Ranking Explained

Background

The decision to take on this ambitious project was not taken lightly. It has been done with the blessing of Table Tennis England and a lot of consultation with league administrators to whom we wish to express our thanks.

We have provided our ranking system to the community because earlier this year we reached a critical point with the number of leagues using our league manager software; and for the first time ever, delivering a true national ranking system became a realistic possibility.

We knew from the many requests we had received from administrators and players that there was an appetite for a national ranking system and we believe that this new initiative will bring with it a host of new opportunities for players as well as save administrators vast amounts of time.

Our long-term goal is to produce a national ranking list that includes every player in the country and for each player rating to be an accurate and relative guide to how good they are, in relation to every other player in the country.

Achieving this goal with such a significant number of players promises to be a monumental task and will likely take some time to be considered fully accurate to within acceptable ranges, but every result that is entered takes us one step closer to our goal.

The scheme is operated by Table Tennis 365 (not Table Tennis England) and all enquiries about ranking should be made in the first instance to your local administrator, who will respond and where appropriate channel your enquiry to us.

To be included in our ranking system you must belong to a league that uses our League Manager module, which over 200 leagues now do.

We are extremely pleased to be able to have released this new feature to the whole Table Tennis 365 family for free and look forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to our sport, in the years to come.

This document is intended to be a guide to how our ranking system works and answer common questions asked by players and administrators. If this document leaves you with unanswered questions, please email: ranking@tabletennis365.com and we will endeavour to provide you with an answer.

 

Fundamentals

Each player has a number of points, their rating. If a player wins, their points will increase; if they lose or don’t play, their points will go down.

Our ranking system is inflationary which means every match that is played results in the overall number of points within the system going up. This is managed annually by a percentage drop across the board, but principally the system rewards players for playing.

The point of the ranking list is not to predict who is better than who or who would beat who in a match, but over a full season’s worth of results history to determine each player’s relative level within an organisation. Table Tennis is such a complex sport with style of play, equipment used, conditions in venues, fitness of opponent, fluke match events and various other factors all having a bearing on who might win a match against predicted rating, that sometimes a player may seem over or under ranked. The important thing to remember is that the ranking list is a valuable guide, it should not be used exclusively to determine selection but rather seen as a valuable tool to aid in selection, track player progression and increase competition at all levels.

 

Specifics

Point Exchange

Point exchanges are made for every match processed. In every match, there is a winner and a loser. A straight games win yields the same outcome as a win, deuce in the deciding game.

The difference in the ratings between two players serves as a predictor of the outcome of a match.

Two players with equal ratings who play against each other are considered to have a 50/50 chance of winning or losing.

A player whose rating is greater than their opponent's is expected to win and the greater the points difference the more reliable the prediction.

When the stronger player beats the weaker player, there are less points to be gained and lost; if the weaker player unexpectedly wins there is a far greater gain of points for them and loss of points for their opponent.

A player’s rating should eventually reach a stable level that reflects the balance between points won and points lost. When achieved, only an improvement in performance should improve the ranking position.

The point exchange table can be found here.

Categories & Ranking Lists

In an all-encompassing national system that includes club, local league, county and national results; men, women and children all play each other regularly and there is no rule that says any one group should be more or less likely to win a match. Therefore, ratings are based on the results from every match played. We do not have any form of separated ranking category; however, this does not stop the production of categorised lists.

When a list is produced for a category such as cadet, the list is produced by taking all the players that meet the age criteria and then ranking them in order according to the number of points they have in the national ranking database. The production of a junior list would then expand the number of players in the list, but the cadets within that list would not change position, they would merely be pushed down the list by higher rated juniors. This principle allows for the accurate creation of ranking lists based on almost any criteria. For example, from the national list you could derive a county list for over 65 females or a cadet boys list for a local club.

All adopters of the system have the ability to define their own reporting categories, as they see fit in addition to the standard ones defined by us.

