World Table Tennis Ranking (April 2019)

World Table Tennis Ranking (April 2019)

Here is the list of top males and top females table tennis players in the world using ERT table tennis ranking. However, you should notice that there are 2 Table Tennis Ranking Systems: ITTF Ranking System, and ERT Ranking System. Why the current ITTF World Ranking system is dangerous for the sport and the players? And why we need another “More Accurate” and “Fairer” System? Read below.


Purpose of the rating system

The rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in competitor-versus-competitor games such as sports, chess, table tennis, tennis, baskets, computer games, personnel management, and more.

So, “Rating = Skill Level”

How to measure “skills” in table tennis

According to the “Rating Central System” of Dr. David J. Marcus, Ph.D., the skills are considered as “playing strength”.

The higher ranked player will have a higher chance to win the competition.

The rating system should present the real playing strength of each player
The rating system should present the real playing strength of each player

So by using these typical laws of the rating system: a Better player has a higher chance to win (from Rating Central).

The upset can also be determined. The better ranking system will predict correctly the probability of the upset.

So the laws are:

“There is a 95% probability that the player’s playing strength is between the mean minus twice the standard deviation and the mean plus twice the standard deviation.”

“The probability that a match will be upset is determined solely by the difference in playing strengths of the two players. The larger the difference in the playing strengths, the more likely it is that the stronger player will win.

When you have higher ranking point, you should have higher probability of winning
When you have a higher ranking point, you should have a higher probability of winning

You can clearly see in the playing strength rating system: Upset and the probability of winning are related.

“The purpose of rating system is to seed the better player (higher skilled player)”

So in table tennis, the rating system helps you to determine who will have a higher chance to win. The best player has the highest ranking.

The real world ranking

Why we need another table tennis ranking system? Why don’t you just use the ITTF ranking system?

Because the current ITTF World Ranking has many flaws. It’s not correct!

Really? Yes, read below to understand what are the problems with the current world ranking system. I’ve summarized the list of the best table tennis players of all time.

And I also made an amazing animation for the top 10 Male and Female players actually! You should look, and will understand quickly! Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, Xu Xin, Harimoto Tomokazu, Timo Boll are also one of the best players, but their ranking goes up and down with the new ITTF system. So I decided to make my own rating program.

Several working hours with hundreds of lines of code.

 

Table Tennis Rankings: Top 10 players (Jan 2015- June 2017)

Watch this video.

 

Enjoy this! The program is coded with hundreds of line of codes. And read below!


ITTF rating system: New Problems

Basic principles of the New Ranking System (Taken directly from ITTF.com):

  • The new ranking is based on the final positions reached at the tournaments only (regardless of the relative strength of the opponent player).
  • Only bonus points are awarded (no rating points are given), which are valid for 12 months, except the World Championships.
  • NO loss of points in case of losing a match.

This new rating system is totally ridiculous!

The new world ranking data of ITTF only consider the recent results, and with the wrong multiplying weightings factor. The new ITTF Table Tennis ranking introduces many problems:

  • Many real top players will drop out of the top 100 best table tennis players. For example, many top players dropped out of the current Men Ranking (like Zhang Jike, Jun Mizutani, etc).
  • Some weaker players now jump into the top ranking due to the recent activities. For example, with the New World Ranking System makes Kanak Jha (USA Young Table Tennis Player) into Top 100.
  • This shows who’s the most active on the pro tour instead of who’s best. The official ITTF ranking system will force players to play more, pay more, but less quality. The seeding is a mess. The best player will be ranked lower.
current ITTF world ranking 01 2018
current ITTF world ranking 01 2018

Look at this recent official table tennis Men World Ranking.

