Why did my recent MCC games miss the
A common Question that's asked is: "Why didn't
our event make it into the new supplement? or more commonly, "Why didn't my
games from last month show up in the new official ratings"
The explanation is that while we submit our
results almost immediately after the last round, there are a number of
delaying factors and deadlines that are out of our control. Every even
numbered month, a new "Ratings Supplement" is physically printed as magazine
with over 200 pages of ratings that have changed since the last issue. This
is sent out to TDs (Tournament Directors) all over the country. Because it
is paper based, it has to be delivered to the printers well in advance of the
day its ratings must be used in tournaments, which is the 1st of the even
numbered month. This results in the ratings being "snap-shot" somewhere
around the 1st or second week of the preceding month.
If we use as an example the February 2003
tournament, lets see what how the timing on everything taken together works.
Last Round of the event was February 25th,
Report goes into the postal mail on Thursday
USCF logs the fact that the report was
received by them on Monday, March 3rd.
The Report is sent to the finance department
to verify fees are correct based on number of players, games played,
memberships collected and a number of other possible items.
Report is sent to the ratings department and
the event is placed in a stack according to the ending date of the event.
This is to try and ensure that all events are rated in the correct sequence.
A delay of about 1 to 2 weeks then occurs.
This is to allow for the fact that TDs have up to 7 days to file a report.
Remember, it also has to make it through the Finance department after it is
received and then be put into the correct date sequence in the to be sorted
stack of events.
If there were any very large events or
scholastic events with a large number of new members, processing of the event
will be slower than a small event where all the ID numbers pre-exist.
On March 19th the MCC February event was
rated. This is 16 days after it was received.
If we look at the delay from received to
rated for all of the regular events in 2002 and January of 2003, we see the
14, 16, 18, 11, 5, 15, 11, 8, 32,
7 There are three unusually small numbers in the list. The two
smallest ones, 5 and 7 both happen to be for events that ended in the middle
of the month. I suspect that this fact is what led to the significantly
shorter delay, but that is really just a guess. Keep in mind that there are
many events from around the country flowing into the USCF each week to be
rated. The USCF knows when most of them are supposed to have been concluded
because most major events and many of the smaller events around the country
are listed with the USCF. The USCF is monitoring those for having been
submitted and if they have all the events that they were expecting in hand,
they can pretty much proceed with little delay as there isn't likely to be a
small unlisted event that is going to come in late and also happen to impact
the ratings of the events they have in hand.
Getting back to the particulars for the
February event. As stated before, the event was rated on March 19th. Since
TDs need to have the supplement in hand sometime before the 1st of April, if
you allow three weeks for printing and mailing, the rating information for the
supplement will have to go to the printer on about Wednesday the 12th.
Given the fact that the MCC events usually end on
the last Tuesday of a month, we generally, continue to miss the deadline for
the next supplement. This means that generally, the games you play in
February, April, June, August, October and December will not show up as part
of the very next supplement but as the following one.
What is the real impact to you then ? Well, its
good and bad, depending on how you've played and what's important to you. If
you've been playing badly and your rating should be dropping, then your may be
stuck in a higher section that you would like to be in for a longer period
than you'd like. On the other hand, if your rating is supposed to be going
up, you may get to play two more months in a lower section than you otherwise
would be allowed to.
The good news is that if you want to know what
your rating really is, you can check on the web. Ahh, but on the web they
only update every other week. You might then think then that you could always
find your current rating with only a two week delay after you played! Sorry,
but the delays are the same except you might just miss out on the last web
update and have to wait until about two weeks after they get around to rating
the event. In our example case of February 2003, the official supplement for
April was posted to the web on about March 18th. The supplement doesn't
include the February event which was rated on the 19th and the web does not
show the change in rating due to the event being rated either. I know that
this has all happened because the crosstable was sent to us electronically in
email on the 20th and was posted to the MCC web site on the 20th. Presumably,
the next update of the USCF website should indeed show the changes in the MCC
players due to the February event.
An artifact of viewing your rating on the web is
that even though MCC
players will see a more up to date rating on the web site after the listing of
the April supplement rating, the event that caused the change in their
rating will have actually occurred before the supplement date yet it appears
As if all this weren't odd enough, MCC players who play in weekend events are
subject to another quirk. If the weekend tournament finishes before the
last round of the MCC event, it will be rated before the MCC event, even though
most of the games they may have played at the MCC occurred before the weekend