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This explanation is copied from the Table Tennis England website. The Table Tennis Ranking Scheme was born from the need for some system of determining the relative standards of our players. Above all else, the system needed to be fair and based on objective criteria rather than on someone's subjective opinion. Every player has a rating which is a guide to how good a player he or she is. If players improve, their rating will go up; if they experience a drop in performance, their rating will fall. The number of points gained or lost depends on the difference in ratings of the two opponents and the weighting of the tournament they are playing in.


The system works on the odds of whether a player should win or lose from the difference between the players ratings. Players on equal ratings should have a 50-50 chance of winning or losing. The points to be won and lost are therefore high.Players with a separation of 1000 rating points represents about a 1 in 4 (or 25%) chance of an upset, with the stronger player likely to win on three occasions out of four. The points won or lost here are therefore lower.


Whenever a match takes place between two players who have a large difference in ratings the expectation is that the stronger player will win. When the stronger player beats the weaker player there are only a few points to be gained or lost; if the weaker player unexpectedly wins there is a far greater gain of points for them and loss of points for their opponent.


The more results entered for any player, the greater the accuracy of the rating it produces. 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. There is a single rating system for both men and women.

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