Rateform has its origins in The Rating Of Chessplayers by Professor Elo, and from the Punters Revenge by Tony Drapkin and Richard Forsyth. The basis of the Rateform method is that each of the two teams taking part in a match is given a point score that is based on their current form. Although this sounds very simplistic, and it is, its calculation is a little more involved.
The Rateform statistical method is a well-known and well used statistical method for predicting the outcomes of soccer matches and is one of the methods utilised on the Soccerowl.com website. it is relatively simple and performs consistently well. Midway through the 2015/2016 season the use of the Rateform method on the Soccerowl.com website produced the following results for the Scottish Championship matches:
The image above shows a snapshot from the soccerowl.com website. The snapshot shows how the method has performed for the Scottish Championship upto the midway point of the 2015/2016 season. The Hit Rate shows the percentage of correct predictions. Here is what they mean:
- Home wins 72% correct across all matches played
- Draws 28% correct across all matches played
- Aways 81% correct across all matches played
As you can see the Rateform method can perform very well.
The 5 Basic Rateform Rules
- Each team is given a point score representing their current form.
- At the start of the season each team is given 1000 points.
- When a match is played both teams contribute some of their points towards a kitty.
- The home team supply more points into the kitty than the away team. This is done to reflect the home teams’ advantage of playing at home.
- The winning team takes the kitty, unless the result is a draw in which case both sides share the points. In the case of a draw the away side gains points and the home side loses points.
How a Typical Calculation is Made
This is the current home team points total.
This is the current away team points total.
Set HTKITTY = 7% of HTPOINTS
This is the home team contribution to the kitty.
Set ATKITTY = 5% of ATPOINTS
This is the away team contribution to the kitty.
Set KITTY = HTKITTY + ATKITTY
This is the total kitty to be given to the winning side or shared in the case of a draw (each team receiving 50% of the kitty).
If the result is a HOME WIN then
the home team receives the KITTY and this is added to HTPOINTS,
the away team receives zero points and loses its 5% contribution to the KITTY.
If result is an AWAY WIN then
the home team receives zero points and loses its 7% contribution to the kitty,
the away team receives the KITTY and this is added to ATPOINTS.
If the result is a DRAW then
the home team receives the KITTY / 2 and this is added to HTPOINTS,
the away team receives KITTY / 2 and this is added to ATPOINTS.
A Simple Example of Using the Rateform Method
To calculate the possible outcome of a match based on the Rateform method you must subtract the away rateform from the home rateform and the difference is then compared against set values for home, away and draw possibilities.
For example we could make our set values as follows:
AWAY WIN > -250 DRAW 150 < HOME WIN
RATEFORM DIFFERENCE = HOME TEAM RATEFORM – AWAY TEAM RATEFORM
So, if the RATEFORM DIFFERENCE is less than -250 then the match is likely to be an away win, if the RATEFORM DIFFERENCE is greater than 150 then the match is likely to be a home win, and if the RATEFORM DIFFERENCE lies between then the outcome is most likely to be a draw.
You may choose different values by monitoring what works best taking into account how the results perform. You may even decide to use different settings for each league you apply the Rateform method to in order to take into account the differences between the different leagues.
Of course you may choose to use different values to those shown above and by experimenting you may come up with better values to use. You could also decide not to reset each teams points to 1000 at the start of the season but instead let them carry over into the next season. Another alternative would be to have a rolling calculation where you calculate the rateform for each team on say the last six months.
If you have the necessary skills you could go away and build your own spreadsheet of data or even write a piece of software to take in results and fixtures and apply the Rateform method to your data.
Find Out More About the Rateform Method
So we know that the rateform method is used on the Soccerowl.com website but you can find loads more great information about this statistical method, here are a few more great resources you can visit:
A Football Traders Path