  • Ovtcharov is ranked number 1, with 16 000 points. Which is 66% higher than Fang Bo (only 9000 points). Based on the Distribution Laws, Ovtcharov will have about 85% probability to win Fang Bo. Which is false! Ask Ovtcharov himself!
  • “How do you feel the confidence to win Fang Bo”? Of course, it’s not 85% to win!
  • Ma Long has only 13000 points and ranked 7. So his winning probability to Ovtcharov, Fan Zhendong is only about 15%. Ridiculous! The rating system of ITTF is false!
  • Fang Bo is ranked only 21, but look at the real results! He can easily win many higher ranked players. He has won, without any loss to many higher ranked players like Assar Omar (ranked 16), Quadri, Yuya, Hugo, Simon, Kenta.

Why it is dangerous

Why this ranking system is dangerous. Because, for the next event like the Olympics, or World Championships, the top players are seedings. But the seed won’t reflect the “real best players”. Many players will try to participate in many tournaments to get the “fake ranking”. There is the mess in the seedings. And it’s not fun at all. Top players need to be super-active or they are kicked out of the ranking.

With the new system: Best players is ranked very low (Timo Boll)
With the new system: Best players are ranked very low (Timo Boll)

It is no longer the World Ranking

So ITTF table tennis ranking is no longer reflect the true world ranking. What does the ITTF world ranking stand for? What should you consider the official ITTF ranking right now? The so-called ITTF World Ranking is not the real World Ranking.

good, average or poor performance - all depends on your rating points
good, average or poor performance – all depends on your rating points

For me, ITTF ranking right now is just the ranking of the most active players in Pro Tours.

You should understand the Official ITTF ranking as:

“ITTF Ranking = The ranking for the most active player recently

It’s NOT the ranking of the top table tennis players in the world.

Failure-proof?

Yes, just take this example. Ma Long is currently considered as the strongest player right now. Here is the video that explains that Ma Long is the strongest player right now, despite that his ITTF World ranking is only number 9.

I just want to see “who is the best table tennis player in the World right now”. That’s the main motivation that I build my own system.

I don’t trust the ITTF World ranking system anymore.

 

TABLE TENNIS RANKING 2017! Ma Long #1

Watch this video.

 


ERT Table Tennis Ranking – Explication

0. The Motivation

Because you can no longer use the official ITTF rating system to evaluate who is the best table tennis player. I decided to make my own ranking system. This is the main reason why I need to spend the time to make my own ranking

I searched on the Internet and found that the most accurate “Rating System” which has been developed by David J. Marcus, Ph.D., and Sean P. O’Neill (Rating Centrals). Unfortunately, the author didn’t update the latest results due to some difficulties.

Rating Central Ranking - Latest Result only for June 2017
Rating Central Ranking – Latest Result only for June 2017

So I decided to make my own ranking system with the latest data from ITTF.

There are many advantages:

1. The self-correcting rating system

ERT ranking uses the self-correcting rating system, based on the ELO rating system. The ELO rating system is widely used in the world, not only for chess players but also for many sports competition. The current ITTF rating use “NO loss of points in case of losing a match” which is completely wrong! So the points will go up constantly during the time, and it’s called “rating inflation”.

Arpad Elo
Arpad Elo

The main advantage of the ELO system is:

  • The high-rated player is expected to score more win
  • The rating system is self-correcting
  • The rating system must reflect their true playing strength
elo rating principle
elo rating principle

No losing-point is a very bad idea. Because with this, the ITTF rating system is not the “self-correcting” system. You just play as many tournaments as possible. No matter your skills, your winning percentage, just play and win points. Even if you lose all of your matches to the lower ranked players, don’t worry! Just abuse and play!

Meanwhile, if you are the best players! If you don’t play enough. You are out of the game.

With the ITTF system, it’s impossible to compare the rating between the current players and the player in history. It’s a very bad design. While in every rating system in another sport, they try to fight and balance the “Ratings inflation and deflation”.

The real problem of rating inflation is [source wiki]

“For example, if there is inflation, a modern rating of 2500 means less than a historical rating of 2500, while the reverse is true if there is deflation. Using ratings to compare players between different eras is made more difficult when inflation or deflation are present.”

old ITTF rating system
The good old day of ITTF rating system which is rather precise

The old ITTF rating system is better. The points reflect the true player skills.

