Explaining level changes

    Denes Timar v Nick Cook (Tue 30 Aug 2022)

    Match won by Denes Timar. Result: 6-1.

    Starting level for Denes Timar: 3,162, level confidence: 67%.
    Starting level for Nick Cook: 1,521, level confidence: 86%. Set manually.
    Denes Timar to win as he is currently playing 108% better than Nick Cook.

    Denes Timar won 86% of the points.

    Due to the difference between the players' levels, allow for the likelihood that Denes Timar was taking it easy by anything up to 13%. This gives him an allowed level range for this match between 2,206 and 3,162 without affecting his level.

    In this case, Denes Timar played at level 3,080 and remained within his allowed range so his level will not be adjusted. Consequently, Nick Cook is considered to have not played better than expected and his level will also not be adjusted.

    Increase level confidence due to one more match played. Denes Timar: 82%, Nick Cook: 93%. Reduce level confidence based on how unexpected the result is. Denes Timar: 81%, Nick Cook: 91%.

    Final level for Denes Timar: 3,162, level confidence: 81%.
    Final level for Nick Cook: 1,521, level confidence: 91%.


    • This calculation is done in two main parts; first work out the adjustment needed to match the results and then apply damping. This means that levels should always be 'about right' but the time taken to get there or the volatility is dependent on the damping.
    • A level also has 'level confidence' which drops if players haven't played for a long time or have had enexpected results. As low confidence levels adjust more quickly than high confidence levels, it allows these players to find their level more quickly without impacting their opponent's level too much.
    • Point scores are used as well as game scores for accuracy - particularly important for 3-0 results - though we can work with game scores only too, albeit with more damping.
    • Mismatched players are allowed for - you don't have to hammer your opponent. See explanation above if this applies to this match.
    • The section on damping is where we still have some options. We have recently made a change to damp league matches more than tournament matches and box matches even more than that. This gives added weight to the more important matches.
    • There are occasional, very small adjustments made to all players to keep the averages constant which are not covered here.
    • You don't get a bonus just for winning - if you want to go up you have to play better than expected against your opponent.
    • We have spent more than 5 years fine tuning the level calculations based on tens of thousands of match results and a great deal of feedback from players, team captains and coaches. It's the most usable and accurate ranking system there is in any sport, let alone squash.
    • For a more complete explanation of how levels are calculated (on which this system is based) see the help file here.
    • If you have thoughts/opinions on the above or any feedback on the way levels are calculated or updated, please contact us. We welcome all feedback, although we are keen squash players ourselves and would pefer to be on-court than in front of a screen so please be patient and please do try to see if your question has already been answered on the help page. We are unable to answer questions about hard anyone played in their match - we only get to see the results - and if your level didn't increase as expected please make sure you've looked at the above explanation before contacting us. If you want to go up the levels, train harder, listen to your coach and win more points. Or just be incredibly talented!