# How to get a Fargo rating? I'm sure it's been posted millions of times but I need it.

#### JC

##### Coos Cues
Gold Member
responding to a few of the things I read in this thread,

Starter Ratings - A few have commented you will get a "starter rating" when you sign up. One person mentioned 525. AF Pool Guy mentioned he has no games recorded and he sees 200 or something.

Here's the deal. Starter Ratings are not actually part of the system. The 200 is meaningless. It is like the stock photo that comes in a new wallet. As soon as games are recorded, the 200 will be replaced with an actual performance rating based just upon those games. For instance, suppose you play 10 games against an opponent rated 550. Here is what you would see depending on how many games you won. (games won out of 10 --what you see)
0. -90P
1 233P
2 350P
3 428P
4 492P
5 550P
6 608P
7 672P
8 750P
9 867P
10 940P

Winning 0 or 10 games out of 10 is the long-term performance expected of an inanimate object and a god, respectively, and goes along with ratings of minus infinity and plus infinity. -90 and +940 are as close as we display to those.

The "P" means the rating is preliminary and might be nonsense because it is based on too little information. At 200 games the P goes away and you have a Fargo Rating. The 492 you see when you win 4 of 10 against a 550 can be generalized to say that when you win 40% of the games against any opponent, you are performing 58 points below that opponent.

It is possible for somebody who might in the long haul win 4 games here to actually win 8 for this particular 10 games. If that is the case, they would see a preliminary rating of 750 even though they are not nearly that strong a player.

Many areas or leagues or organizations already have some qualitative knowledge--maybe APA ratings or A/B/C ratings or something that can be useful for these cases of unrated players or emerging players. So let's say the player we are talking about is a local "B," and B is in the ballpark of 470. There is a mechanism to input that B guess as 470, and then the "remaining games to 200 games" will be assumed to have been played at 470 speed. So this player will have 10 real games at 750 and 190 fake games at 470 and so would see "484P," a weighted average.

That 470 is a starter rating. Most players never have one. It is not part of the system and doesn't affect anyone else. Once the player has 200 games, the starter rating and the "P" are tossed away.

If you see that someone has a starter rating, you should assume it is nonsense unless you know where it came from.

Name corrections and other issues - You may email support@fargorate.com
In our league we use a starter rating provided by the team captain of the team the new player is playing with.

In the big picture of what your speed actually is you are correct it means zip. For league play however when you are determining the outcome of matches with handicaps it means a great deal in the time new players are gaining robustness. Which is why we need to keep that "starter rating" going.

We have been using fargorate in our league for over 3 years now so we have a pretty good handle on who's who compared to a fargo number. Most of our players are well established.

The captain provides a starter rating seeing the player play in his estimation compared to other established and known players. Sometimes by league play night no one other than that team has ever seen the new player hold a cue. This has worked pretty well for league play to keep matches fair with new players involved. And the captains do a remarkable job as the rating of their estimates usually hangs within 20 points as the player gets established with fargo.

It's sort of the honor system but these captains know if they grossly mis represent a players speed league management will notice.

#### mikepage

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In our league we use a starter rating provided by the team captain of the team the new player is playing with.

In the big picture of what your speed actually is you are correct it means zip. For league play however when you are determining the outcome of matches with handicaps it means a great deal in the time new players are gaining robustness. Which is why we need to keep that "starter rating" going.

We have been using fargorate in our league for over 3 years now so we have a pretty good handle on who's who compared to a fargo number. Most of our players are well established.

The captain provides a starter rating seeing the player play in his estimation compared to other established and known players. Sometimes by league play night no one other than that team has ever seen the new player hold a cue. This has worked pretty well for league play to keep matches fair with new players involved. And the captains do a remarkable job as the rating of their estimates usually hangs within 20 points as the player gets established with fargo.

It's sort of the honor system but these captains know if they grossly mis represent a players speed league management will notice.
Excellent. That's exactly the intent.

#### Chili Palmer

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When they cap it at 7's or 8's and below, it pretty much shows that the handicapping doesn't work. If it worked, everyone with a rating should be able to play. I will never understand why so many tournaments are capped AND handicapped out here.

Here in Idaho you will find both non-capped and capped tournaments. The thinking behind it is that lower skilled level players do not feel they have a chance against higher skilled level players and eventually they just stop showing up to tournaments and you end up with the cream of the crop every week and the money just exchanges hands between them and never goes to the lower level players. By capping some tournaments it allows those lower skilled players an opportunity to actually win something.

I think the main issue is time. In order to have a tournament held in a timely manner you have to keep the races low but for a lower skilled level player to have an opportunity against a monster the race would have to be long, or at least have the potential to be long.