Results Inclusion

The more results entered for any player, the greater the accuracy of the rating it produces.

With this in mind we take results from as many sources as possible and they all contribute to the overall ranking database. A list displayed on a local league website is merely an example of a report category where we take all the players of that league that have a national ranking, then rank them according to their national points. Playing in multiple leagues would mean the results from all leagues are counted towards a players rating. This cross-pollination locally in addition to the pollination that occurs when players play in national events ensures rating ranges across leagues, clubs and counties are accurate to within acceptable levels.

Each player has a rating and they can take that rating to any competition in the country and with that rating ensure they are playing someone of comparable standard.

If results of yours are not being included, you can email ranking@tabletennis365.com for further help and advice.

Unrated Players

Unrated players gain a rating by playing at least 4 matches against players who already have a rating and achieving at least one win.

The rating depends on the number of wins and the rating of the opponent(s).

1 win with some losses = the same rating as the beaten opponent, less 100 points.

2 wins with some losses = the median rating points of the two beaten opponents.

3 wins with some losses = the median rating points of the three beaten opponents, plus 100 points.

4 to 8 wins with some losses = the same rating points as highest beaten opponent, less 100 points.

4 to 8 wins with zero losses = the same rating as highest beaten opponent, plus 100 points.

9 or more wins with some losses = the median rating points of the two highest beaten opponents.

9 or more wins with zero losses = the same rating as highest beaten opponent, plus 100 points.

Single wins that are 500 points (or more) higher than the second highest win are discounted as potentially unreliable; should a player be under-rated as a result of this discounting they will quickly gain points and be flagged for re-ranking by our “invalid rank” kernel.

Re-Rating Players

We have a special software function that scans for signs of invalid rank.

Generally, if a player is gaining lots of large wins they are under ranked. Whilst eventually this player will reach their correct level it adds a level of unfairness to the beaten opponents who lose points because the player was under rated initially.

Our system can correct for these anomalies by re-rating the under ranked player and re-evaluating all their results, thus removing the negative affect experienced by their opponents and also ensuring the re-rank puts the player nearer their true position.

Administrators also have the ability to request a re-rank and can give real-time feedback using their local knowledge to help re-rank the player accurately, however they have no direct control of player ratings, all changes are made by us, taking suggestions into account along with our own algorithms.

Re-ratings only take affect after a full monthly ranking run.

International Results

Our system is national and as such includes the very best players in the country. Some of these players do not play in England very often but a reflection of their results abroad is necessary to ensure they remain in an appropriate position.

When someone plays a player in an international event who is ranked in the top 30% of the ITTF world ranking list they are given a dummy rating equivalent to our ranking system point range. If the player is ranked outside of the top 30% on the ITTF world ranking list, the player would gain a nominal one point for the win and experience zero points loss for losing the match.

This algorithm is updating regularly.

Periods

The ranking season runs from the 1st August to the 31st July, the following year.

There are 12 periods within a ranking season, the first day of the moth to the last day of the month inclusive.

Ranking runs are completed a few days after the period ends, to give administrators an opportunity to enter results before the period is processed. The dates for these runs can be found here.

After a ranking run, the ranking period lists are permanently saved for historical purposes and can be accessed by using the filters on any ranking page.

We also produce a daily provisional list which is based on the points a player has at the end of the last full period (their current points) and applying in chronological order, every result recorded since the last run to date -1 day. Provisional ratings do fluctuate due to the chronological nature of processing, caused by the random dates results are entered into the system. Provisional rankings are a guide to what a ranking may be, but are subject to daily change until the next official ranking run is completed.

Calculations

Rankings are calculated by taking the season starting points of each players and calculating the point adjustments of every result in our database, in chronological order. This happens every time a full ranking run is completed.

All results entered into the Table Tennis 365 results repository (league & tournament) are eligible to be included in ranking. Each administrator has control over whether or not results they enter are included and is also required to specify the type of event, so that an appropriate weighting can be given to each result. Refer to weightings section for more info on weightings.

