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.
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 Athletics‘ Age 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:
45 Replies to “New Age Grades!”
My 2022 Mile age grade performance was 82% a couple of weeks ago now it’s been changed to 72%. I don’t understand the new system.
Hello Elmo, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Please read the article if you haven’t already. 82% means you ran the equivalent of 4:30.14. We trust 5:09.73, 72% Age Grade, is much more representative of what you ran. The commonly used phrase is “what you did in your prime” but the competition conditions, the relative conditioning and training and how you competed should also be considered. For example, if your all-time best was 4:27.2 when you were 22 competing in a big college meet, you would have been trying to run your best, competing and getting pushed by several others plus well prepared by training and conditioning. Your time as an 85 year old might not be appropriate to compare equally to your younger self because you might not have been as well prepared nor pushed by competition. Hope this helps.
I am not sure if you are planning on this, but can the Age Grade Calculator be added to Masters Ranking as a permanent menu item.
Hello Guy, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Yes, this post, including the calculator, will remain on the site. Our plan is to keep editing it as we get more feedback so it will always be an accurate and clear explanation of Age Grading.
Thank you for explaining the changes.
Hello Rodney, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Hope the explanation is clear. Please make suggestions so we can make it better.
Thank you for your hard work in establishing the masters rankings lists. I just did some of my recent performances using the age grade calculator in this article & noticed how the age grade percentage varied from 2015 to the 2023 formulas. It goes without saying , that performances are harder as you age . All the best to all the athletes that are still getting out there & doing their best. Thank you.
John, how far back in the results on the website are the new tables being implemented?
Hello Tom, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Any applicable performance uses the proposed factors because previous versions, once the proposed are approved, are superseded. For examples: a W65 javelin from 2010 (400g) is not Age Graded; an M55 100m from 1985 would be Age Graded using the proposed factors.
I see the fastest time ever in the outdoors 400 for an 80 year male was 1:10.10. But the Age Grade percentage is only 88.07. So that should be 100% for that age group and adjusted accordingly for times slower. Justification?
Hello Dominic, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Age Grade percentage is the proportion of the World Athletics record (43.03). It has nothing to do with performances of athletes within the age group.
Hijiya Hisamitsu was 81 when he ran 1:10.01. His Age Graded Performance using the proposed factors is 48.02 (89.61%). One needs to know what Hijiya ran in his 20s to see the accuracy of this Age Graded Performance. Most cases the WMA Age Grade Update Committee reviewed (there were thousands) showed the performance was better than the athlete’s personal best.
Hi John – Is there any chance of including more ‘in between’ distances in future versions, for example 15km etc? The previous suite of distances used in the Masters-Athletics Age-Graded Calculator included many more distances than is provided in this tool – from sprints right up to ultras.
Hello Mike, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. It is not likely as the calculator on this site is not intended to replace any existing calculator. It is meant to demonstrate the significant accuracy improvement achieved by the WMA Age Grade Update Committee partially due to having much more performance data. Most of the events included are contested at WMA Championships.
I’m training about 3 days a week, was an 85.56% AG in the 200m in high school, currently hovering in the mid-70’s. What are the most common reasons for such a discrepancy?
Hello, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. 85.56% means you ran between 22.58s and 23.83s in high school. Your current time converts to 25.41s. Presuming this is accurate, the discrepancy would probably be due to a difference in your physical shape, conditioning and preparation / training.
Makes sense — what are the best ways to bridge that gap? Haha
I think the new age grading would be much more accurate if you took into account that people age throughout the year. If I am 55 years and 9 months old, I am much closer to 56 than 55. That should reflect in the age grading. The Grubb calculator allows decimals for your age. At 55 years and 9 months, I can enter 55.7 years old. It’s not a massive difference but it is a more accurate picture. Thank you.
Hello Pete, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Thank you for sharing your opinion. Grubb may continue to include the decimal calculation. Age Grades, by their nature, are not accurate. We have yet to decide whether we will continue to have the calculator available. It is currently because we wanted to explain the change to the proposed WMA factors and show they are much improved over previous versions because millions more performances were used.
An update: the proposed factors have been approved and will go into effect on 1 January 2023.
A funny/interesting thing happened to me when I was playing with the calculator to see what the equivalent of a 2:00 800m for a 65 year old male would be (I ran 2:00.4 best in college, recently turned 66 and wanted to see the ‘expected slow down between age 65 and 66 would show. When I entered 2:33.57 (I wish!) for age 65 male, the result was ‘1:60.00’! (instead of 2:00.00) Probably a silly bug or conversion problem.
