Revised October 1, 2023

One can look at Age Graded Performances to demonstrate the latest version of the factors are more accurate. They are much closer, if not right in line, with what that athlete did, or would be capable of doing, in their prime. Use the calculator below to compare.

Sex: Male  Female

Click here to download Combined Events Scoring calculator.

Many of you have noticed that Age Grades have changed on this site. That is because we are now using the most recent version of the World Masters AthleticsAge Grade Factors which went into effect on 1 January 2023).

Age Grading is an adjustment for a performance (time, height or distance) based on age – the older you are, the bigger the adjustment. The adjustment, known as an Age Grade Factor, is multiplied by the performance to get an Age Graded Performance so all times, heights or distances for each event by athletes from 20 to over 100 years old can be compared to each other! The Age Graded Performance is the equivalent to what the athlete would have done when they were in their 20s.

Age Grades are displayed as percentages and are the percentage of a standard, usually the World Record at the time the factors were developed. For example, a 90% men’s 100m Age Grade would be 10.64 second Age Graded Performance (9.59 / 10.64). Some contend that the percentages represent classes like world class and national class which is subjective and not true. A 110 year old running a 15 minute 100m is world class as they are the best and only 110 year old in the world. Age Grades are empirical and mathematical.

Age Grading Factors were first officially adopted by World Association of Veteran Athletes (WAVA) now known as World Masters Athletics (WMA) in 1989. They were intended to be used to adjust combined events performances so scores across all age groups would be consistent. Periodically, updated factors were adopted: in 1994, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2015. The factors were derived by plotting known exceptional performances for the range of ages. Click here for a wealth of information on the history of Age Grading.

Ideally, performances by the same athletes over several decades should be used to derive the factors. The people who were involved in developing the original factors and each update did not have that kind of information so they made due with what they had – age best performances (a version, in development, of these can be found here).

In 2018, WMA formed a committee to do the periodic Age Grade Factor update. The updated factors were supposed to be voted on at the General Assembly at Toronto2020. The committee used over two million performances, including verified age bests, to derive the factors and to check how consistent same athlete Age Grades were over time. This method results in a huge step toward an accurate representation of performance decline as athletes age. To put in perspective, the original and previous updates considered several hundred performances (because more comprehensive data was not available) to derive the factors. The committee is currently reevaluating the factors using about 2.8 million performances including several updated age bests. Future updates will still be needed to make the factors more accurately represent performance decline over time. Many more performances, especially by older athletes, will be required. In short, the data used in the latest Age Grading Calculations are, by far, the most robust and reliable to date.

To be clear: Age Grading will not accurately represent performance decline until much better performance history is available. Every update, including the current version, did the best that could be done with the data available. There are many examples of unreasonable Age Graded Performances, especially in older age groups, from past updates and how they have improved using the most recent Age Grade Factors. Here are some:

than WR
Other Notes
Triple Jump
Pole Vault
0.77m over men's record
80m Hurdles
0.16 better than men's 100m record
2.41 better than men's record

65 thoughts on “New Age Grades!

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