The means of determining player rankings is the most unique concept of this tournament. Traditional knock out tournaments take an approach of pairing off opponents to battle through each round with the winner(s) progressing through until just one player/team is left undefeated.
This approach is simple to implement and easy to understand. The problem is that due to daily fluctuations in player performance, often the best player is not the one left standing. More significant is the often dismissed but very real issue about who was second best. Generally this is taken to be the player beaten in the finals. But what of the others players who lost to the eventual winner in earlier rounds – possibly in close matches?
With ranking systems in ongoing leagues (such as the professional tour) the approach has been based on a fairly convoluted approach of allocating a pre-determined number of points each tournament based on what round a player makes it to, adjusted for different standards of tournament.
This approach (and others like it in various sports) have been arrived at after a great deal of contemplation and chosen as the best practical way of estimating players' abilities. However, it still remains an abstract approach with an artificial relationship between match results and true ability.
The ULTRAclub rating system takes a very different – but more scientific – approach to calculating a player's ability. While it does involve some pretty convoluted maths behind the scenes, the principles themselves are fairly straightforward.
- Every player has an associated Skill Rating calculated based on their game results. This rating measures their skill level relative to the other competitors.
- Players also accumulate Participation Points each time they play in an event.
- Finally their Tournament Points (TP) are calculated from the product of these two measurements.
- At the conclusion of each event, the prize purse for that event is divided between the players who were present, according to their accumulated points at that time.
This system has been designed so people are rewarded for participation as well as ability. Where a mediocre player could never expect to make it far in a traditional knockout event, here they are able to boost their end rating by regular event attendance. Conversely, with ULTRAclub a top player may be able to beat everyone they encounter but are still unable to top the table if they don't attend consistently.