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When your strength graph is displayed as a dashed line, it indicates that your strength rating is not yet considered reliable. The number of bouts you have fenced plays a significant role in determining the reliability of your rating.
To provide a simple explanation, if you have participated in fewer than 12 bouts in a particular weapon, your strength rating may still be subject to significant uncertainty. As you engage in more bouts, typically around 12, the uncertainty surrounding your rating tends to decrease, and we represent it as a solid line to signify its reliability.
However, the situation is more nuanced. The 12-bout guideline serves as a general rule of thumb, but it's not an absolute threshold. In reality, we take into account the uncertainty measure, often referred to as "sigma," which needs to drop below 200 points for us to consider your strength rating reliable.
Occasionally, it may take more than 12 bouts to achieve a reliable rating if your performance displays inconsistencies or erratic patterns. For example, if you alternate between defeating stronger opponents on one day and losing to weaker opponents on another, the uncertainty surrounding your rating remains high for a longer duration.
Therefore, the reliability of your strength rating depends on both the number of bouts you have fenced and the stability of your performance over time.