Felo ratings are a wonderful new method to estimate the strength of sport fencers, without this annoying luck component which is typical of elimination tournaments and single bouts. The new Felo rating is calculated after every training day. Thus, it is always present and up-to-date. As a result, the fencer has a quite clear impression about how good he or she is currently. Whithin a group, the Felo ratings are very accurate, however, they can even be compared globally.
The underlying idea isn't new. It is inspired by the Elo ratings in chess. There, they have been used for 40 years for determining the official word ranking list, which works terrificly. Not only that it yields a plausible ranking, it also allows for precise calculations of chances in upcoming chess matches.
Over the years, the Elo ratings have been adapted successfully to other sports such as Go, college football, and international soccer. With the Felo program, they can now be used in fencing, too. “Felo” is nothing else but “fencing Elo”. In contrast to other Elo sports, Felo ratings take also the exact bout result into account. Therefore, a 15:14 win is rated lower than a 15:0. This sounds obvious but in chess, there's only win, loss, and draw.
In typical leisure fencing groups, the Felo ratings will be between 1300 and 1800. Here is a rough overview of how Felo ratings should be interpreted:
The tables shouldn't be taken too seriously because there isn't much experience with Felo ratings so far.