Modifications Made to USA Ultimate Algorithm for 2014 Season

Posted: January 17, 2014 04:16 PM

Boulder, Colo. (January 17, 2014) – USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States, and the organization’s Algorithm Working Group announced today improvements to the algorithm used to calculate rankings in the college and club divisions. The new model, USA Ultimate Top 25 (version 2.0) was devised by the volunteer Algorithm Working Group with guidance from members of the USA Ultimate competition department.

The major change to the algorithm comes in the total rating points awarded based on margins of victory. The new model adjusts the existing scale to more accurately reflect the value of wins and reward teams appropriately for their margins of victory.

Modifications were made to the formula that determines rating differential, which in turn determines the number of rating points associated with each win or loss. The revised function was devised to address inconsistencies in the way the old model awarded points based on similar margins of victory.

  • Version 2.0 allows each additional goal to be worth more when games are close.

  • Every game decided by one point is awarded the same differential, no matter the game total.

  • The maximum differential awarded is 600.

  • The maximum differential is awarded if and only if the winning score is more than twice the losing score.

  • Adjustments were made to how earlier results are weighted relative to more recent results.

For more information regarding the changes to the algorithm and to view the algorithm and corresponding explanation in its entirety, please visit

The ranking algorithm is used in the college and club division regular seasons to help determine strength wildcard bid allocation for the Championship Series. The first set of college rankings for the 2014 regular season will be released by the first week of March.

In the ongoing effort to enhance the level of competition and achieve organizational goals, USA Ultimate continues to look to improve the ranking algorithm through consultation with volunteers on the Algorithm Working Group. Any additional changes or alterations to the algorithm will be communicated as they are made.

Have any questions or comments? We welcome community feedback and discussion made in a respectful manner. Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks, as such public comments negatively reflect on our sport and community.