Hello Steven, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Thank you for letting us know and great catch!!! FYI, we submitted this as a question so we will let you know when it is fixed.
I enjoyed the new tables and used several of my present performances at age 67 to compare with the one season I ran track at the US Coast Guard Academy in 1977. The new tables are very close to my performances 45 years ago, even after converting from yards to meters. Thanks and please do keep the calculator on the website.
Hello Wayne, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is helpful to have the feedback.
Different Topic: Ranking/Season Completion Dates for Rankings
I found an outdoor T&F event in November (after the usual Huntsman Outdoor Championship which is usually recognized as the end of the outdoor season). Since I’ll be using an outdoor shot means that the distance will be included in the ‘outdoor’ rankings…but…also found an indoor event in December. Just wondering when the rankings for the year are finalized?
(31 Dec or season specific date)?
Hello Gerry, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. https://mastersrankings.com/policies/
Outdoor Season & Lists
Outdoor rankings lists include performances contested outdoors either on a track for running events or a suitable field event facility. Events contested on an oversized indoor track are eligible for ranking in the outdoor list. Lists include performances between January 1 through December 31 each year.
Indoor Season & Lists
Indoor rankings lists include performances contested indoors meeting WMA or National Governing Body indoor rules including track size. Performances on an oversized track and events contested outdoors are not eligible. Most indoor competitions are held between November and March. Indoor rankings lists include eligible performances from competitions held between April and March. The exception to this is when the WMA Indoor Championship is held after March 31. The season will be extended to the end of the WMA Championship. The season will be tagged the ending year’s Indoor Season for brevity on this site. For example, we are currently in the 2021 – 2022 Indoor Season shown as 2022 Indoor Season on this site.
Back when I started throwing (2004-2005), I went to the weight pentathlon Nationals with my brother…Bob Ward gave all of us a very nice magazine sized book…the best part, everyone threw the Olympics implements, at the start of the weight pentathlon in 1955.
For my two cents, how could we equate any age-group rankings and comparing them to
actual world record performances…my 4k hammer throw distances have nothing to do
with the actual hammer weighing 7.26k. Much to do about nothing.
Comparing the Masters Rankings (MR) “Standards” (World Records) for women with those published by WMA appear to differ.
MR-W60m = 6.95 – WMA-W60m = 6.92, WR = 6.92
MR-W100m = 10.64 – WMA-W100m = 10.49, WR = 10.49
MR-W200m = 21.63 – WMA-W200m = 21.34, WR = 21.34
Is there a reason for this?
Hello Courtney, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. The Standards shown on MastersRankings are the Standards set and used by WMA’s Age Grading Update Committee who derived the 2023 Age Grading Factors. Standards are not always the World Record.
However, you appear to be using the earlier tables? The 6.95 for W60m is from the 2010 table, not the WMA 2023 table.
6.95, not 6.92, is the 2023 WMA Women’s 60m Standard. MastersRankings is using the 2023 WMA Age Grading Factors and the Standards WMA’s Committee used.
I’ve just found this site, and I’m just now considering returning to competition. I’m trying to understand this system. Am I correct that if I enter my current age, gender, event, and a performance, that the system calculates what that best guess equivalent performance would be if done by me or anyone back in their college years?
For example, I found that I can enter 11.91m for the triple jump, and the new 2023 calculation provides a 14.40m Age Graded Performance, or my college PR. So, if, at my age of 52 today, I jumped 11.91m that would be the equivalent of me tying my PR? I obviously don’t expect that I will do that…but if I did jump 11.92m, for example, I could consider that an all-time PR? Am I understanding this correctly? Thanks!
Hello Jeff, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Yes, it is an approximation of the equivalent in your 20s.
J’ai découvert que mes résultats 2022 ne sont pas à jour .
Le Semi marathon de Saint Omer 18/09/2022 , à Saint Omer :
Valencia marathon 04/12/2022 : 2h27’28
Hello! Hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Please fill out this form ( https://mastersrankings.com/submit-performances/ ) to submit any performance missing from your profile. Times are instantly listed on it and your best time will be updated on the Rankings list usually within 15 minutes. Please read the screen. It tells you how it interprets what you enter. For example, the 5000m time for Saint Maur Les Fosses in Saint Maur Les Fosses, FRA on 6 Jul 22 was interpreted as 42 hours, 32 minutes and 19 seconds – this was displayed on the screen. The way you enter 15 minutes 31.39 seconds so it is interpreted correctly is 15:31.39. This, and other formats that are recognized, are also shown on the submission form.
