Wed | Dec 13, 2017

New table tennis world ranking system for 2018

Published:Friday | September 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Simon Tomlinson, one of two world ranked Jamaican table tennis players

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is introducing a new world ranking system designed to be easier to understand. Instead of movements derived strictly from wins and losses, the new system is based on how far players reach in tournaments. According to the Federation, the change is expected to encourage players to compete regularly in ITTF events.

In the past, players could collect a windfall of world ranking points for upsetting higher ranked opponents even if they progressed no further in the tournament in question. Similarly, top players who lose unexpectedly would also lose a great number of world ranking points. Starting on January 1, 2018, there will be no penalties or windfalls for upsets.

This will apply to all events on the ITTF calendar, including the World Championships, the Olympic Games and the ITTF World Tour, which is similar to the Diamond League and the World Challenge circuit in athletics.

Steve Dainton, ITTF marketing and commercial director, said in a release, " ... Change is not always easy, but if we want our products to become more professional then this is one important change to make."

The rankings will continue to appear on a monthly basis.

The advent of the new system hasn't received universal approval. European champion Dimitri Ovtcharov of Germany believes it could distort the rankings. As an example, Ovtcharov has pinpointed the appearance of his German teammate and former European Champion Timo Boll, at number 44 in a test world ranking list published by the ITTF. Boll is currently number six in the world. There are other players who fall in a similar manner.

'Dima', who appears at four on the existing ranking and seven in the test rankings, made the comments on the Instagram networking site.

Kane Watson is the higher ranked of two Jamaicans on the list at 609, with Simon Tomlinson holding the next spot at 617.