ZoomTT.com has published an article to compare the old and the new ITTF ranking system. Obviously, the new ITTF rating system failed to predict the results. 66% vs 75%.

Prediction between Old and New ITTF rating system
Prediction between Old and New ITTF rating system

2. Distribution model

ITTF Rating system didn’t use the correct distribution model. That’s why in the current ranking, Ovtcharov has a very high point due to his recent activities, meanwhile, the same level players have such a lower point. While ERT Ranking system uses a much better and more accurate distribution model.

Many other rating systems used the distribution model to distribute the reward points. My rating system used the “logistic distribution” which is considered the most accurate model.

Logic Distribution Model is better
Logic Distribution Model is better

Logistic distribution model, which provide a better fit for the actual results achieved, especially for lower ranked players.

Top 100 Rating Distribution from OLD ITTF Rating
Top 100 Rating Distribution from OLD ITTF Rating

This is the rating distribution of the top 100 Men table tennis player in the world. (Rating from the OLD ITTF rating system November 2017). The rating is from 2200 (Omar Assar) to 3300 (Ma Long). The X-axis is Ranking position from 1 to 100. The Y-axis is the correspondent rating points.

 logistic distribution calculated by EmRatThich
logistic distribution calculated by EmRatThich

This is an example of the Logistic Distribution which reflects better the world ranking system. The adjusted parameter can be used to fit the real ranking system.

ranking distribution in Chess
ranking distribution in Chess

This is the ranking distribution for the Chess player. You can observe the same tendance. Which shows that my ranking system uses a better distribution than the new ITTF rating system.

 

logistic distribution in ELO
logistic distribution is also used in ELO Ranking system

3. Self-adjusted model

Attribute the correct rating points to the player requires a lot of work. It’s not as simple to “accumulate the recent points” like in the ITTF model.

I tend to build the system which can self-adjust to fit the player performance. My system is designed to correctly reflect the players “playing skills” and “performance”.

I’ve implemented the adjusted distribution method to evaluate the performance ratings.

5 domains of Performance Ratings of a player, or personal managements
5 domains of Performance Ratings of a player, or personnel management

This kind of distribution model is very effective, which is used in Personnel Management in the big company.

4. Different weighting factors

Why we need the Weighting factors for the tournament?

To attribute correctly the rating points, you need to consider several weighting factors. The first one is the “Tournament Factor”.

Just because winning a match in the Olympics is much more important than winning a match in the local, or the Open tournament.

Remember: To become a grand slam in table tennis, you need to win “Grand Slam” = Olympic Games + World Cup + World Championships for Table Tennis Tournament!

Weighting factors for the tournament have been used widely, like in ATP (Tennis World Ranking) and other sports. It’s called as “Point Distribution for Event”

Point Distribution for ATP (Tennis) More reward for more important event
Point Distribution for ATP (Tennis) More reward for the more important event

So here, I divide the tournament into several tiers: (here is the code, which will be updated constantly)

Olympics Games versus another Tournament
Olympics Games versus another Tournament

Tier 1: The most important tournament for a table tennis career

  • Olympic Games: The most important tournament in the history
  • World Table Tennis Championships
  • Men’s World Cup

Tier 2: The elite prestigious tournaments,

  • ITTF World Tour (including Grand Finals)
  • Challenge Series
  • ITTF World Junior Circuit (Junior & Cadet events including WJC Final)
  • ITTF World Cadet Challenge
  • Asian Cup, Asian Championship, European Championship

Tier 3: Regional and Open Competition, less difficult level

  • Regional Events
  • Multi-Sport Competitions
  • Challenge Series
  • ITTF Show-case events
  • Continental Cups
  • Africa Cup, Panam Cup, Oceania Cup

The top players will play his best at the most important event. So the more important event, the score reflects better the true level skills.

Ma Long won’t lose to any foreigner at the Olympics Game. But he can lose the same player in the Open Tournament.

