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How to create an online ranking system

A short introduction on how to create a ranked online leaderboard including a software tool recommendation


What is a ranking system?

To put it simply, a ranking system is a way of comparing things (usually players or teams) so that for any 2 given things you can say which is better — which is "ranked higher". Usually these players or teams are displayed in a list with the highest rank (#1) at the top.

Basketball Arena

Rankings are especially useful in competitions, games, tournaments and sports. A ranking system is based on points, with the player or team with the most points ranked at the top. Defeating higher ranked opponents results in larger point gains and losing to lower ranked opponents results in larger point losses. A ranking system determines how points are assigned for various outcomes.

For most sports, teams or players are given rankings according to rules defined by the sport's governing body. For example:

  • In soccer, national teams are ranked in the FIFA World Rankings, the Women's World Rankings and, unofficially, in the World Football Elo Ratings.
  • For the Olympic Games, each member country is ranked based upon gold, silver and bronze medal counts in the Olympic medal rankings.
  • In chess, players are ranked using the FIDE world rankings.

Ranking systems can be very complex (the chess ranking system) or very simple (the soccer ranking system, see below).

How to create a ranking system

Creating a ranking system for your own needs will heavily depend on what you are ranking. There is certainly no one-size-fits-all solution. However, we can look at a simple example: let's assume you are running a group tournament.

In a group tournament, unlike a knockout tournament, there is no scheduled decisive final match. Instead, all the competitors are ranked by examining the results of all the matches played in the tournament. Typically, points are awarded for each match with competitors ranked based either on total number of points or average points per match. — Wikipedia

The first step is that every competitor plays against every other competitor at least once. At the end, every competitor should have played an identical number of matches.

Online competition leaderboard

Next comes the points calculation (aka the ranking system). Typically, you assign points based on the number of wins, draws and losses that a competitor had. For instance: in soccer, where draws are relatively common, many leagues give 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw in an attempt to encourage attacking play. In FIBA (basketball)-sanctioned tournaments, where ties are impossible (a game goes into as many extra periods, or overtimes, as necessary to determine a winner), the following method is used: a win nets a team 2 points, a loss 1 point.

Once you have assigned points according to your ranking system, you can now tally up all points per competitor and create a leaderboard.

How you display the leaderboard is up to you. But if you want to share your leaderboard as widely as possible, it will be necessary to create an online leaderboard.

Introducing Keepthescore

Keepthescore.comis one of the leading solutions for creating online scoreboards. But don't take our word for it, our customers have this to say:

First of all, I would love to thank every single one of you guys who has worked on this amazing Web App! I have been searching for such service for ages, you are the best! Absolutely stunning. — Melanie

If you want to give our online product a spin, then proceed as described below.

Online competition leaderboard

How to create a free online leaderboard

Follow these steps to create a leaderboard:

  1. Hit the above button 👆, and fill in some basic info about your leaderboard.
  2. Enter the names of everyone that will appear on the leaderboard.
  3. Click on "CREATE LEADERBOARD" and you will see your newly created board.
  4. Click on "SETTINGS" to customize the behaviour and appearance of your board. You can read more about what you can customize in the customization guide.
  5. If you want to share your new board, there's a special public link for that: click "PUBLISH" to find out more.

By the way, there are a large number of websites offering leaderboards, but is the simplest one, guaranteed. You can create a leaderboard in less that 10 seconds, all without ever creating an account. If you don't believe us, then give it a whirl.

That's all!

If you have questions or feedback, then do comment below