Snooker World Rankings Explained

November 19, 2021

The world ranking system was introduced to the professional World Snooker Tour in 1976. This provides an order for player’s results based on the previous two years. The rankings are used to determine player’s seedings and for some, their potential to qualify for WST tournaments. This is the official system of ranking professional snooker players for the World Snooker Tour. 


The official world rankings are now updated after each ranking event, making them highly current and accurate. Seeding cut-offs follow designated events to help determine player’s seeding. This method of player ranking was introduced in 2010, however prior to this, the world ranking list was updated once per year after the World Championship.

Additional changes occurred in 2014, when rankings changed from the traditional points-based system to a calculated system, on the basis of the prize money that has been earned at counting events.


2021 Cazoo Masters winner holding trophy at Alexandra PalaceCounting Prize Money

Prize money that is earned contributes towards the player’s world ranking, which is based upon their finishing position at world ranking events. The prize money total for the current snooker season is shown in the prize money world rankings schedule. The rolling system means that prize money earned during the current season is added to the ranking list following each snooker event. 


Non-counting prize money

Some prize money does not contribute towards the world ranking list for the 2020/21 season. This money includes prize money won at invitational events, money earned from high or maximum break prizes, first round losers at the Shoot Out and seeded losers at tournaments. 


Rolling Rankings

From the start of the 2010 season, rankings were structured under a ‘rolling’ system. This meant that prize money earned during the current season was added to the ranking list after each event had been completed. Additionally, money earned at corresponding events over two years before was removed from the ranking list. This means that the ranking of a player will be made up of earnings from all tournaments from the previous two years. 


Provisional Seedings

This is when players rankings are predicted before or during an event. This provides a clear picture of the live ranking, allowing players and fans to anticipate important movements to the ranking list.


The Latest World Rankings

The current World No.1 is English snooker player Mark Selby. Selby has earned a total of £1,102,500 (correct as of 9 Nov 2021). He is a four-time World Champion and he has won two UK Championships and three Masters.


Rank 2: Judd Trump £989,000

Rank 3: Ronnie O’Sullivan £854,000

Rank 4: Neil Robertson £834,500

Rank 5: Kyren Wilson £572,000


Ranking Records

Stephen Hendry – total weeks at number one: 418 weeks

Steve Davis - total weeks at number one: 365 weeks

Ray Reardon - total weeks at number one: 312 weeks

(Correct as of 16 Aug 2021)

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