A quick search tells me a 650 FR against a 400 FR would have to be a race 10-2 (650 FR-400 FR respectively) for it to be "fair", that puts the win percentages at 49.1 and 50.9 (650 FR-400 FR respectively). But now you have to cap the entire thing to a race to 10. I know the big tournaments do that but most local tournaments are usually races to 5 or 7, adding those extra 3 games could extend the races an additional 30 minutes (not actual playing time but time allotted for matches). So at that point you have to either limit the entries or limit the races. So now you have 650's racing to 7 and 400's racing to 2 which puts the win percentages at 65.6% and 34.4% respectively. And what 400 level player wants to pay \$10, \$20, \$30 for a 34.4% chance of winning, and let's be honest, in that situation they probably won't be playing above their FR rating, or even AT their FR rating and more than likely their out in 2 rounds. And I've never seen a tournament with those types of races, usually games are given at a rate of 1 game per 50 FR difference but a minimum limit of 4 or 5 wins, so now, that 650 races to 7 and the 400 races to 4 or 5. A 7-4 race would give the 400 player a 5% chance of winning and who's going to do that?

The alternative is, have a 10-2 race for that match but now, what happens when that 650 plays another 650, it's a 10-10 race (yes, some tourney's will drop a game or two when that happens but not always) and that simply takes too long.

To keep the lower level players interested, which helps feed the sport, they have to be given the opportunity to win and improve.

I think the main thing regarding that stuff, and the discussions that follow, here at AZB is the varying skills of the people here. When I first joined I was under the assumption that everyone here was a monster on the table but that's not the case. Look around and read posts and you'll find a vast majority of them are not monsters or world beaters but your average player who just likes to have fun and is trying to improve. So now you've got guys here that walk into tournaments knowing they're going to win and people that are tired of paying money to play a couple of rounds of pool only to see the money go to the top guys all the time so the differences in opinions vary greatly.

I am at a point in my pool life where I simply want to play the game and enjoy it but I also like to push myself once in a while so I have ZERO issue with high dollar tournaments where I don't have a chance of winning but what I won't do is play in short race tournaments where luck can prevail. I don't mind losing to luck when playing for fun but I'm not going to pay for a tournament where everyone races to 3 or 4 where luck can lose me the match, simply won't do it, I would rather invite that person to my house and play all day for free

#### David in FL

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In our league we use a starter rating provided by the team captain of the team the new player is playing with.

In the big picture of what your speed actually is you are correct it means zip. For league play however when you are determining the outcome of matches with handicaps it means a great deal in the time new players are gaining robustness. Which is why we need to keep that "starter rating" going.

We have been using fargorate in our league for over 3 years now so we have a pretty good handle on who's who compared to a fargo number. Most of our players are well established.

The captain provides a starter rating seeing the player play in his estimation compared to other established and known players. Sometimes by league play night no one other than that team has ever seen the new player hold a cue. This has worked pretty well for league play to keep matches fair with new players involved. And the captains do a remarkable job as the rating of their estimates usually hangs within 20 points as the player gets established with fargo.

It's sort of the honor system but these captains know if they grossly mis represent a players speed league management will notice.
We do pretty much the same.

And, yeah, even though there’s an opportunity to misrepresent a player‘s speed, everyone does a pretty good job of keeping it remarkably honest/close.

#### Chili Palmer

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well my speculation was 7’s and under were the Bar players who drank more beer & booze.

Places like Ox Bar & Northern Lounge want those recreational players.

They paid the rent & expenses. The 9’s to 10 + 2 were not the alcohol drinkers.

Alcohol was the business Bars are in.

Northern Lounge if I recall had Tuesday Night 9 Ball Tournament, normally 15 - 25 players. Seven and under.

They would add \$5.00 a player to prize fund. Alcohol sales were they reason they could.

Here in Boise there are very few people that only go play pool to get drunk that also play in league and/or tournaments. Those people (league/tourney) are going to play pool and just happen to drink when doing it.

Just my observations

#### easy-e

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well my speculation was 7’s and under were the Bar players who drank more beer & booze.

Places like Ox Bar & Northern Lounge want those recreational players.

They paid the rent & expenses. The 9’s to 10 + 2 were not the alcohol drinkers.

Alcohol was the business Bars are in.

Northern Lounge if I recall had Tuesday Night 9 Ball Tournament, normally 15 - 25 players. Seven and under.

They would add \$5.00 a player to prize fund. Alcohol sales were they reason they could.
Why not let them ALL play?

#### CocoboloCowboy

##### Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Why not let them ALL play?

Because they do not, ALL IS OPEN TOURNMENTS.

Open is Open to anyone. You should go ask the places that apparently do not let you play, for special treatment.

Maybe your too strong & serious a player. Plus as I said recreational, fun people spend & drink more. That is their target audience.

#### easy-e

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Because they do not, ALL IS OPEN TOURNMENTS.

Open is Open to anyone. You should go ask the places that apparently do not let you play, for special treatment.

Maybe your too strong & serious a player. Plus as I said recreational, fun people spend & drink more. That is their target audience.
To me, Open means anyone can play, no handicaps. Open handicapped means anyone can play, but there will be either game weight or ball weight. Handicapped AND capped is what I don't understand. I'd play in most tournaments that were open and handicapped.

