World Rankings: The Confusion Continues!

Following the triumph of Ali Carter in today’s Shanghai Masters final, World Snooker have published an updated ranking list and as has been brought to my attention, it now appears to be the case that the working of the new system is perhaps not what had been envisaged previously by myself and the many other observers out there.

Importantly however, what is not affected by any changes in interpretation are the seedings which will determine who will have to qualify for events or not…

As many readers of this site and others such as Dave Hendon’s blog, The Snooker Forum and Snooker Island will be aware, how exactly the new ranking system introduced for this season will work has been as clear as mud and left much to the interpretation of observers such as myself and Dave.

Previously my interpretation was that with the three cut-off points mid-season, rankings would remain as they were on the official list at the end of last season until the first cut-off point in October following the second EPTC event. They would then be revised and the seedings altered for the UK Championship and Masters.

While the seeding aspect of that interpretation remains correct however, it now appears clear that that the official rankings are in fact changed after each ranking event and that we do effectively have a true rolling-ranking system. Therefore Matthew Stevens for example is now not the provisional number 16, he is the official number 16.

Another difference between my rankings and the official rankings is that mine have already deducted the amounts scored by the players during the 2008 Grand Prix, whilst the official rankings will retain those until the conclusion of the World Open later this month. Therefore on my list Neil Robertson is top but on the official list John Higgins clings on to the number one spot.

Ali up to second on all lists!

So then, should the list that I have been running be ignored?

In my opinion no. Whilst the official rankings are changing constantly, the seeding lists are not. The fact that Matthew Stevens for example is ranked in the top 16 now does not mean that he did not have to qualify for the World Open. The official rankings are therefore…not quite pointless as I am sure that Ali will be delighted to be officially up to 2nd place and this is how he will be referred to at next week’s World Open, but certainly without any real consequence until the seedings are altered in October.

Therefore I do feel that when it comes to how the seeding list will be revised, my list is still relevant as it does take into account the fact that the Grand Prix 2008 points will be removed at the next revision and gives as up to date a picture of where players will be when the seeding list is changed which is what affect things more than which seat players will sit in during matches.

It is probably fair to say however that it would be misleading to refer to my list as provisional rankings which are to all intents and purposes now gone, but instead it would be appropriate to refer to a provisional seeding list, unless anyone else can think of a more catchy name. Both lists will of course overlap and match following the EPTC2 however.

I hope that this is making some sort of sense to everyone.  If anyone has any questions or has any opinions as to how I should display the ranking/seeding list on the blog then please do get in touch.