About Sportch

About Sportch

Sportch is a community of sportsmen and sportswomen who use the platform to interact, compete, match-up and keep up to speed on local sporting activity!

Sportch was designed from the outset to be as flexible and automated as possible, and to address the shortcomings of classic competition:

  • Flexible – players are free to join and leave their ladder at any time.
  • Automated – the in-app chat is used to arrange matches and report results. Once results are confirmed player ratings immediately update to reflect the new rankings.
  • Social – a live newsfeed contains recent match reports, match applause and the sportchmanship of the players involved.
  • Personalised – content is tailored depending on the ladder the player is playing in. Players can explore the community of local location, club and coach profiles packed full of content built up from historic match data over time.

The unique app makes arranging and playing matches against similar level opponents easier than ever:

  • Match-ups are available with the closest active players within the ladder. Once a match-up is underway players use the in-app chat to agree a date, time and format for the match-up.
  • Inactive players are automatically filtered out of the rankings so they don’t impact the ranking or playing opportunities of others!
  • Player profiles contain key information including where the player plays, who their coach is and useful details about their availability, career statistics and recent results.

What is the ‘Sportch Rating’?

The Sportch Rating represents a player’s current ability and determines their position in the rankings relative to others.

Your initial Sportch Rating is self-assessed but restricted to place you no higher than the midway point in the rankings.

After each completed match updated Sportch Ratings are determined using the result in conjunction with the players’ relative ratings when the result is confirmed.

If Player A has a higher rating than Player B they are ‘expected’ to win:

  • if Player A wins their rating will increase less than if Player B wins.
  • if Player A loses their rating will reduce more than if Player B loses.
  • if its a draw Player A’s rating will reduce and Player B’s rating will increase (as Player A was ‘expected’ to win).

For example, Player A, who has a rating of 1000.00, is an available match-up of Player B, who has a rating of 900.00:

  • if Player A wins: A’s new rating = 1009.00 | B’s new rating = 891.00
  • if Player B wins: A’s new rating = 984.00 | B’s new rating = 916.00
  • if its a draw: A’s new rating = 996.50 | B’s new rating = 903.50

The new ratings acknowledge that Player A has a higher rating than Player B so is ‘expected’ to win.

Note: Sportch reserve the right to re-calibrate Sportch Ratings at any time.

How do I change my Sportch Rating?

Generally, the only way to change your Sportch Rating is by playing matches. When a player first joins their ranking is likely to be more volatile as they find their true rating, and rightful place in the ladder!

A player’s Sportch Rating is self-correcting and therefore manual adjustments are not necessary:

  • If a player joins with a rating which is too low, then they will win matches more easily and progress up the ladder.
  • Similarly, if a player joins with a rating which is too high, they will be more likely to lose and move down the ladder.

We appreciate some players may have set this incorrectly by accident upon registration. Therefore we do allow players to manually update their Sportch Rating but only before they have played their first match:

  • If a player does not yet have a match recorded they can edit their initial rating
  • To do so they simply go to their profile and tap the ‘Edit’ button in the top right hand corner

We are unable to manually adjust ratings after a match result has been recorded as this would undermine the rating system which underpins fair rankings within each ladder.

Why is the Sportch Rating only affected by the overall result?

We occasionally get asked a question along the lines of “Why is it only the overall result that dictates my rating change, rather than a change reflecting the specific score of the match?”

We acknowledge the argument for using the actual score when adjusting ratings however, for us, there are several reasons which outweigh the benefit of adjusting ratings based on the score.

Firstly, on Sportch we offer the flexibility to play any scoring format the competitors agree upon. This flexibility is a valued feature and helps players to fit the competition into their busy lives. For instance, some tennis players love a 5 set thriller, while others like a quick game of Fast4. If rating movements were to be based on a specific scoring format then we would have to lose this flexibility.

Secondly, we subscribe to the argument that when all is said and done, a win is a win and a loss is a loss… irrespective of how the result is achieved. To elaborate, if a match is close then it’s likely that the winner has displayed mental toughness or resilience to come out on top. We are satisfied that by treating all wins and losses consistently, irrespective of the score, we give a fitting reward to the winner of tight contests.

Finally, the Sportch concept is not unique to any individual sport. We apply the same algorithm for all sports in which there is a win, loss or draw. If changes were based on specific scores for different sports then we would lose the consistent approach we apply to results universally across Sportch.

What’s the ‘science’ behind it all?

The idea behind Sportch is to generate enjoyable competitive match-ups with a variety of opponents and provide the ideal infrastructure for honing your skills.

We know that many players are frustrated they lack diversity in the opponents they compete against. For instance, playing with the same player(s) week in week out can often mean that, rather than seriously developing your ability, you’re mainly just adapting to your opponents.

Research indicates that if you are ‘over challenged’ you will feel anxiety, while if you are ‘under challenged’ you will feel boredom (as the graph below demonstrates) – and in these instances inevitably your enjoyment and development curtails. Sportch is designed to solve this exact issue by keeping you in the ‘flow’ channel so you can enjoy optimal competitive experiences…

Using Sportch your default match-ups are opponents with a similar Sportch Rating. This is our unique way of keeping you appropriately challenged relative to your skills and ability i.e. keeping you in the ‘flow zone’!

