These days most of the hard work of grading is done by computers, so very few of us administering the system need to do any actual sums. Setting aside the rather tedious business of data entry, the most important part of the job is identifying players correctly. We have to get this right, otherwise all kinds of havoc ensue – a player may appear in the list twice under slightly different forms of name, or, even worse, a result may be assigned to the wrong person.

Everyone can do his or her bit. Club secretaries will help immensely by sending promptly the details of any new players who join their clubs: ideally, these details will include forename and surname, together with any middle initials, plus date of birth (for juniors) and sex. We also need to know if the player has a grading record elsewhere. Individual players can help by checking their entries in the grading list: if your date of birth is missing, or there is something not quite right about your name, let Julie Denning know to get it fixed. The more of these details that get into the system, the fewer mistakes there'll be.