World Table Tennis Ranking (November 2018)

World Table Tennis Ranking (November 2018)

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

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

Table tennis ranking – November 2018

If you want to search for the World Table Tennis Ranking for November 2018, here you are.

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.

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 100 men senior player on the world ranking.

 

Position Player Points
1 FAN Zhendong 17751
2 XU Xin 15610
3 BOLL Timo 15025
4 LIN Gaoyuan 14551
5 OVTCHAROV Dimitrij 13738
6 HARIMOTO Tomokazu 13725
7 LEE Sangsu 13629
8 WONG Chun Ting 13215
9 CALDERANO Hugo 12515
10 NIWA Koki 12151
11 MA Long 11910
12 FALCK Mattias 11353
13 FRANZISKA Patrick 11217
14 CHUANG Chih-Yuan 11108
15 GROTH Jonathan 11088
16 FREITAS Marcos 10834
17 JEONG Sangeun 10808
18 SAMSONOV Vladimir 10728
19 MIZUTANI Jun 10688
20 GAUZY Simon 10455
21 JANG Woojin 10244
22 LIM Jonghoon 9993
23 ARUNA Quadri 9955
24 PITCHFORD Liam 9929
25 KARLSSON Kristian 9869
26 JEOUNG Youngsik 9867
27 FILUS Ruwen 9782
28 YOSHIMURA Maharu 9591
29 OSHIMA Yuya 9568
30 MATSUDAIRA Kenta 9473
31 ACHANTA Sharath Kamal 9298
32 APOLONIA Tiago 8781
33 GERASSIMENKO Kirill 8754
34 CHEN Chien-An 8675
35 GNANASEKARAN Sathiyan 8580
36 UEDA Jin 8576
37 HABESOHN Daniel 8548
38 LEBESSON Emmanuel 8379
39 MORIZONO Masataka 8265
40 LIN Yun-Ju 8214
41 KOU Lei 8168
42 WALTHER Ricardo 8157
43 ZHOU Yu 7992
44 DUDA Benedikt 7833
45 LIAO Cheng-Ting 7668
46 IONESCU Ovidiu 7649
47 STEGER Bastian 7630
48 GIONIS Panagiotis 7509
49 TSUBOI Gustavo 7427
50 PERSSON Jon 7372

 

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:

 

Women’s World Table Tennis Ranking

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

ZHU-Yuling number 1 Women World Ranking
ZHU-Yuling number 1 Women World Ranking

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.

 

Position Player Points
1 ZHU Yuling 16269
2 DING Ning 15984
3 ISHIKAWA Kasumi 15263
4 CHEN Meng 15014
5 WANG Manyu 14430
6 LIU Shiwen 13914
7 ITO Mima 13910
8 CHENG I-Ching 13231
9 HIRANO Miu 13013
10 CHEN Xingtong 12594
11 FENG Tianwei 12565
12 SUH Hyowon 12209
13 SATO Hitomi 11898
14 DOO Hoi Kem 11700
15 POLCANOVA Sofia 11263
16 JEON Jihee 10684
17 SHIBATA Saki 10512
18 GU Yuting 10368
19 SZOCS Bernadette 10122
20 KATO Miyu 10014
21 LI Jie 9896
22 SAMARA Elizabeta 9808
23 ZHANG Mo 9787
24 LI Qian 9659
25 CHEN Szu-Yu 9397
26 EKHOLM Matilda 9359
27 LEE Ho Ching 8994
28 YANG Haeun 8973
29 HASHIMOTO Honoka 8937
30 HAYATA Hina 8723
31 KIM Song I 8689
32 SAWETTABUT Suthasini 8461
33 POTA Georgina 8410
34 HAN Ying ^ 8348
35 SUN Yingsha 8221
36 YU Fu ^ 8217
37 NAGASAKI Miyu 8160
38 SOO Wai Yam Minnie 8014
39 EERLAND Britt 7882
40 YU Mengyu 7769
41 ANDO Minami 7662
42 DIAZ Adriana 7504
43 MESHREF Dina 7339
44 SOLJA Petrissa 7309
45 MIKHAILOVA Polina 7060
46 NI Xia Lian 7050
47 LIU Jia 7023
48 ZENG Jian ^^ 6957
49 MITTELHAM Nina 6920
50 WU Yue 6891

 

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. The 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?

The 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.

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

playing strength rating system: Upset and the probability of winning
playing strength rating system: Upset and the probability of winning

“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 problem of the new ITTF rating system

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.

Using this ranking system 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)

What does the ITTF world ranking stand for?

The so-called ITTF World Ranking is not the real World Ranking. 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.

EmRatThich Table Tennis World Ranking

The Motivation – Why I need to spend the time to make my own ranking

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.

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, based on the ELO rating system

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”.

elo rating system
elo rating system

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 the history. It’s the very bad design. While in every rating system in another sport, they try to fight and balance the “Ratings inflation and deflation”.

rating inflation
rating inflation

“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
old ITTF rating system

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. The most accurate 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.

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.

Most accurate distribution model
The most accurate distribution model

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 the 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 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”.

performance rating
performance rating

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

performance rating in real situation (Personal Management)
performance rating in the real situation (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.

More accurate than the ITTF table tennis ranking?

So what’s is the result? Who is the top 20 table tennis Men players in 2018?

By analyzing:

  • 43 735 table tennis matches played in 2017 (in official ITTF events)
  • nearly 100 table tennis international tournaments during 2017
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 in 2017

And by applying and fitting the most accurate distribution model

ELO distribution
ELO distribution

Most accurate World Ranking system

The recent world ranking of top 20 table tennis players in 2018, rating calculated by EmRatThich.

2018 01 emratthich ranking
The most accurate world table tennis ranking by EmRatThich (for January 2018)

ITTF ranking vs My World Ranking

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

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.

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.

 

Fan Zhendong is also one of the best players, but his ranking goes up and down with the new ITTF system.

 

Enjoy this!

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13 thoughts on “World Table Tennis Ranking (November 2018)”

  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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