Universal Squash Rating (USR)
The Universal Squash Rating (USR) connects all players through a global network of match results. The USR allows all players—regardless of age, gender, or location—to track their improvement over time, find other players of similar skill level, and be connected across the squash community.
A player’s USR is a long-term measure of their level of play, which adjusts daily based on any match result entered into Club Locker. The USR ranges roughly from 1.5 for a beginner to 7.0 for a top-level professional player. Players gain a USR be recording at least one win and one loss on their Club Locker profile, whether that is through a tournament, league, ladder, or friendly match.
When a match is entered, each player’s rating is adjusted based on that result compared to the expected outcome of the match, while the algorithm also accounts for the players’ broader results against others with whom they are connected through past matches. The USR uses the results of all matches recorded in Club Locker, weighting recent matches more than those played in the past. The more matches a player records, the more accurate their USR becomes.
About the USR Algorithm
The USR algorithm is applied to each match independently. To calculate appropriate adjustments, the algorithm considers the rating differential between each player, the actual match result, and the “reliability” of each player’s USR. “Reliability” is determined by the amount of recent match results a player has in the system; a player with more recent results is assumed to have a more accurate rating and therefore that player’s rating will be less reactive to a single new result. A player with few or older match results will frequently see a new result have a greater effect on their rating. Therefore, regular play will add stability to a player’s rating and an occasional adverse result will not have as significant an impact.
The rating differential between opponents prior to a match creates an “expected” outcome—what the algorithm determines the probable result to be based on that rating differential. When a player meets that expected outcome (e.g., a player rated .4 lower than their opponent losing 3-0), their rating will mostly remain stable, especially if that player’s rating is considered “reliable” as described above. Exceeding or falling short of the expected outcome generally will have a positive or negative impact, respectively, on a player’s rating.
Achieving positive results relative to expectation is the easiest way for players to improve their rating. Winning an extra game in a tough match against a higher-rated player can help, as will not having tight results with lower-rated players. Winning a match may not always result in rating improvement, nor will losing always yield the opposite effect. As a player continues to achieve positive results, their rating will adjust over time to reflect this improvement in play accordingly.
The USR rating algorithm was developed for Club Locker and US Squash between 2012-2014 by Elder Research, a data mining and predictive analytics firm based in Charlottesville, VA known for their expertise in data science and advanced analytics. The rating algorithm, already a worldwide leader, continues to increase in accuracy as changes are implemented based on research and improvements in predictive accuracy.
Ratings Frequently Asked Questions
Players can find answers to many questions about the rating algorithm through FAQ’s in our online knowledge base.
Answers are available to questions including but not limited to:
- Which matches affect my rating?
- What level of player should I play?
- What happens if I have taken a break or am coming back from injury?
- How do I increase my rating?
- Do I need to play in tournaments for matches to count towards rating?
- How often are updates made to my rating?
- Are ratings the same across the country or ages?
- Can my rating change if I don’t play?