​What other features are in the pipeline for Sportch?

We are continually analysing our backlog of enhancements to the app to identify the features of most value to players on Sportch.

Features in the pipeline include:

  • scheduling match-ups in advance
  • offering match-ups to the community
  • other types of match-up e.g. doubles

Match-ups & Wildcards

How are rankings and suggested match-ups determined?

Rankings are purely based on a player’s Sportch Rating – which is our unique measure of ability.

Suggested match-ups are also determined by the closest ranked active players i.e. the players immediately above and below in the rankings.

The Sportch Rating updates in real time (as results are confirmed), so it can have an immediate impact on rankings and suggested match-ups.

Match-ups which are underway remain open for 30 days unless they are ended early, renewed or a result is reported.

What is a wildcard and how does it work?

The wildcard feature allows players to send a request to any other player on Sportch. Unlike suggested match-ups, the other player can accept or decline the request.

We restrict the number of wildcards ‘in play’ at any point in time but there is no restriction over time i.e. as soon as the result of a wildcard match has been confirmed then another wildcard becomes available.

The number of wildcards available is equal to the Activity Rating of the player i.e. ⭐️5 = 5 wildcards!

To play a wildcard, tap on the play button with a key inside… if the play button doesn’t have a key inside then this is a suggested match-up.

Match-up guidance

Where possible Sportch do not dictate the rules or format for any sport. This flexibility gives players the freedom to agree with one another the date, time and format of their match-ups.

Players are free to arrange match-ups on their own terms and trust in the fairness of well-meaning competitors (which we monitor through ‘Sportchmanship Stars’).

We have provided some helpful guidance below to support players and which should be taken as the status quo in the absence of any alternate agreement between the players:

  • Venue fees – if these apply then split equally between the players competing
  • Punctuality – aim to arrive 15 minutes before the agreed start time
  • Walkovers/No shows – players are expected to communicate clearly through the in-app chat and walkovers can be reported for late cancellations within 24 hours of an arranged match-up
  • Etiquette – always be respectful to your opponent… every player is different, so treat them as ‘they’ would want to be treated and make sure you secure 5 stars for ‘Sportchmanship’

Players with a friendly photo, positive reviews and a high ‘sportchmanship’ are more likely to be challenged to match-ups.

Walkover Policy

Sportch have a clear walkover policy:

  • Where applicable, a walkover can be claimed in the absence of an alternative agreement between players.
  • A walkover may apply for a ‘no show’ or ‘late cancellation’:
    • a ‘no show’ is defined as a player not arriving within 30 minutes of the start time of a scheduled match-up.
    • a ‘late cancellation’ is defined as a player needing to cancel or reschedule an arranged match-up without communicating through the in-app chat at least 24 hours beforehand.
  • In other words, players cannot be more than 30 minutes late and must give at least 24 hours notice through the in-app chat if they wish to cancel or rearrange a match-up.

Exceptions:

  • A ‘no show’ walkover does not apply if, despite the late arrival, both players agree to go ahead and play their match-up.
  • A ‘late cancellation’ walkover does not apply to match-ups scheduled at short notice i.e. matches arranged less than 24 hours before the scheduled start time.

The implications of a walkover are:

  • The player claiming the walkover will be awarded a win.
  • The other player will record a loss on their sporting record.

Steps to report a walkover in Sportch:

  • The player claiming the walkover should report a ‘Win’
  • The score should be recorded as ‘Walkover’

Note: Walkovers are not typically considered to be judgemental irrespective of mitigating circumstances e.g. injury or traffic. A walkover result will only be adjusted in exceptional circumstances.

Notifications

Why enable push notifications?

When accessing Sportch through an iOS or Android app you must enable push notifications to be notified of key match-up activity.

Push notifications will also ensure you are notified when an opponent has sent you a message.

By disabling push notifications you won’t be informed of important Sportch activity.

You can enable push notifications within you device’s settings.

Managing Account

How can I recommend a friend to join Sportch?

Tap the ‘Invite friends’ button on the ladder page or the ‘Share app’ option within the in-app menu in order to share a link to the app with your friends.

Thank you for helping to grow the Sportch community.

I’m not able to play at the moment. What can I do?

Don’t panic… from your player profile you can set your status to ‘Inactive’. You don’t need to send us a justification or request for your account to be removed.

You can change your status to inactive if you aren’t able to play for any reason. You can even leave a status message explaining to others why you are unavailable.

Inactive players are removed from the competition but can return at a later date should they wish to continue playing.


I’m not receiving emails from Sportch?

​I’m not receiving emails from Sportch?

We verify your email address to validate your account and for essential match correspondence to keep you informed.

If you don’t see an email from us within a few minutes, a few things could have happened:

* The email found its way into your junk or spam folder (especially for hotmail users)

* The email address you provided contains a mistake (such as a typo)

* You accidentally provided the wrong email address (such as your work email rather than your personal one)

* The email has been blocked by corporate firewalls or filtering

If the email provided is incorrect please re-enter your email address and try again.

Finally, if you are still having issues, contact us at help@sportch.co.uk