up to scratch, (to come/be)

up to scratch, (to come/be)

An adequate performance; satisfactory. The word “scratch” alludes to a line or mark used in several sports (see also start from scratch). In early nineteenth-century boxing a rule was introduced that after a knockdown and a thirty-second wait, a fighter had eight seconds to make his way to a mark scratched in the center of the ring; if he could not do so without help, he was considered defeated. The term was used literally by William Hazlitt in an 1822 essay on boxing and began to be used figuratively about the same time. George Orwell had it in Burmese Days (1934): “If they won’t come up to scratch you can always get hold of the ringleaders and give them a good bambooing.”
See also: come, up