Table Tennis England will continue to develop proposals for a modified rankings system following member responses to a consultation project.

We have published our initial report into the responses received via the online survey, which enabled members to have their say on the objectives of the rankings system, the principles guiding the calculations and how these could be improved.

The majority of respondents favoured remaining with a ‘relative’ system, as is currently the case, although many highlighted concerns that the current system can disincentivise players from competing.

The full report, which is attached at the foot of this page, is based on responses from around 80 people who took part in the survey and sets out a way forward to change the way the rankings are calculated from the 2021/22 season.

The main conclusions are:

  • To continue to use a relative system as the basis for national rankings. However, we will aim to modify the present approach in order to better meet the principles that have been rated as most important. In particular, we acknowledge the concerns expressed over the potential for relative systems to disincentivise competition and would hope to reduce this within any future system.
  • Not to expand the scope of the national rankings to include local league results
  • To investigate the feasibility of further integrating the ranking lists (eg by combining age-groups into a single list) and, in particular, to consider whether this would give an undue advantage to players who are able to compete in multiple age-groups
  • That the system of points deductions (whereby all players lose 10% of their points each season) should be better targeted at those who have not played but should not be so stringent that all points are lost after 12 months inactivity.

The project is being led by Neil Rogers, Head of Competitions and Events at Table Tennis England, alongside Board member Simon Griew.

Neil Rogers said: “We would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation. The insight gained from these responses has been invaluable, helping us to set out a way forward for the ranking system that will balance the various needs of the sport.

“We will now undertake a programme of detailed analysis in order to translate the conclusions we are publishing now into more detailed proposals for a modified relative system.”

The intention is to present recommendations to the Board in December, following which a further update will be published. Our aim remains to implement changes for the 2021/22 season.

The current ranking system will continue in its existing format for the 2020/21 season. The system has now reached the milestone of one full season supported by Sport:80 after transitioning from its previous platform.

A number of teething issues were experienced in the early months of this process, but have now been resolved – though we remain dependent on the timely and accurate submission by organisers of results for external sanctioned events, with whom we will continue to work to improve this process.

To assist member understanding of how the current system operates, a short video has been produced as an overview to accompany the written guidelines – the video can be viewed below: