1. My name doesn’t appear on my club’s listing. Why is that?

  • At the start of season 2005/06, only the players having participated in the Northumberland Leagues or the Northumberland County tournaments since September 2002 were listed and graded.
  • Since then, the list of players gets updated only through results submitted through Northumberland Graded Tournaments, Northumberland League Matches and Northumberland Singles League Matches.
  • At the end of every season, we compile the list of inactive players and perform a “clean up” of all players that have been inactive for 2 consecutive seasons. If you are one of those players and are now returning to being active, then we can still retrieve the last grade that you had prior to the clean-up. Just ask!
  • So, if you enter any of the events mentioned above from this point on, then your name will appear at the next monthly update, providing your results made it to our database on time.

2. My club doesn’t appear on the club listing. Why is that?

  • Only affiliated clubs and their players are entered in the grading system. If you want to get your club affiliated, then contact Badminton England or go to their website on http://www.badmintonengland.co.uk

3. I was UG at the start of this season but now, I am graded. Why is that?

  • Any UG player will be given a grade upon their first match in a graded tournament, or in a league game. To view the grade allocation process that is used in the great majority of cases, please visit the diagram.

4. I don’t think my grade is fair. Why is that?

  • The grade allocated to players is predominantly driven by the results of matches that have taken place. Where this is not possible because of lack of results, then an assessment will be made through conversations with the player’s club secretary or other source of information. The diagram will explain the process used.
  • If you don’t play many matches, or if your opponents are not of high grades, then it will be reflected in your average and thus in your grade at the start of this season.
  • Your grade is in your hands: the higher the grade of the players you play against, the more points you may score for every win. The best thing to do to guarantee the standard of your opposition is to take part in the Northumberland Graded Tournaments that take place in the course of the season.


  • If you would like to challenge the grade given to you or another player, you may send an e-mail to gradingsystem@northumberlandbadminton.org, stating what change you would like implemented, as well as the reason for this change. Bear in mind however that grade changes will only be implemented in the course of a season for highly justifiable reasons and will be made at the discretion of the Grading and Ranking committee. Players will be informed of any change to their grade along with the reasons for the change. The reason may only be driven by existing match results. The Grading and Ranking committee’s decision will be final.

5. The players I play against and beat in the league games don’t bring me a lot of points. How can I score more points for a win otherwise?

  • It may happen that in the league divisions, a highly graded player only meets players of a lower grade. This would result in such player never having the opportunity to score high points for a win thus delaying his/her progress through the grading system.
  • For this reason, we have set-up tournaments for each grade to give you the opportunity to compete against players of any grade, thus potentially higher value. This is really where the opportunity lies for your grade to really improve.
  • The list of Northumberland Graded Tournaments will be displayed on the Northumberland Badminton Association’s website along with online entry forms.

6. My current average should allow me to have a better grade than the one I have but it is not the case. Why is that?

  • Promotions and demotions are run only once a year, at the end of the season. This means that during the season you may reach an average that qualifies you for a promotion, but your grade won’t change until the next time promotions/demotions are run. Just make sure you maintain your results until the end of the season.

7. What is the difference between my grade and my rank?

  • Your Grade is your assessed standard based on your historical performance and is event specific. This means that you will have a grade in Singles, Level Doubles and Mixed Doubles. The grades range from UG for Ungraded to E2, E1, D2, D1, C2, C1, B2, B1 and A2. The current highest grade you can reach is hence A2.
  • Your grade will only be updated once a year and is there to let you know which tournaments you may enter.
  • There are plenty of other ways you can use your grade. For example:
    • If you play against a lower graded player, you should expect to win the game.
    • If you play against a higher graded player, you may not expect to win, but if you do, you will score a lot more points.
    • But remember, although it may be a good point of reference, it is still down to whoever is the best during a given match.
  • Your Rank is event specific: Singles, Level Doubles or Mixed Doubles; and is your position in the county at a particular moment in time.
  • Your rank will be updated at least once a month and is there to let you know, as time goes by, whether your ranking is improving or not, compared to the other players.
  • The rankings are determined by sorting all the averages of the players in the Northumberland Grading and Ranking System (See “Grading System Explained” guide), in a specific event, from the highest to the lowest.
  • The player in the county with the highest average at that particular moment in time will be ranked 1st for that event, the player with the second highest average will be ranked 2nd, and so on.
  • Note that the rankings do not consider what grade a player is. Therefore you may be graded E1 and after a fantastic series of wins, be ranked higher than a C2 player.
  • For this reason also, a rank is also provided within a specific class (A, B, C, D or E) by once again sorting all the averages of all players from the same class from the highest to the lowest. The player with the highest average at that particular moment in time will be ranked 1st within the class of that event, the player with the second highest average will be ranked 2nd, and so on.

8. The last ranking update didn’t take into account matches I have played recently. Why is that?

  • As all match results are manually processed before being entered in the Northumberland Grading and Ranking database, there is a time lag which may cause some results to only be entered for the following month. Just be patient and look out for the next update. It should only be a month away at the most.
  • The main reasons for which match results still don’t appear is usually because the results have not been submitted. So have a word with the your match secretary to confirm first of all that they have been sent.
  • If however your match results still do not appear at the following update, then please send an e-mail to gradingsystem@northumberlandbadminton.org as soon as possible stating which results are missing and when the matches were actually played.

9. There is a C and D graded tournament coming up. I am E graded. Can I enter them?

  • Yes! Although tournaments are officially for specific grades, this is only to ensure that stronger players do not enter it.
  • In fact as an E graded player, you may enter E graded tournaments, as well as D, C, B and A. So, if you feel you’re up for tougher challenges, or if you think your grade doesn’t reflect your standard, this is how you tackle it.
  • If you don’t have a grade in a particular event, but have a grade in the other doubles event, then the tournament organiser will allocate a virtual grade of one grade down vs. your existing grade. For example, John is UG in Mixed and D1 in Mens. His virtual Mixed grade will be D2 and as such will not be allowed to enter E-graded events.
  • Also note that if your partner has a higher grade than yours in a particular event, it will be his/her grade that will determine whether indeed you can enter the graded tournament.

10. Is there a limit as to how many grades a player can go up by at each promotion/demotion?

  • No. If you haven’t played for a while, or if you’ve just moved in the area, then providing you score a lot of points against higher graded players, your grade could rocket up at the next promotion/demotion.

11. What about demotions, can my grade collapse all in one go if I don’t play for a season or lose a lot of matches?

  • The most you can go down by at each promotion/demotion exercise is one grade, for example from B2 to C1, or D1 to D2.
  • The system is designed such that players who play well quickly get taken to the standard they earned, but also such that players who didn’t have a good season or have been out injured have their grades taken down slowly.
  • In summary, you may be promoted 3 grades in one season, but it will take you at least 3 seasons to go down 3 grades.

12. The promotions/demotions have just been run, and my new grade is not what I expected. Why is that?

  • We’ve set a maximum grade gap of two grades, between the highest and lowest grade a player has (not including a UG grade). For example, if you are graded C1 in Mixed doubles and this is your highest grade of all three events, your Singles and Level doubles cannot be lower than D1.
  • This means that even if you were meant to be demoted in an event where you didn’t play much, your grade may still go up to catch up on your higher grade if the gap then is greater than 2 grades.
  • This and other rules are highlighted in the “Grading System Explained” guide.

13. I’m not clear how the averages are calculated, can you explain?

14. I’ve got a question that isn’t answered in any of the above. Where can I get help?

  • Simply send your question on an e-mail to gradingsystem@northumberlandbadminton.org and we’ll aim to reply to you as soon as possible.