As of the 2017 Lory Meagher competition, Cavan have made a return to senior intercounty hurling, meaning that all 32 counties of Ireland are again represented. As such, we've had to include them in our rating system.
Though they had technically been included in our database (in order to include matches played in Breffni park), they had been assigned a null rating. However, they now require an initial rating to work from.
One of the issues with Elo rating systems, or variants thereof, is that they can suffer from inflation as new players or teams are added. When a new team is added, they can't be given a rating of zero, as this could result in them receiving a negative score, which wouldn't really work. However, by giving them a non-zero rating, you now have more points in the system overall. This potentially allows a team to gain a higher overall score simply because there are now more teams, and can make historical comparison difficult.
The approach opted for in the website's rating system was to adjust all initial ratings so that the average rating remained the same. While Cavan could simply have been given an average rating to begin with, in order to avoid tweaking the ratings of all other teams, it's safe to say that this would have been overly optimistic about their abilities, and it would have taken a lot of matches before the system would fully adjust.
Cavan were assigned an initial rating of 1000 (this has already gone down following their loss to Warwickshire in their opening match). All other teams have received slightly higher initial ratings to compensate. As such, many teams now have slightly increased ratings, but they remain the same relative to one another. For example, the league final predictions still have the exact same odds as before for both teams.
As always, to see our current ratings for each team, go to our Ratings page.