December 18, 2017

Sue Bin Oh has rose above expectations in 2017. (Photo: ITTF World)

How do you measure a player’s progress on the international scene?

Just looking at a player’s rating isn’t enough. Instead there is a simple formula at that can be used.

Using an athletes exact age and comparing against their peers’ average rating, you are able to determine the ratio at which they are either outperforming or underperforming expectation. A score of 1 would mean that you are performing exactly average compared to your peers of the same age.

First let’s look at the top of the lists around the world.

In the boys it won’t come as a surprise to see that it is Tomokaza Harimioto who is dominating. Kid table tennis is 5.09 times above average expectation. No one comes close. At second is Chinese Taipe’s Lin Yun-Ju at 3.18.

In the girls it may come as a shock that it isn’t Japan or China at the top of the list. Instead it is Wales. Anna Hursey is eleven and a half years old (yes, every month counts) and she is exceeding her peers by 3.48 times expectation. Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki is next up with a score of 2.49, followed closely by the remarkable Sun Yingsha at 2.33.

So where do young Oceania athletes stand amongst their peers?

The player within the continent currently outperforming their worldwide peers by the greatest degree is Sue Bin-Oh. The defender from Australia is exceeding the expected average rating by 1.63 times; and she has a World Ranking of 32 in the U15 Girls to back it up.

Next up is Australia’s Finn Luu at 1.16. Performing just above average expectation for his age, leading to him having a ranking of 118 in the Under 15 Boys.

While complete stock shouldn’t be put in this ratio, it is a useful metric for measuring a player’s progress against their peers and a useful tool for coaches to track improvement.