skip navigation

The USA Wrestling PIN System

About the PIN System

(This information was provided by Dave Mathews of USA Wrestling)

The USA Wrestling PIN Ratings system is a measurement of a wrestler’s consistency over time.

It is based off the Elo system used in chess and several other sports organizations. The system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of payers in a zero-sum game such as combat sports, chess, tennis, and others where it is an individual competition. It is named after its creator Arpad Elo who was a Hungarian-American physics professor in the 1930’s

The difference in the ratings between two wrestlers serves as a predictor of the outcome of a match. Two wrestlers with equal ratings who play against each other are expected to score an equal number of wins. A wrestler whose rating is 100 points greater than their opponent's is expected to score 64%; if the difference is 200 points, then the expected score for the stronger wrestler is 76%. As you can see the higher the difference then the better the chances for winning.

A wrestler’s PIN rating is represented by a number which may change depending on the outcome of matches. After every match, the winning wrestler takes points from the losing one. The difference between the ratings of the winner and loser determines the total number of points gained or lost after a match. If the higher-rated wrestler wins, then fewer rating points will be taken from the lower-rated wrestler. However, if the lower-rated wrestler scores an upset win, many rating points will be transferred. This means that this rating system is self-correcting. Wrestlers whose ratings are too low or too high should, in the long run, do better or worse correspondingly than the rating system predicts and thus gain or lose rating points until the ratings reflect their true playing strength. The more data that the rating system has to work from the more accurate it will be.


About the USA Wrestling PIN:


  • The USA Wrestling Performance Index (PIN) measures consistency over time and rates the probability of a person winning against an opponent based on their bodies of work.


  • A person with a higher PIN is considered more likely to beat someone with a lower PIN and the closer the PINs are between athletes, the closer the probability gets to 50/50 chances.


  • This does not reward the one-time win or head-to-head over an opponent. What it does is reward an athlete’s consistency over time. If you consistently beat people with higher PINs, you will gain PIN points to surpass them in the index, given that you do not lose to lesser competition along the way.


  • The more you wrestle, the more opportunity you have to change your PIN.


  • The baseline number for a person’s PIN is 1,000 points. The more points your PIN has above 1,000 reflects positive success against your opponents