How Rolling Are The Rankings?


Following Mark Selby’s victory at the first European Tour event of the season, it had been anticipated that the victory would be enough to see him climb back above Neil Robertson into top spot in snooker’s latest world rankings.

It now seems though that in fact the rankings will not be officially revised until after the next full ranking event, next month’s Shanghai Masters.

Click below for an explanation as to just how the rankings would appear to stand right now…

UPDATE: Since this article was posted, World Snooker have now published an updated ranking list, confirming that Mark Selby does in fact return to the world number one spot, as originally anticipated. Click here to view that at World Snooker.

Regular visitors to this blog will be no stranger to the various lists and ranking battles that I like to track, from projected seedings, to provisional rankings, to the Asian Tour Order of Merit, there can never be a shortage of ranking lists when I am about.

As those regulars will know, as far as the rankings are concerned, from my point of view and that of the players, it is in fact the latest seedings list which is in fact the most important, because of the direct effect that it has on drawsheets for tournaments and historically, the round at which each player will begin any given event.

As bizarre as it may seem then, perhaps the list that I pay the least attention to is the official world ranking list, as in effect by the time that list is published, I am already looking ahead to the next list. In reality, the latest projected seedings list is that which is of most practical interest to the players and provides the most up to date picture possible as to how the next seeding list will look.Selby1

Personally, I find that the time when the official list, or the provisional rankings are most relevant is when there is a potential change of world number one and so it was that heading into Riga this week, there was a chance that Mark Selby could retake top spot, if he were able to win the tournament. Though it looked unlikely as he trailed Mark Allen 3-0, a trademark comeback from Selby was enough to see him take the title and in theory, the top ranking.

You can view the latest provisional ranking list here at snookerorg, showing effectively the list following the Australian Goldfields Open, with prize money from Latvia added in top and as anticipated, we see world champion Mark Selby back at the top of the list.

So is he now the official world number one again? With World Snooker’s match report making no mention of this, with no updated ranking list published, it would appear not. If this is the case, it would seem that the rankings will only be officially updated following the conclusion of a full ranking event, though I have yet to see this conclusively confirmed anywhere.


Is that correct? My first reaction is that for the rankings to be rolling then they should be updated after each event carrying ranking points, indeed I cannot immediately think of a real reason why they would not be, other than perhaps promotional, for the tournament organisers to know in advance who the world number one is and be able to market accordingly. No doubt that there will be a reason that I have not thought of, but it seems that for now, Robertson retains his top spot and has a chance to recapture Selby on the provisional list prior to the conclusion of the Shanghai Masters.

The surprising thing is that as far as I can remember, this is the first time that there has been a change of the top ranking after a European Tour event since the advent of rolling rankings back in 2010, so the situation has not arisen until now. Perhaps this is an early sign as to how much more flexible the rankings will likely be under the new prize money based system.

It promises to be an interesting tussle for top spot between Selby and Robertson over the coming months, although with both having significant points to defend before the turn of the year, I have a suspicion that Ding Junhui might just pass the pair of them before the year is out.

Time will tell.