#### gerryf

##### Well-known member
To me, Open means anyone can play, no handicaps. Open handicapped means anyone can play, but there will be either game weight or ball weight. Handicapped AND capped is what I don't understand. I'd play in most tournaments that were open and handicapped.
I kind of liked the way a large tournament in my area was handled. It was open and not-handicapped. There were the top prizes, but there were also prizes for the top 3 in FR 400 and below, the top 3 in FR 400-500, etc., etc., and the top 3 women, and the top 3 under 21 etc.,

The only thing i didn't like was that for simplicity sake, it still went with 'matches won' as the metric. It would be more work, but maybe 'balls sunk' or some combination of the two would be better - something to differentiate the weaker players who were trounced by superior ones. I saw a few women go hill-hill against male players, and their pretty good performance was buried. I saw players lose game after game, but most of those games came down to the 8-ball, so again, their performance was buried.

#### CocoboloCowboy

##### Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
To me, Open means anyone can play, no handicaps. Open handicapped means anyone can play, but there will be either game weight or ball weight. Handicapped AND capped is what I don't understand. I'd play in most tournaments that were open and handicapped.

Well I gave you my idea & input based upon what owners have told me.

It’s there business who they want in their Tournments, and who is too good to play.

Dint like it, open your own business, and show em how to make money catering to top players.

Or relocate to Pool Utopia, and be happy.

#### easy-e

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well I gave you my idea & input based upon what owners have told me.

It’s there business who they want in their Tournments, and who is too good to play.

Dint like it, open your own business, and show em how to make money catering to top players.

Or relocate to Pool Utopia, and be happy.
My question is why not let everyone play? If everyone plays, you still get the drunks. I reserve the right to b!tch about things without having to open my own bar. The pool community here is run by a very specific Fargo range and they know it.

#### easy-e

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well I gave you my idea & input based upon what owners have told me.

It’s there business who they want in their Tournments, and who is too good to play.

Dint like it, open your own business, and show em how to make money catering to top players.

Or relocate to Pool Utopia, and be happy.
Where is my pool utopia? Just wondering… I’m not opposed to moving.

#### CocoboloCowboy

##### Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Where is my pool utopia? Just wondering… I’m not opposed to moving.

Where ever you decide, it not my decision.

Apprently your not happy where you are, no Pool Tournments to play.

#### easy-e

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Where ever you decide, it not my decision.

Apprently your not happy where you are, no Pool Tournments to play.
I’ll just continue to make fun of the situation. Fine by me. I’m too old to care.

#### CocoboloCowboy

##### Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
I’ll just continue to make fun of the situation. Fine by me. I’m too old to care.

Well when Mike Howerton published his Pool Newspaper, there use to be many open Tournments.

Plus 5 to 7 years ago many more places hosted Tournments.

Those places folded, Alexander’s, Clicks, Golden 8 Ball, Ox Bar, Northern Lounge, and list is long. Way before Covid, just place folded because dollar & cents.

#### bbb

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well when Mike Howerton published his Pool Newspaper, there use to be many open Tournments.

Plus 5 to 7 years ago many more places hosted Tournments.

=
what does any of that have to do with the ops question??

#### CocoboloCowboy

##### Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
what does any of that have to do with the ops question??

have you ever heard saying missed boat. Well the guy should have been in AZ years ago.

If Pool was that important, I would have checked out AZ better before moving here.

#### 9BallKY

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I used to want a Fargo rating but nowhere me used Fargo. I have played all over the state, traveled 4 hrs to Indianapolis to the north and Nashville to the south and in over two years I got 76 games in the system. Both tournaments that I played in that actually reported, I played terrible but it is what it is.

To the OP who seems to be in the same situation I realized what good is a Fargo rating if nowhere you uses one?

#### hang-the-9

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I kind of liked the way a large tournament in my area was handled. It was open and not-handicapped. There were the top prizes, but there were also prizes for the top 3 in FR 400 and below, the top 3 in FR 400-500, etc., etc., and the top 3 women, and the top 3 under 21 etc.,

The only thing i didn't like was that for simplicity sake, it still went with 'matches won' as the metric. It would be more work, but maybe 'balls sunk' or some combination of the two would be better - something to differentiate the weaker players who were trounced by superior ones. I saw a few women go hill-hill against male players, and their pretty good performance was buried. I saw players lose game after game, but most of those games came down to the 8-ball, so again, their performance was buried.

Women vs men should not be anything special, it's skill vs skill. Fargo ratings are the same for all. I can't stand events that automatically place women in s a special group for pool tournaments, skill is skill and you match up skill to equal skill. If you do an event and say "women get 2 games on the wire" it's just assuming women are worse than men at pool which is not true, I know many women who are better than many of the men I know or equal. It's not really a thing.

#### gerryf

##### Well-known member
Women vs men should not be anything special, it's skill vs skill. Fargo ratings are the same for all. I can't stand events that automatically place women in s a special group for pool tournaments, skill is skill and you match up skill to equal skill. If you do an event and say "women get 2 games on the wire" it's just assuming women are worse than men at pool which is not true, I know many women who are better than many of the men I know or equal. It's not really a thing.
I haven't seen any tournaments where women as a group get a handicap. They get a handicap based on their skill. And more and more, that's based on Fargo ratings, but there's still a way to go.

There have been some open tournaments here where 6 women entered and competed against the men. The next day they have a women's tournament and 24 women enter. If it encourages people to play and they have a good time, it can't be all that bad.