Rules Explanation

1. Background

Any player taking part in the Northumberland Leagues, County Restricted, Upper Divisions or graded tournaments is automatically entered in the Northumberland Grading and Ranking System.

The grades are initially allocated based on the grade of the competition entered, the standard of the opposition, the results as well as the team’s standard in the case of a league match. All the results for a season are entered in the grading database, the results of which are published on the Grading and Ranking website.

Once a year, promotion and demotions are run and players are re-graded based on their performance, following the rules below. One grade is allocated per event: Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles.

2. Grades Structure and scoring:

The grade structure listed in the table shows all the grades along with their corresponding point values. At present in Northumberland, the highest grade allocated will be A2.
If you lose a match, you score 0 points.
If you win a match, the following scoring rules apply:
For singles:
You score the value of your opponent: 64 points against a player graded C2, etc.
For doubles:
The value of the opposing pair is the average of the grades of the two players:
• D1 & C1’s average is a C2, thereforeyou score 64 points for beating them.
• If the average isn’t exactly that of a grade as in the example above, the team is worth the average of the median grades.
• For example, an E1 and a C2’s average is between D2 and D1. The average is thus 16 + 32 = 48 / 2 = 24 points for a win against an E1/C2 pairing.

3. Calculating your average:

Each grade is calculated independently of one another: singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
• The total points scored for the past 52 weeks are added up.
• The total number of matches played is calculated, including your wins and all defeats excluding defeats against a player graded at least two divisions above your own, e.g. against a B if you are a D.

If the number of matches played in the last 52 weeks is:

• Less than 6 for Singles or less than 12 for Doubles, your points total is divided by 4 or 12  – minimum match criteria
For example, in Doubles, John and his partner won against 3 pairs of E1 and lost 2 matches thus playing 5 matches. John’s total points is thus 3×8+2×0 = 24points. As 5 is below the minimum of 12, his total points get divided by 12 and his average thus becomes 24 / 12 =
2.0 points.
If the number of matches played in the last 52 weeks is:
• At least 6 for Singles or at least 12 for Doubles, the program calculates the best average you can get by including ALL defeats, and then adding your highest scoring wins, one at a time, using a minimum of 6 or 12 matches. Every time, the program adds the highest win to your total, it recalculates your average. As soon as your average starts going down, and providing it used the minimum number of matches (6 or 12), the program stops its
calculations and displays the best average it worked out. This situation ensures that a player having played against a lot of players of lower standard still gets graded fairly.
For example, in Singles, Roger played 9 matches:
a) 3 defeats bringing him 0 points,
b) 2 wins on B1 bringing him 512pts each,
c) 2 win on B2 bringing him 256pts each,
d) 2 wins on C1 bringing him 128pts each.
Therefore, if we use his 3 defeats and his 4 highest scoring victories, his average is (3 x 0 + 2 x 512 + 2 x 256) / 7 = 219.4pt
If we include a victory on a C1 (128pts), his average will come down to 208pts. His best average thus requires 7 matches for 219.4pts.


4. Getting promoted:
There are no limits as to how many levels you can go up by during the
• To be promoted, a player’s average (see paragraph 3) must
be at least equal to ¼ of the value of the level above.
For example, Janet is graded D2.
• As a D1 has a value of 32 points, to be promoted to D1 Janet
must have an average of at least 32 / 4 = 8 points.
• If her average is 9pts, she will get promoted D1.
• If her average however is 17 points, she has an average high
enough to be promoted directly to C2 as the minimum required to
be promoted C2 is 64 / 4 = 16 points.
5. Getting demoted:
A player can be demoted only one grade at a time: B2 to C1, E1 to E2.
This ensures that a player’s grade is not lowered suddenly because,
for example, an injury stopped the player from playing all season.
If a player doesn’t have a high enough average to be promoted, a
demotion average is calculated.
This average is the total points scored divided by the total number of
matches played excluding any defeat against a higher graded player.
There are no minimum matches required for this average.
• To be demoted, a player’s demotion average must be less than
¼ of the current player’s value.
For example, Philip is graded C2, value 64 pts.
• He gets demoted if his demotion average is below (64 / 4) = 16 pts.
In Doubles, Philip and his partner won against 4 C2, lost against 5 B2 .
He played 9 matches < 12 matches criteria for doubles.
• His normal average would be (4×64 + 5×0) / 12 = 21.3pts < 32 pts
which is below the average required to be promoted to C1.
• However his demotion average is (4×64) / 4 = 64 > 32pts. He thus
doesn’t get demoted either. He’ll stay C2 for the next season.
Note: The demotion average is only used to assess whether a player will
be demoted. It is not used for promotions.
If a player has played 3 matches or less, he may not be demoted
down from one class to another, e.g.B1 to B2 or C1 to C2 is possible, but not B2 to C1 nor C2 to D1, etc.

An A2 player will be demoted if:
1) no matches have been played, OR
2) the demotion average is less than 256 AND their ranking
average is less than 256 (the average required to be promoted back to
These rules will apply in 90% of the cases. Exceptions to these
rules will be considered by the Grading Committee on a case by case
basis, usually for Singles events where the total number of players is
significantly lower than in any other event.
6. Notes on Promotions/Demotions:
A graded player cannot be demoted back to ungraded.
Promotions/Demotions will be run once a year, after the end of leagues
matches and graded tournaments.
7. Maximum Grade Gap:
There is maximum grade gap allowed of 2 grades, between a player’s
weakest and strongest grades, e.g. Sue graded D1/D2/C1 after the
promotions will have her Level doubles grade (D2) adjusted to D1.
8. Results submission:
The results submitted by the team captains or tournament organisers
must include full player’s details to ensure the results are updated in the
grading database.
9. How to deal with new players in Leagues/Tournaments:
If you are UG, please refer to the Grading & Rankings Frequently Asked
Questions section of the NBA Grading and Rankings website at the
address below:

Download this explanation as a pdf document.

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