5. Lucky and True Skill in table tennis

The second weighting factors should be considered is the “score factors”. EmRatThich World Table Tennis Ranking is currently the only one which considers the “luckiness” and the “skill factors” into the rating systems.

ITTF current rating system only considers the match results, for example, player A win so he gets the points. For ITTF, player A won player B 4-0 or 4-1 or 4-3, all are the same. ITTF only counts the “match results”.

Remember: Winning 4-0 and 4-3 is not the same!

But for me, winning 4-0 and winning 4-3 is totally different. By winning 4-0, you dominate the game, and your skill factors increase. If you win 4-3, the “lucky factor” will play an important role in the match results.

So I have implemented the “Lucky factor” into my rating system:

score is not the same
Match Score is not the same

Note that: This true-score-factor will be updated to reflect the real world ranking system. This is my first attempt, and it works very well.


ERT Table Tennis Ranking – April 2019

If you want to search for the latest world table tennis ranking for this month, here you are.

Input data

So what’s is the result? Who is the top table tennis players in the world?

By analyzing:

  • 43 735 table tennis matches played (in official ITTF events)
  • nearly 100 table tennis international tournaments during the year.
43 thousands table tennis matches played in ITTF tournaments
43 thousand table tennis matches played in ITTF tournaments
Nearly 100 tournaments organized by ITTF in 2017
Nearly 100 tournaments organized by ITTF each year

And by applying and fitting the most accurate distribution model

ELO distribution
ELO distribution

Men’s World Table Tennis Ranking

Top 100 World Ranking for Senior Mens table tennis players. Fan Zhendong is currently on top of the World. The top three are top 3 Chinese players Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin, and Lin Gaoyuan.

FAN-Zhendong is currently on top of the World
FAN-Zhendong is currently on top of the World

Here are the visualization charts of the top men table tennis ranking. You can clearly see the gap between the “top Chinese players” versus the rest of the World. You can also download the data (compiled by coach EmRatThich) in CSV, Excel, or just print it out.

Men's World Table Tennis Ranking Distribution
Men’s World Table Tennis Ranking Distribution

Here is the list of the top 50 men senior player on the world ranking.

PositionPlayerPoints
1MA Long17751
2FAN Zhendong15610
3XU Xin15025
4LIN Gaoyuan14551
5BOLL Timo13738
6HARIMOTO Tomokazu13725
7LEE Sangsu13629
8WONG Chun Ting13215
9CALDERANO Hugo12515
10NIWA Koki12151
11OVTCHAROV Dimitrij11910
12FALCK Mattias11353
13FRANZISKA Patrick11217
14CHUANG Chih-Yuan11108
15GROTH Jonathan11088
16FREITAS Marcos10834
17JEONG Sangeun10808
18SAMSONOV Vladimir10728
19MIZUTANI Jun10688
20GAUZY Simon10455
21JANG Woojin10244
22LIM Jonghoon9993
23ARUNA Quadri9955
24PITCHFORD Liam9929
25KARLSSON Kristian9869
26JEOUNG Youngsik9867
27FILUS Ruwen9782
28YOSHIMURA Maharu9591
29OSHIMA Yuya9568
30MATSUDAIRA Kenta9473
31ACHANTA Sharath Kamal9298
32APOLONIA Tiago8781
33GERASSIMENKO Kirill8754
34CHEN Chien-An8675
35GNANASEKARAN Sathiyan8580
36UEDA Jin8576
37HABESOHN Daniel8548
38LEBESSON Emmanuel8379
39MORIZONO Masataka8265
40LIN Yun-Ju8214
41KOU Lei8168
42WALTHER Ricardo8157
43ZHOU Yu7992
44DUDA Benedikt7833
45LIAO Cheng-Ting7668
46IONESCU Ovidiu7649
47STEGER Bastian7630
48GIONIS Panagiotis7509
49TSUBOI Gustavo7427
50PERSSON Jon7372
Current Men's World Ranking Table Tennis 2019

 

However, this official ranking is not accurate. It does not reflect the true “level skills” of the top players in the world. The more “exact” world ranking is presented below.

