How do Official Table Tennis Rankings Work?

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If you plan on going into an official table tennis league there are a couple things that you should look in to. One of these things is how your official table tennis league ranks the teams. So how does ranking work for official table tennis teams?

Official table tennis leagues rank teams according to their points. They go by an exchange system where the team that wins gets a certain amount of points from the losing team depending on how well they played and how many points are separating each of the playing teams.

For simplicity’s sake we will be going over the rating system designed by the USATT. Other professional leagues will have a similar rating system but the number ranges might vary by a little bit. There are four steps to calculate the final tournament rating results.

Step #1: Adjust Teams That Need Adjusting

After every game played between two teams, officials must decide which team will have their score adjusted upwards by looking at the difference of points between the teams and which of the teams won. This is determined by either a mathematical calculation or a set of standards created by tournament officials.

Most official tournaments are separated into tiers. The USATT tournament is separated into two leagues. First tier teams have gained 50-74 points during the tournament while second tier teams have gained at least 75 points in the tournament.

The amount of points given after a win usually goes by a chart specifying the point difference between the two teams and depending on the difference the amount of points gained for the winner. If the winner had more points than the other team to begin with they will get less points then if they had less points than the other team.

Step #2: Compute the Unrated Players Initial Ratings

During competitions, you’ll have teams that don’t have initial ratings which makes it almost impossible for them to advance and they can only play in the preliminary events. Officials of the tournament must calculate the unrated teams initial ranking.

A lot of the times, tournaments will set a fixed rating for teams that are unrated so that they all start off at the same spot and work their way up. This is not a preferred way because it doesn’t take into account the talent that unrated team may have.

Other times the tournament will use some sort of calculation to decide the initial rating based on the team’s performance so far. Players that either have all wins or all losses will calculate their medians and get their initial rating based on the rating table of the organization.

If the player has both wins and losses, the average between the worst loss and the best win will be calculated. Looking at the same ranking table, this average will determine the initial ranking of the team. For either method of calculation teams can not have a final ranking that is lower than 75.

Step #3: Final Adjustment of Ratings

This step is similar to step 1. The final ratings must be altered according to the newly adjusted initial ratings of the unrated groups. The winners of every game is recorded so that points can be given or taken depending on the ranking of every team. This could be a major game changer for some teams.

Step #4: The Final Rankings

In some circumstances, games will be late in their calculations and the final rankings must be adjusted to these new ratings. The data from the other games in the tournament are kept in the leagues database.

Related Questions:

How Long Does a Table Tennis Match Last?

Because the change to 11 points to win a game was made the new tim limit for a match was changed to 10 minutes.

Which Country is “The Best” at Table Tennis?

China is the leading country that has earned the most gold medals in table tennis. They’ve earned 85% of all the table tennis gold medals which is the highest percentage of gold medals earned in a sport for 1 country.

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