For every match our system compares the ratings of the players involved and calculates the points difference. This points difference is then used in conjunction with the event weight and our point exchange table to determine the number of points won/lost from the match.

Audit

Our website displays a detailed audit of every player which shows all their results with the points won/lost, as well as a graphical representation of their points, position and change history over time. To access the audit of any player simply click the link under their name, on a ranking list.

Inactive periods

We do not penalise players for inactive periods, the only requirement to stay on the list is to play in at least one match per year and be a registered player member of Table Tennis England. However, because of the annual drop imposed on all players at the end of the season a player playing in only one or a small number of matches will likely find their rating going down annually, as they have not gained enough points to maintain their rating over time. It is not a perfect solution but the theory is that if a player is not playing their standard should drop. If the player returns at a later date and is now under-ranked, they will be picked up by our “invalid rank” kernel and treated no differently to an initially under/over ranked player.

Any player that fails to play in at least one match in a single season will lose their ranking points and be required to be re-rated if they re-enter the ranking scheme.

Bonus Points

Bonus points are only applied to tournament that have a weighting of 1.5 or greater.

Weightings

The amount of points won/lost from a match is dependent on the weighting of the event.

The purpose of weightings is to give more importance to certain events, generally because they are considered more elite or played less frequently, therefore a player playing at an elite level may genuinely not be able to win enough points to maintain their genuine standard when playing at a low weighting.

A good example would be a top nationally ranked player playing in a local league, who wins every match but due to the difference in points between himself and his opponents he may only gain 1 point per match. For someone on 3000+ points gaining 30 nominal wins in a season would not be nearly enough to maintain that points value after the year-end drop.

Players that are at the top of their current league are encouraged to play in higher level events, which carries stiffer competition, at a higher weighting with more points available.

A list of all weightings can be found here.

End of Season

To aid competitiveness at the end of each season all ratings are reduced by a percentage value equivalent to the percentage growth of the overall points pot. This serves to bring players closer together without changing the ranking order thus increasing the possibility of lower rated players overtaking higher rated players.

 

Operation, Queries, Questions & Complaints

The Ranking Scheme is operated by Table Tennis 365.

The independent advisor to Table Tennis 365 on ranking matters is Malcolm Macfarlane.

Results entry correction is under the control of the local administrator.

Players are advised to study their audit report before raising queries.

Queries relating to incorrect results should be reported to the original results inputter or the general secretary of the organisation under which the match was played.

Players & administrators are advised to fully read this document and all FAQ’s before raising questions relating to the operation of this ranking system.

Questions or Complaints relating to the operation of this ranking system (NOT result queries) should be directed to ranking@tabletennis365.com

A deposit of £25 will be chargeable to any player or administrator that reports a query that requires investigation by a member of Table Tennis 365 staff.

  1. Should the query highlight a fault or discrepancy between how the system is operating and this documentation, then the deposit would be returned, along with a Tees Sport voucher for £25 and our thanks for highlighting a problem.
  2. Should the query be proven to be false, the player or administrator will receive an explanation in the form of an email and the deposit lodged will be lost.

As this ranking system is operated by Table Tennis 365, independently of Table Tennis England, there is no appeals process, the operator’s decision is final.

 

FAQ

How can a player in division two be ranked higher than a player in division one?

The team a player belongs to is not necessarily a reliable guide to their standard.

Each player’s rating is based on their performance, so in order for a player to be rated at 2000 points, they must have defeated players above or around that level previously and then maintained their rating by winning enough matches to avoid a drop-in rating. It is perfectly reasonable for this scenario to occur and goes back to one of the fundamental points of ranking, which is that it is just a guide as to relative level. In many leagues the difference between the top division two team and bottom division one team is negligible.

There are other reasons why this scenario can occur, such as the players in question having previously played at a higher or lower level, as it takes time for a player’s level to stabilise, especially those players who jump up and down divisions annually.