I’ve also explained what has changed, and why ITTF wants to imply the new ranking system. Here is the video:

Table Tennis World Ranking May 2018

Watch this video.

Women’s World Table Tennis Ranking

Here are the top 100 top Women table tennis players in the world. Ding Ning is ranked #WR1.

Ding Ning - one of the best female table tennis player of all time
Ding Ning – one of the best female table tennis player of all time

The distribution of the top 20 women table tennis ranking is interesting.

You can clearly see that the “gap” is much closer compared to the men’s ranking. Especially between the top Chinese female, and the Japanese female players.

Women's World Table Tennis Ranking Distribution
Women’s World Table Tennis Ranking Distribution

Here is the list of the top 100 Female Seniors players in table tennis. To find the name of the player, you can press “Ctrl – F” to quickly search and jump to her ranking position.

PositionPlayerPoints
1ZHU Yuling16269
2DING Ning15984
3ISHIKAWA Kasumi15263
4CHEN Meng15014
5WANG Manyu14430
6LIU Shiwen13914
7ITO Mima13910
8CHENG I-Ching13231
9HIRANO Miu13013
10CHEN Xingtong12594
11FENG Tianwei12565
12SUH Hyowon12209
13SATO Hitomi11898
14DOO Hoi Kem11700
15POLCANOVA Sofia11263
16JEON Jihee10684
17SHIBATA Saki10512
18GU Yuting10368
19SZOCS Bernadette10122
20KATO Miyu10014
21LI Jie9896
22SAMARA Elizabeta9808
23ZHANG Mo9787
24LI Qian9659
25CHEN Szu-Yu9397
26EKHOLM Matilda9359
27LEE Ho Ching8994
28YANG Haeun8973
29HASHIMOTO Honoka8937
30HAYATA Hina8723
31KIM Song I8689
32SAWETTABUT Suthasini8461
33POTA Georgina8410
34HAN Ying ^8348
35SUN Yingsha8221
36YU Fu ^8217
37NAGASAKI Miyu8160
38SOO Wai Yam Minnie8014
39EERLAND Britt7882
40YU Mengyu7769
41ANDO Minami7662
42DIAZ Adriana7504
43MESHREF Dina7339
44SOLJA Petrissa7309
45MIKHAILOVA Polina7060
46NI Xia Lian7050
47LIU Jia7023
48ZENG Jian ^^6957
49MITTELHAM Nina6920
50WU Yue6891
Current ITTF Women's World Ranking

 

Note: By observing the ranking for both Mens and Womens, there is something wrong!

The points gained by the WR #1 is much higher than the rest. WR #1 has too many points compared to the 2nd, and the 3rd position. It’s due to the  “unbalanced” points awards of the current ITTF ranking system. Read below to understand this, and could we do better?


ITTF ranking vs ERT Ranking

So which ranking system should you use? It’s up to you to use the current ITTF World Ranking table tennis or my calculated ranking system.

For me, ERT Ranking system is more accurate than the ITTF Ranking system. With the Rating Centre System, ERT ranking is one of the most accurate world ranking systems.

Here is an example of the top 20 table tennis players in 2018, rating calculated by EmRatThich. You can compare with the ITTF list, and give me your opinion.

2018 01 emratthich ranking
The most accurate world table tennis ranking by EmRatThich

Here is the ranking list of the top world class table tennis player this year:

RankingNamePoints
1FAN Zhendong (CHN)3182.47
2MA Long (CHN)3158.41
3OVTCHAROV Dimitrij (GER)3044.81
4BOLL Timo (GER)2945.38
5LIN Gaoyuan (CHN)2720.67
6XU Xin (CHN)2661.3
7HARIMOTO Tomokazu (JPN)2507.19
8MIZUTANI Jun (JPN)2428.72
9YAN An (CHN)2398.9
10FANG Bo (CHN)2385.39
11NIWA Koki (JPN)2361.72
12FREITAS Marcos (POR)2361.01
13MATSUDAIRA Kenta (JPN)2313.47
14LEE Sangsu (KOR)2293.41
15GAUZY Simon (FRA)2288.53
16SAMSONOV Vladimir (BLR)2263.98
17WONG Chun Ting (HKG)2193.25
18ARUNA Quadri (NGR)2157.05
19FILUS Ruwen (GER)2100.82
20CALDERANO Hugo (BRA)2092.93

