If you are following table tennis these days, you will notice a recent development in Chinese table tennis. They are creating a rating system similar to ITTF:
- Separate rating for men and women
- Professional players are rated 2200+
- Chinese national team players are rated 2600+
- Highest rating for men single is around 3000 (for Olympic or world tournament single champions).
The rules are not official yet, but you can read some related report here.
If you take the face value from the ratings, I believe it is comparable with the ITTF rating for top Chinese players. For example, current world No. 1 XU Xin is rated 3063 in ITTF. Maybe we can do a 1:1 rating comparison. Given that Chinese players has dominated the sport for quite some time, so it should not be an over statement.
However, remember that ITTF rating only works if you are in international arena. Thus many good players in China may not get ITTF ranking at all. Even they get into the ITTF sanctioned tournaments, the rating may scatter in a big range because there are only a few sample points and one win or loss could throw the rating far away.
You can find more ITTF ranking from here: http://ittf.com/ittf_ranking/
Another more tricky question you might want to ask is: How does the China TT or ITTF rating compare with USATT rating?
The question is tricky is because the USATT rating does not separate men and women. Players only get rated if they are playing in USATT sanctioned games. If a tournament is sanctioned by both ITTF and USATT, then the ratings can be compared.
To give you some example how messy the comparison could be: in 2014 US Open. TAO Wenzhang (CHN) beat UEDA Jin (JPN) in men’s final.
Ueda’s ITTF rating is 2046 and USATT rating is 2768.
Tao’s ITTF rating is 1525 and USATT rating 2773 (current No. 1).
I tried to compare some players that often play in both ITTF and USATT games. For example:
Jiaqi Zhang is current ranked No. 2 in USATT for women (2548), her ITTF rating is 2017.
Lily Zhang’s USATT rating is 2483 and ITTF rating is 2242.
You might have already find that the comparison is basically a mess.
So currently my take away is that ITTF rating is not as useful as the USATT or the future China TT ratings in comparing player’s level. Because only a small selected group of players are put to test there, fewer games are played as well. On the other hand the local (national) ratings are more useful because more games are played and thus the rating can be better indicator for the player’s current level.
As far as the absolute rating number goes, the rule of thumb given in the China TT is pretty good. And here is how I view it:
- 2500+ for national players
- 2200+ are professional
- 2000+ semi-professional
- 1800+ pretty good amateur
- others, keep working
How do you think about this subject? Your comments are welcome.