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The Importance of Ranking Systems in Sports and Video Games

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

Video games and sports have a lot in common. In both activities, players must start off slowly and develop the skills necessary to play at a higher level. This can be frustrating for players, who may feel like they are not good at the game or sport. During this critical time of player adoption, it is important that sports and games don't lose the interest of their players before they gain enough of a foothold in the activity to enjoy it. Ranking systems are a great way to avoid this problem.


A ranking system is a way of categorizing players by their ability to play the game. In video games, this is often done by using a numerical system, such as levels or stars. When players first start playing a game, they are usually placed at the bottom of the ranking system. As they play and get better, they move up through the ranks. In sports, ranking systems can be helpful in competition and organizing a team's training groups.


Ranking systems allow for more equitable competition. They ensure that players are challenged appropriately by placing them against other players of similar skill. It is important that competition is perceived by the player to be adequately challenging. If it is too easy, the player will get bored. If it is too hard, the player may get discouraged and give up.


Ranking systems also give players a sense of progression as they move up through the ranks. Players feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when they see their ranking improve. This encourages them to keep playing and improving their skills. Ultimately, this leads to more engaged and longer-term players.


Ranking systems can be educational as well. They can provide information to players about what they need to work on in order to improve. In video games, this is usually done by providing feedback after a match has concluded. This feedback tells the player how they did and what they could do better next time. Ranking systems also allow for the community to get involved around education. Many video games have rich player-driven communities that share content around how to improve or what to work on at each rank.

Since sports don't exist in a virtual environment, it is more difficult to deliver feedback. This is where coaches feedback becomes critical. If you are a swimmer, make sure to communicate with your coach at practice and meets about what you can improve on. Another great way to analyze your performance is to video yourself swimming and then compare it to the pros! Check out the International Swimming League (ISL) youtube channel to see awesome footage of the worlds best.

Video games have an advantage implementing ranking systems because their activity exists in a virtual environment. This means that the game can automatically track and store data about player performance. Sports, on the other hand, must rely on manual input of data which is often less accurate and scattered amongst systems. SwimWarrior allows swim teams to bridge this gap by providing a platform to track swimmers progress in a way that is easy.

As a swimmer progresses through the ranks, they are able to see what times they need to swim in order to move up to the next rank. If you are a swimmer and looking for a way to get feedback about your performances, or if you are a coach who wants an easy way to track your swimmers progress, check out SwimWarrior!

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