JSM 2011 Online Program

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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 329
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Sports
Abstract - #300628
Title: Ratings Central: Accurate, Automated, Bayesian Table Tennis Ratings for Clubs, Leagues, Tournaments, and Organizations
Author(s): David J. Marcus*+
Companies: Ratings Central
Address: 25 Beacon St Apt 16, Somerville, MA, 02143-4336,
Keywords: sports ; ratings ; rankings ; Bayesian ; table tennis ; Ping-Pong

Ratings Central (www.ratingscentral.com) has been providing ratings for table tennis players in the U.S. and several other countries since 2004. Players range from five-year-olds to world champions. Currently, there are over 31,000 players and 660,000 matches. The system uses a Bayesian model with event directors providing priors for unrated players, specifying them either for a group (e.g., league division, tournament, age, gender) or individually. To make the model computationally tractable, the graph of matches in an event (nodes for players, edges for matches) is modified for each player while still retaining most of the information on how a player's opponents did in the event. The system occasionally has trouble dealing with special subpopulations or players whose playing strength jumps. Although players and event directors sometimes have misconceptions about the rating system, in general they are very satisfied.

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