This page contains answers to common questions and comments that aren't directly connected to the ratings and how they work.
What can you use this rating data for?
What you get out of it is up to you, but we've identified three main uses of the ratings:
- Seeding tournaments. By using the ratings it's possible to get fairer pools that offer a more even tournament experience for all competitors.
- Tracking your individual progress. It can be hard to get an objective measure of how well you do in a given tournament. Maybe you always make it to the quarter final before being knocked out by the eventual winner of the whole tournament? By using the ratings you can still track your progress in a relatively objective way.
Do the ratings say anything about my skill or value as a researcher/coach/person
I don't wish to be on HEMA Ratings
Please get in touch with us through our contact page and we'll get it sorted out as soon as possible.
I've discovered a mistake in your data
Please get in touch with us through our contact page and we'll try to get is sorted out.
You should add [awesome feature]
Thanks for the suggestion! We're slowly adding new features, but since this is just a hobby project we have limited time to do all the cool stuff we'd like.
I want to help!
Great! We're always looking for people who can submit data from tournaments, help improve the quality of the data we have in the system, or simply to reach out to tournament organizers to ensure that their results get added to the ratings. Get in touch with us at our contact page and we'll figure out how we can work together.
If you want to support us you can consider donating to our Patreon.
Where does your data come from?
We graciously use data provided to us by HEMA tournament software such as HEMA CM, HEMA Scorecard and a few other bespoke systems. The initial dump of a few thousand matches from HEMA CM is what got us started on this project in the first place.
Furthermore, we have had awesome help from many helpers who have either collected the results from events, organized events, recorded results from videos, provided us with paper records from old tournaments, etc.
How do I submit results?
If you already have the results or you're looking for the data template to submit results, you'll find everything you need on https://submit.hemaratings.com/
If you ran or plan to run your event using HEMA tournament management software, you should ask the software provider how to export/get the results from there.
What tournaments do you accept into the system?
The guiding principle is that it needs to be a real and serious HEMA tournament that's open to all applicable fighters.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We've established some guidelines:
- It needs to be HEMA. No sports fencing, LARPing, reenactment, etc.
- There must be members from at least two different, independent clubs competing. Chapters, sister clubs, similar arrangements are not counted as individual clubs.
- The event should in be open to all eligible fighters. We will obviously allow beginner tournaments, certain invitational tournaments, federation-sanctioned national championships and similar events, but we will exclude tournaments that aren't open to fencers of a given club, federation, etc. One goal of HEMA Ratings is to integrate the community, not to create "islands".
- It needs to be judged/reffed. While a judged competition that permits some self-calling is allowed, tournaments that exclusively rely on the "Honour System" as their primary scoring methodology do not meet our criteria.
- The outcome of the individual matches must be distillable into a win/loss/draw format. Double losses or other "non-standard" outcomes can be included, but they won't count towards the fighters' rating.
- Each match needs to symmetrical and stand on its own. This means that points can't "carry over" between matches, no fighters can start with more points than the other, one fighter can't be disadvantaged with a different scoring system, etc.
- For rating purposes the weapons need to be symmetrical. No dagger vs. pollaxe or similar. That being said, we can still import mixed weapons tournaments to put them in the fighter's record.
The criteria are a work in progress, but you should be able to get the "spirit of the law" from what's written above. If you're unsure if your tournament can be added, don't hesitate to ask.
If your tournament meets the criteria and you can provide us with the data, we'll be happy to include it in the system. We have a template for data entry that we're happy to send you, so get in touch and we'll send you everything you need.
What happens to tournaments that are submitted with errors or don't meet the criteria?
Most errors we get are due to data entry errors, spelling errors, or other simple human error and these are normally easily resolved by speaking with the organizers and figuring out what happened.
On rare occasions we have had to delete or reclassify a tournament due to a misunderstanding of the criteria or the weapon divisions.
If it turns out that submitted events don't meet the criteria we will reach out to the organizer and/or submitter and try to figure out what happened. If we find out that the results were submitted with malicious intent (I.E. cheating) we will delete the results and go public about having done so and why.
Why do you have separate rating categories for different weapons?
The ranking systems assumes all fighters in the list could face each other in any given tournament, and that past performance is predictive of future performance. We don't believe past performance in a Rapier tournament is a strong indicator of how well someone would do in a Longsword tournament.
What are "Underrepresented Genders" tournaments?
Underrepresented Genders (URG) is a fairly recent addition to HEMA Ratings. In order to be more inclusive, some organizers have moved away from the traditional women's tournaments and opened the tournaments to other underrepresented genders.
This move to organizing URG tournaments is reflected in HEMA Ratings in two ways:
- All URG tournaments will be labeled as such. I.E. if someone organizes a steel longsword tournament that's open to URG, that's how it will be labeled in HEMA Ratings.
- For those women's divisions where there's enough data to have a rating category, there will now be two rating categories: one that contains only the women's tournaments and one that contains both the women's and the URG tournaments.
An event I competed at was added. Why didn't my rating change?
There are three possible explanations for this:
- The event was added, but it is inactive. When we add a new event to HEMA Ratings, it will be kept as "inactive" until the organizer/submitter has confirmed that the results are correct. Inactive results don't count towards ratings.
- The event was added and is active, but we haven't recalculated the ratings yet. Recalculating the ratings is a pretty compute-heavy job, and it doesn't happen automatically after an event is added. We try to do it as quickly as possible, but sometimes it will take a few days between the event was added and the ratings are recalculated.
- The event was added and is active and the ratings have been recalculated, but there's still some caching on the site. In order to speed up the performance of the site, pages are kept in cache for up to an hour after they're first loaded. This means that if someone loads the current Mixed/Men's Steel Longsword ratings or a given fighter's profile just before we recalculate the ratings, those specific pages will show outdated info for an hour.
Why hasn't a given event been added?
The answer will in 90% of the cases be one of the following:
- The event hasn't been submitted to us yet
- The event was recently submitted and we haven't gotten to it yet
- We've started working on the event and we're waiting for feedback from the organizers
If the event was a while ago your best course of action is probably to politely ask the event organizers if they have submitted the results. If the event was within the last couple of weeks odds are it's right around the corner.
Why haven't you added a rating for [weapon/division]?
Probably because there's not enough data to warrant the division getting its own rating category. Our rule of thumb is that there should probably be at least 2000 fights with some degree of overlap between "islands" in a given division before it makes sense to have a rated category.
Is it possible to be listed with multiple clubs?
Is there a minimum tournament size?
There's no theoretical limit as long as the tournament otherwise meets the criteria. One could imagine someone organizing a "superfight" between the two top-rated longsword fighters, and there's no reason why that shouldn't be counted in HEMA Ratings. Of course, the smaller the tournament, the more scrutiny should be applied. Was it really open to everyone? Is everyone competing from a different club? Etc.
How can I join your club? / How can I start doing HEMA?
HEMA Ratings is not a HEMA club or federation, it's a website for collecting and presenting data and statistics about competitive HEMA.
If you want to start doing HEMA, your best guess is to search online for "HEMA [your place of residence]" or search for "HEMA club finder" and start your search there.
How do I or my club get on HEMA Ratings?
Compete in a tournament that gets submitted to us.
Why don't you have best club/best country?
Because it's difficult to find a way to measure this that makes sense, isn't simply a proxy for "largest club/country" and doesn't punish the club/country for adding more lower-rated people.
For example, if you simply did the average rating of everyone in the club or country, that club/country would get "punished" for having a bunch of their beginners compete at an event.