 

Will results of our local league tournament be included?

Yes, the administrators of local league have the ability to enter results from singles events.

 

Why can I see results from other leagues in a player’s audit?

This is a national ranking system and as such results from any league or tournament are included.

  • Without this cross-pollination players, would have different ratings in different leagues.
  • It would be impossible to produce accurate county rankings.
  • There would be no correlation in standards between leagues.
  • The explosion in local tournaments that will now be possible, would simply not be possible.

 

Can we exclude the results from other leagues and events?

No, this is fundamentally not possible.

 

I don’t want to appear in the ranking list.

That’s fine, your local administrator will have the ability to hide your name.

 

Point Exchange Table

Expected Loss
  0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5
0 - 24 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6
25 - 49 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -5
50 - 99 0 -2 -3 -3 -4 -5
100 - 149 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -4
150 - 199 0 -1 -2 -2 -3 -3
200 - 299 0 -1 -2 -2 -2 -2
300 - 399 0 0 -1 -1 -1 -1
400 - 499 0 0 0 0 0 0
500 - 9999 0 0 0 0 0 0
Unexpected Loss
  0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5
  -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6
  -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -8
  -1 -3 -5 -6 -8 -9
  -2 -4 -6 -8 -10 -12
  -2 -5 -8 -10 -13 -15
  -3 -6 -9 -12 -15 -18
  -4 -8 -12 -16 -20 -24
  -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30
  -6 -13 -20 -26 -33 -39
Expected Wins
  0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2 2.25 2.5 3
0 - 24 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 24
25 - 49 1 4 6 7 9 11 12 14 16 18 21
50 - 99 1 3 5 6 8 9 11 12 14 15 18
100 - 149 1 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 13 15
150 - 199 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12
200 - 299 0 2 2 3 4 5 5 6 7 8 9
300 - 399 0 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6
400 - 499 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3
500 - 9999 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Unexpected Wins
  0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2 2.25 2.5 3
0 - 24 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 24
25 - 49 2 5 7 9 11 14 16 18 20 23 27
50 - 99 2 6 9 11 14 17 19 22 25 28 33
100 - 149 3 7 11 14 18 21 25 28 32 35 42
150 - 199 4 9 13 17 21 26 30 34 38 43 51
200 - 299 5 11 17 22 28 33 39 44 50 55 66
300 - 399 7 15 23 30 38 45 53 60 68 75 90
400 - 499 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 120
500 - 9999 12 25 38 50 63 75 88 100 113 125 150

 

