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The Ladder Explained


Like the knockout tournaments, the Ladder is a contest that is run each season among members of the club. For every match that is recorded, ladder points are awarded or removed according to a formula similar to that of the ratings system (details below). The player at the top of the ladder at the end of the season is the winner of the contest and is awarded a prize.

How to play

All matches recorded between players at the club count towards the ladder if they are not part of some other competition. You do of course have the option of agreeing beforehand that the next match will be "off the books".

Matches played outside of formal backgammon evenings are also eligible for rating/ladder contribution, if the players agree. Please report results via email or the contact form to report a result.

The calculation

The calculation is the same as the ratings calculation, but with the following differences:

  1. Ladder rating is reset to 1500 for all members at the start of the season.
  2. Ladder rating change is not diminished for players with more experience, i.e. all ladder rating changes are calculated as if both players have an experience of 0.
  3. Ladder rating calculations are based on the players' ladder rating, not their normal rating.
  4. Tournament and league matches do not count towards the ladder.


Because ladder ratings are reset at the beginning of the season, it counts for nothing if players have had a spectacularly good (or bad) year the previous season. Rating, however, is a perpetual scoring mechanism that is never reset, although by its nature, earlier fluctuations are damped out by later ones.

The non-dependence on experience means that matches played at the end of the season are just as important as ones played at the beginning, and one couldn't employ a strategy of racking up a few early wins and then retiring for the rest of the season.

The ladder progress graph will resemble the portion of your ratings graph in the current season, anchored at 1500, but the magnitude of changes will vary not just because of the non-dependence on experience, but also because calculations are made using you and your opponent's ladder scores, not your ratings.

Tournament results are noted, but do not affect ladder score or count of points played. The requisite number of points are shown in the ladder graph (with a flat line segment), as your experience did still increase.

Back to the ladder table.