 

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15 thoughts on “World Table Tennis Ranking (April 2019)”

  1. I agrees with you ! Good job ! I don’t think ITTF is correct , I started to search ‘ Is ITTF’s Ranking is wrong ? ‘ , and find your website , and I think you are correct . I hope ITTF will take a look of your ranking . Maybe you can leave a reply on the website.of ITTF or email them .

  2. Obviously, your system is way more accurate than the current ITTF rating system. ITTF is like a kindergarten system for rewards and gold stars with built in favoritism. Lots of hidden, unspoken deals are at work and it can never be an accurate ranking/rating system. The biggest inaccuracy, one that will mess up an honest system for a long time to come , is that the world’s majority of serious table tennis players are blocked from participation in the falsely-named “international” table tennis federation. Mostly, this is stopping the Chinese people. Yes we know Table Tennis was invented in the game rooms of the British ruling class, but those days are gone. China is prominent in table tennis, but much more than is reflected in the ITTF. To think that we have to hide it is harmful because we all lose our interaction, which has benefits that hugely outweigh the fear of “Chinese domination”, and gives a false satisfaction among non-Chinese players, spectators and manufacturers. Your system is the way forward but will only work well when the Chinese players are merged into one international system, like having the Super League merged in the ITTF. As a start, I propose having four or five regional opens in China added to the ITTF World Tour and the participants ranked in the ITTF (something like a Beijing Open, a Shanghai Open, a Guangzhou Open, and one other at least). Only a system like yours would work in a real international federation and fix the weird inequities that currently exist. Great work. Greetings from New York. John.

  3. GREAT work, I’m INCREDIBLY impressed!

    Any chance of a mid-year update? Maybe after the upcoming Korean and Australian opens?

    THANKS!!

  4. Yes, If I have a data then I can calculate the updated ranking system. But since then, ITTF has blocked the “Export Data” function on it’s official website. So I can get the data, to calculate my ranking list. Sorry 🙁

  5. Outstanding work, coach ERT, well done!

    I’m honestly disgusted at how ridiculous the new ITTF ranking system is. In my humble opinion, ITTF’s volatile and unbalanced decisions hold the potential to mire the popularity of table tennis in the dirt, as well as causing the top players to leave the scene.

    If that would happen, it would certainly do huge damage to the worldwide table tennis infrastructure. I, for one, would then possibly leave off following any formal competition and event status.

    If there is to be hope to preserve or improve the quality of the sport’s worldwide network, ITTF absolutely has to change their approach.
    However, we cannot make things better by causing division, we can only do so by standing together in support of what is right.

    Greetings from New Zealand!

  6. Superb works and results, Coach ERT ! 🙂

    Fully agree with you : the new system is inaccurate and the best player ever is ML, who has stand more than 4 years as world number one, and who would have stand few more months without the new system…
    Do you think it is possible to export one by one (“manually”) every match of biggest importance (to lower the worktime) ? You could create a rough ranking of the best 20 players, based on the 100 most important matches of the month ?
    Dont know if it is possible, but would be super great !!

    Greetings from France ! (I was one of the only French supporting FZD at the world cup in Paris !! 😀 )

  7. I think November 2018 1#ma long 2#fan zhendong 3#xu xin
    4#liang jingkung 5#lin gaonyauan 6#harimoto tomokazu
    7#jun mizutani 8#koki niwa 9#dimitrij ovtaroc
    10#timo boll

  8. You must be a data scientist to make this :).

    Would you mind sharing this as open source you can have people to make it more accessible. I would like to contribute too 🙂

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