Weights Chart

3
Olympic Games (run by:- NGB)
World Championships (run by:- NGB)
2.75
European Senior Championships (run by:- NGB)
2.5
Commonwealth Games (run by:- NGB)
Euro-Asia Matches (run by:- NGB)
European Champions League (run by:- NGB)
European Top 12 Senior (run by:- NGB)
ITTF World Singles Cup (run by:- NGB)
ITTF World Team Cup (run by:- NGB)
ITTF World Tour (Pro-Tour) Major & Super (run by:- NGB)
Olympic Qualification Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
2.25
Commonwealth Championships (run by:- NGB)
ETTU Cup (run by:- NGB)
European Championships Qualification Matches (run by:- NGB)
ITTF World Tour Challenger (run by:- NGB)
Senior National Championships (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
2
Senior Foreign Open Championships (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Veteran National Championships (run by:- NGB)
1.75
Home Countries International Competitions (run by:- NGB)
Senior 4 star Open (run by:- County)
Senior 4 star Open (run by:- Region)
Senior 4 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Senior Home Nations (run by:- NGB)
Senior National Championships Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Veterans Six Nations (run by:- NGB)
VETTS National Masters (Over 40s only) (run by:- NGB)
World Junior and Cadet Championships (run by:- NGB)
1.5
Banded Grand Prix Event (inc satellite) (run by:- NGB)
Euro Mini Championships (run by:- NGB)
Inter-Regional Championships (run by:- NGB)
Open Grand Prix Event (inc satellite) (run by:- NGB)
Over 40s Premier County Championships (run by:- NGB)
Senior 2 star Open (run by:- County)
Senior 2 star Open (run by:- Region)
Senior 2 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Senior 3 star Open (run by:- County)
Senior 3 star Open (run by:- Region)
Senior 3 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Senior English Leagues Cup - Finals (run by:- NGB)
Senior Friendly International Matches (run by:- NGB)
Senior Home Countries Championships (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Senior Premier County Championships (run by:- NGB)
VETTS Rating Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
VETTS Regional Tournament (Over 40s only) (run by:- NGB)
1.25
European Top 12 Junior (run by:- NGB)
European Youth Championships (run by:- NGB)
Inter regional Qualifications (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran County Championships (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
1
Cadet or Junior 4 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior or Mini Foreign Open Championships (run by:- NGB)
Cadet Six Nations (run by:- NGB)
Closed Tournament (U21, Senior, Veteran events) (run by:- Region)
Europe Youth top 10 (run by:- NGB)
ITTF World Junior Circuit (run by:- NGB)
Junior and Cadet Masters (run by:- NGB)
Junior or Cadet Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Junior, Cadet or u10-13 National Championships (run by:- NGB)
Regional League (Senior, Veteran events) (run by:- Region)
Senior English Leagues Cup Competition (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Senior Regional Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
U21 Grand Prix Event (inc satellite) (run by:- NGB)
Under 12, Cadet and Junior National Cup (run by:- NGB)
0.75
Cadet or Junior 2 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior 3 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior English Leagues Cup - Finals (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior Friendly International Matches (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior Home Countries Championships (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior Home Nations (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior Premier County Championships (run by:- NGB)
Closed Tournament (Senior, Veteran events) (run by:- League)
Closed Tournament (U21, Senior, Veteran events) (run by:- County)
County League (Senior, Veteran events) (run by:- County)
Junior 4 star Open (run by:- County)
Junior 4 star Open (run by:- Region)
Junior or Cadet Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Senior 1 star Open (run by:- County)
Senior 1 star Open (run by:- Region)
Senior 1 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
UK School Games (run by:- NGB)
0.5
BATTS Super-League (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior 1 Star Open Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior County Championships (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior English Leagues Cup Competition (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior Regional National Champ Quals (run by:- NGB)
Cadet or Junior Regional Tournaments (run by:- NGB)
Closed Tournament (Junior, Cadet, Mini events) (run by:- County)
Closed Tournament (Junior, Cadet, Mini events) (run by:- Region)
Closed Tournament (Senior, Veteran events) (run by:- Club)
Competitive Club League (run by:- Club)
County League (Junior, Cadet or Mini events) (run by:- County)
Cup Competitions (run by:- League)
Junior 2 star Open (run by:- County)
Junior 2 star Open (run by:- Region)
Junior 3 star Open (run by:- County)
Junior 3 star Open (run by:- Region)
Junior or Cadet Team Event (run by:- NGB)
National Cadet League (run by:- NGB)
National Junior League (run by:- NGB)
National Regional Squad Championships (run by:- NGB)
Regional League (Junior, Cadet or Mini events) (run by:- Region)
Senior or Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Winter League (run by:- League)
0.25
Closed Tournament (Junior, Cadet or Mini events) (run by:- Club)
Closed Tournament (Junior, Cadet or Mini events) (run by:- League)
Competitive Junior League (run by:- Club)
Junior 1 star Open (run by:- County)
Junior 1 star Open (run by:- Region)
Junior League (run by:- League)
Junior or Cadet Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Senior Team Event (run by:- NGB)
Summer or Friendly League (run by:- Club)
Summer or Friendly League (run by:- League)
Veteran Team Event (run by:- NGB)
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