official SSA so everyone gets the same rating for the same score in both rounds.
Sometimes. The official ratings (not unofficial) can end up different for the same score thrown early versus later in the day when weather changes significantly. This special process to calculate ratings by time segments over the day is done when the TD or another official notifies the PDGA that certain rounds had significant weather differences, especially wind. The ratings team will either break up the scoring data for those rounds by time segments within a single large division (more than 80 players) or by grouping smaller division(s) who played near the same time of day.
This is true in some cases. The roughly 2%-7% difference (1-3 throws) seems to be due to a little more pressure on players when playing tournaments versus leagues. Presuming the weather conditions are similar, it appears to be the most likely factor to account for the difference. The good news is that this effect doesn't help or hurt the ratings of players overall. No matter how difficult or easy a course plays, the average player rating of the propagators before the round is about equal to the average of the ratings they receive in each round. Check it out and see.
If you do not complete a round due to sickness, injury or other emergency, you will receive a score of 999 indicating you Did Not Finish (DNF) that round. You will not get a rating for that round but will receive ratings for any other rounds you completed before and sometimes after that round (if TD allows). You or someone in your group must inform the TD that you did not complete the round and why. If you complete the round even though sick or injured, you will receive a rating for the round. So keep that in mind when deciding whether to complete the round.
This is considered a Did Not Finish (DNF) with a penalty. You will receive a score of 888 for the round which triggers a penalty lowering your overall rating up to 5 rating points for a 6 month period. If your current rating is within 5 points of dropping into a lower division, your rating will only be dropped enough to keep you in your current division.
When reported by the group to the TD, the offending player will receive an 888 DNF for trying to manipulate their rating. The 888 triggers a penalty lowering the player's overall rating up to 5 rating points for a 6 month period. If their current rating is within 5 points of dropping into a lower division, their rating will only be dropped enough to keep them in their current division.
All rated rounds you have played and have been reported to the PDGA within 12 months of your most recently rated round will be Included in your rating calculation. However, if any one of those ratings is either more than 100 points below your average rating or more than 2.5 standard deviations below your rating – whichever number is smaller – that round will not be included in your current rating update and indicated with a No.
At least 13 holes must be played by the field to produce an official round rating. For courses with less than 13 holes, scores from two rounds can be combined to produce an official round rating. Official ratings can be produced for rounds up to 36 holes long. The number of holes in each round is weighted to determine a player's PDGA rating.
Every throw equals about 10 rating points on a typical 18-hole course from the long tees. If your scores average 10 throws over SSA, your rating will be 100 points lower than 1000 which would be 900. So a player with rating of 950, who is about 5 throws better than a player with a 900 rating, should probably spot the 900 rated player about 4 to 5 throws if they are trying to level the playing field for the round.
In theory, yes, but it has a very low probability of happening. We know that a propagator will throw more than three shots better than their rating about 1 in 6 rounds. We calculate ratings based on at least 2 propagators. And normally, we have more than 20 in most events. But let's say we just have 5. The odds that all 5 propagators will shoot more than 3 shots better than their rating in a round is 1 in 7776 rounds (1/6 to the 5th power).
Dealing with ‘sandbagging’ – players entering a division below their skill level – used to be a challenge. Since 2002, PDGA Player Ratings have been used to group amateur players in competition divisions to prevent players from entering divisions below their rating. In addition, ratings provide one element for ranking the world's top players on the PDGA Tour. Course ratings pave the way for statistical comparisons of courses around the world with the potential to help improve their designs and levels of challenge.
How would you calculate a fixed rating for a course layout simply by taking measurements, looking at foliage, fairway widths and accounting for hazards? It’s also common for TDs to add temp holes, change tee or pin positions, or use new permanent or temporary courses such that no course rating would be on file to use for that layout. Then, imagine trying to calculate and keep track of those layout ratings on courses with dual tees and 2 or more pin placements per hole that can produce thousands of configurations.
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