Frequently Asked Questions

Does racing more help improve your world ranking? Not necessarily - it depends on how much you race. This ranking system strives to produce as fair and accurate a ranking as possible, as measured by its accuracy when used to predict future outcomes. It is not designed to reward athletes for simply competing in races. The number one way to move up in the rankings is by beating athletes who are ranked higher than you, especially at important competitions, and especially if done repeatedly. Therefore, when an athlete is first starting out, it will take a few races for them to accumulate enough wins to ascend meaningfully through the rankings. At that stage in someone's career, most would agree that they need to "prove themselves" by demonstrating they can perform well consistently in order to reliably say they are a high-ranked athlete. The ranking system models the way we think about this intuitively. Also, it stands to reason that at this "up-and-comer" level, better-performing athletes would be incentivized to race more than worse-performing athletes because they're more likely to see a future for themselves in the sport, qualify for funding to travel to races, or earn prize money. In other words, better performances (and by extension, better rankings) likely cause more racing, not the other way around. On the other hand, for athletes who compete in major races more than about 2.5 times per year on average, there is no correlation between overall race volume/frequency and world ranking despite the potential confounding factors previously mentioned about incentive to race. In summary, racing more often will make your ranking more accurate - not necessarily higher.