Originally Posted by SLW
I'm a newb, can someone explain to me what they mean by "benchmark"? What does it mean if you say "player X is a benchmark player now"?
This simply means that they are a player that advanced to sectionals and/or nationals. By advancing to that point, they will end up playing matches against other areas/districts/sections and establish a comparison point between those areas/districts/sections. As such, they become a benchmark to compare other players from their own local league against.
The idea is that by using the ratings of these players as a "benchmark", recalculations can be done at the local league level and the players that played the benchmark player and by extension, the league as a whole is adjusted accordingly to keep the meaning of a "4.0" (or any level for that matter) in one section similar to the meaning of a "4.0" in another.