Rating Floors Explained

Originally from the August 1998 Supplement
Updated June 2010

Rating Floors Explained:

A person's rating floor can also change if they win a large section or class prize.  If a player rated under 2000 wins a large cash prize of at least $1000, his or her floor shall be set to a number that makes the player ineligible for the section or class prize the player has won.  .......   This applies to floors up to 2000.  Higher floors are not assigned based on prize winnings.

Ordinarily, a player's floor is never lowered.  However, a player with a long period of bad results may request a 100-point rating floor demotion.  A player may also petition to have his or her floor raised.

Change to Floors based on winning class prizes of $2000.

At the Policy Board meeting on Jan. 31 - Feb. 1, 1998 the Policy Board eliminated all rating floors at or above 2200 received by winning a class prize of at least $2000.   The players who have previously received a floor of 2200 or above have had their floors reduced to 2000 except where their normal floor would be higher.  The ratings have not been changed and are now free to fluctuate except for their normal floor.


Some additional information

An interesting situation arose which prompted a conversation with the ratings department.  Here are the circumstances.

A player was close to their rating floor before going into a seven round event.   After five games, his rating if calculated at that point would have gone well below his floor if the floor hadn't been there.  The player wins the next four games.   If ratings are calculated on a game by game basis, the players rating at the end of the event could come out significantly higher due to the floor preventing a large negative swing and allowing the four wins at the end to move him up off the floor.  If ratings are calculated based on the total points earned due to an event and then adjusted for the floor, the players rating would not have recovered off the floor as well as the other method of calculating ratings.

As it turns out,  the USCF calculates based on the entire event and not on a per game basis.