WAL Ranking System

October 4th 2016

For decades, determining who was the best arm wrestler in your town, state or country was an inexact science at best. But now, the World Armwrestling League is launching a brand-new arm wrestler ranking system that will bring science and computing into the world’s fastest-rising sport. Based on a system developed by an Australian numerical modeling doctor, the new system will give all pullers, from amateurs to champions, a rating and ranking among their peers.  
At the same time, it will bring pullers around the world under the umbrella of a single, scientific system for deciding who is the best.
“This system adds an incredible element to arm wrestling that I think the community has wanted since we launched the league,” WAL Chief Operating Officer Ben Murray said. Athletes and fans alike will be able to search the site and determine a given puller’s competitive history in general or against particular opponents. An athlete’s entire match history will be available back to 2014, and users can search out one arm wrestler’s battle history against another.
The system at its birth only represents a starting point. The more people compete, and the more results that are entered, the more accurate the system will become. “Everybody will have a hand in refining this,” Murray said. “It’s another example of how we are all a part of taking arm wrestling into the mainstream sports world. The system relies on the relative ratings of two competitors to award points. Beat someone with a rating much higher than yours – you gain a lot of points. Beat someone with a similar or lower rating – you only win a little. Similarly, if you LOSE to someone with a much lower rating, you will lose a lot of points.
Arm wrestling a lot does help, but the caliber of the people you pull weighs more heavily. The ranking is based on something called an ELO system, originally developed for chess and tailored for arm wrestling.
Head here and here for more explanations.
For the remainder of 2016, WAL will be watching the system to see how competitors move up and down once competitive arm wrestling re-starts with the U.S. State and Canadian Provincial championships. Starting with the Sept. 24 Wisconsin State Championship, arm wrestlers will begin the real battle for ratings and rankings to give the system more real-world testing, with a full implementation slated for 2017.
The system has been battle tested for years in Australia, so many of the early problems have been worked out – but it’s arrival in the U.S. and Canada is unprecedented.
In the meantime, the architect of the system said if best – if you want to improve in the system there is one good solution: compete