Please click on each time that is incorrect then tell us the correct time. Times, heights, distances and scores are links to the report error form which make it easy for you to report any issue like incorrect performance or duplicate / misspelled athlete or competition. It helps us to know exactly what needs to be corrected.
Hope this helps.
I understand the principle of estimating what the same athlete would have performed at a peak age. But all of the throwing events (weight) and hurdles (height and spacing) are changed with advancing age. Are we comparing the same events across time (though we never did those events back in the day) or the age-adjusted events? For example, if the specs for my age are a 5-kg shot put, do I compare with 16# in college, 12# in high school, or a mythical 5-kg event at an earlier time?
Hello David, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. The adjusted time or distance is for the open event. For example, your 1:08.04 in 300mH is an Age Graded Performance of 1:11.81 (63.98% Age Grade) for 400mH. Age Graded Performances in shot put would be for 16#.
If I were to be using the new tables to compare performances for a race across multi age groups, what would I use if the race is 8km or another less common distance? In the Howard Grubb Table, we could enter the exact distance.
Hello Susan, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. The Howard Grubb Table to which you appear to be referring, http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/mldrroad20.html, uses USATF MLDR Age Grading Factors. Those are usually updated every 5 years. WMA Age Grading Factors only include selected events which are mostly those contested at WMA Championships. Few events overlap in WMA and USATF MLDR Age Grading Factors.
I am confused now. The age % performance used to be calculated from the age standard and not from the open standard. Here is an example when I go into the (Grubb) calculator with 2015 numbers. I am female 58 and ran 14.55 in 100m sprint. The age standard in this age group is 13.28 so my age performance is 91.27%. So for this comparison we don’t need the factors at all. I agree with more realistic age graded results with updates factors compared to open standards but the age grade results should only be compares to age standards to reflect how you are doing compared to the rest of the world actually competing and being able to run at that speed or throw, jump.
Hello Petra, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. The age standard is the open standard x the age grading factor. There is no change in the way age grading is calculated.
Greetings from Belgium!
There is something a bit surprising regarding the new WMA AGE FACTORS. Please, take a look at the old and new values for the 60 meters in the M60 category. (The same conclusion would be true for all masters beyond M45.)
60m 100m 200m
0.8404 0.8414 0.8332
0.8769 0.8429 0.8312
As you may expect, there are only small differences for the 100m and 200m. But the new value for the 60m is VERY different. It amounts to about 100 points!
Here are a few examples: Time, non-graded points, old results and new results.
8.00 560 980 875
8.50 423 830 726
9.00 304 690 589
9.50 203 563 465
10.00 120 447 357
Does anyone understand/know what prompted such an enormous modification of the old factors?
Hello Ludwig, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Thank you for asking. Questions like this help to validate the new factors being the most accurate to date. The difference appears to be the 2014 factors for 60m were not representative of Masters capabilities. In case you were not aware, combined events scores are calculated using the IAAF, now WA, formula: Track events P=a*(b – T)**c [where T is Time in seconds; e.g. 10.43 for 100 metres]. Masters scores are calculated using T = [MastersTime] x [AgeGradingFactor]. The M60 Record, 7.52, is an Age Graded equivalent of 6.32 (1138pts) using the 2014 factors. The 2014 factors result in the M60 record being 0.02 seconds faster than the WA record. The 2023 Age Graded equivalent is 6.60 (1010pts).
Deriving 2023 included analysis of individuals’ times as they aged so the factors could better represent performance decline over time. Many athlete’s Age Graded equivalent would be faster as the athlete aged using previous factor updates. The Age Graded equivalent is much more consistent using the 2023 factors.
Thank you for the article and the calculator – 1st time using for Race Walking. Put in my 3000M info. However, could not find a 1500M Race Walk which I also completed at the same meet in Hampton, Virginia – Feb 11, USTA Indoor Masters Championship. Do you have any data for this distance?
Hello Virginia, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Sorry, WMA does not have factors for that distance.
Hi John Seto
I am masters rankings member. When I forget my PW on another device, how can I “back in” to obtain my PW. Other sites ask the question: “did you forget your password?” With a button to push for a new PW
Hello Wayne, hope you, your family and friends are well and safe. Sorry for the trouble. You can re-register (https://www.mastersrankings.com/login/) to change your password and / or email. You can also send us a password you want to use and we will change it for you.