Ratings System Updates

The APA has a new ratings system that will be implemented this year.  There are some big changes from the previous system to the new one. The new ratings are meant to reflect where a player should likely play in a US tournament. They are not meant to be compared to the ratings of other nations, and players may likely be seeded differently if playing elsewhere. The list of official APA ratings on the website will be updated shortly. Here are some of the changes and an explanation of why the change.

  1. We are moving from the 20 point system to a 10 point system.  Several years ago it seemed like the International community was changing to a 20 point system but each country now is using whatever system suits their needs.  With a small number of players compared to some of the other countries the need for 21 numbers isn’t necessary.  Fewer numbers, especially at the top end, will allow up and coming players to move into the next division to get experience with the next level of competition and players. This also keeps the moving up and down, especially at the top level, to a minimum.

  2. Instead of there being one main rater for the association, local clubs and zone reps will have input along with the ratings chair.  You should have access to someone in your club that can explain and justify your rating if you have a question.

  3. The APA won’t have the added expense of sending a rater to every tournament because each club will have “raters” and hopefully several will be in attendance at each tournament.  There may be times when someone will need to be sent to a tournament if their area needs someone from another zone to corroborate with.

  4. The importance of the rating being current is more crucial before the tournament than after.  If a rating needs to change whether it’s because a player hasn’t played in a while or there has been a big change in their ability it can be done at any time during the year as long as it is more than 30 days before a tournament where they will play.  The main reason we have these ratings is to seed the teams at tournaments but also to use when you need to have a substitute player.  Therefore we want to do our best to have ratings as accurate as possible leading up to a tournament. 

  5. Ratings will be based on a player’s ability which translates to their effectiveness on the field during a game.  This includes ball skills (bounce, catch, 10 yard throws, pass, line ups, reaction time)  horsemanship (maneuverability of the horse, safety, reaction time, positioning, use of the horse)  knowledge and use of strategy (field awareness, setting up plays, helping your team with or without the ball, offense and defense, knowledge of the game, strength (especially regarding small kids) and consistency at a certain level/division/speed of play.


Here is a rough guideline for each number.  Keep in mind that divisions look different at different tournaments so when a level or grade/division is mentioned, it would be when the majority of the country is represented which would be Nationals.

 The lowest rating is 0 out of 10 

10 our top A players (proven against our top A players)

8 and 9 solid A players 

6 and 7 solid B players 

4 and 5 solid C players

2 and 3 solid D players

0 and 1 E players

0 – new player with minimal skills

1-  has basic skills at slow speeds, has basic knowledge of the game and rules

2 – lower end of D grade. Competitive in D grade and can also be moving out of E grade after consistently performing at the top of that level and has shown competence against 2’s and 3’s.

3 – solid D player.  Can fill in at smaller tournaments in C grade and be competitive with support from 4’s and 5’s.

4 – lower end of C grade. Competitive in C grade. Can also be moving out of D grade after consistently performing at the top of that level and has shown competence against 4’s and 5’s.

5 – solid C player.  Can fill in at smaller tournaments in B grade and be competitive with support from 6’s and 7’s.

6 – lower end of B grade. Competitive in B grade. Can also be moving out of C grade after consistently performing at the top of that level and has shown competence against 6’s and 7’s.

7 – solid B player.  Can fill in at smaller tournaments in A grade and be competitive with support from 8+ players. 

8 –  lower end of A grade. Competitive in A grade. Can also be moving out of B grade after consistently performing at the top of that level and has shown competence against 8+ players.

9 –  solid A player. Competitive with 10 against 10’s  

10 –  top players in A grade.  When on the field with peers they excel (strength, strategy, horse skills and ball skills)



Each club will have 2 raters.  Preferably the president (or someone assigned by the president) and one other club member agreed upon by the ratings chair.  The zone rep will be the zone rater unless they feel incapable due to time, knowledge or experience.  If that is the case they can designate someone else from that zone as the zone rater. There is a ratings chair that will have the final say on the changes and is the one that makes the changes official.  All of those raters should be watching players both at their practices and also at tournaments that they attend.  However, mainly the decision will be based on effectiveness in tournament play. 

Raters need to have knowledge of the game at different levels, horsemanship and strategy but also keeping in mind the level of competition the players are against. Everything that helps the whole team score goals and/or keeps the other team from scoring goals is part of a player’s effectiveness on the field.

Players ratings should group them with their “playing peers”.  There will be different strengths in each rating but as a whole regarding your effectiveness on the field you should be among similar abilities.

At the start of this season we will be starting to implement the new system.  For the first season there will probably be a bit of tweaking of the numbers here and there until we feel comfortable with the majority of the players.  After that there shouldn’t be a lot of changes happening for established players.  New players and young players are usually improving faster than others so those will need to be monitored more than players that have been playing for many years once we get them in the correct group.

I will be contacting the presidents of each club to get the names of their raters and then I will post those as well.  If you have any questions or suggestions to make this more clear or easy, please contact me.

Ratings chair – Prissy Rumel