Badminton’s First World Rankings!19 December, 2017
There they are - carefully calculated, but no doubt controversial. They are based by World Badminton almost entirely on the results of three major international events - the All England Championships, the European Championships and the Uber Cup Inter Zone Finals.
Let us give you some of the reasoning behind our choices, even though you may not entirely agree:
By virtue of his strong All England victory (average points - against only 6.1 per game) LIEM SWIE KING is the obvious No.1. Countryman RUDY HARTONO after a year out of action survived a narrow 3rd round All England match (18 -17 in the third) over Johnsson and went on to defeat FLEMMING DELFS in the semi-finals. DELFS, the current world champion did not have a great season but he finished strongly to win the European title and gain No.3. SVEND PRI failed to live up to his top seeding at the All England and was unable to compete in the European, but still holds down No. 4 spot. LIE SUMIRAT gains No. 5 for reaching the semis at Wembley. No. 6 goes to THOMAS KIHLSTROM, finalist to DELFS in the European. A strong All England performance (losing to DELFS in three) gains PRAKASH PADUKONE a tie for No. 7. STURE JOHNSSON, who lost 18-17 in the third to HARTONO at Wembley and was a European semi-finalist to DELFS shares 7th place.
GILLIAN GILKS is the All England champion and clearly No. 1 choice. SAORI KONDO was undefeated in the Uber Cup at Auckland and finalist to GILKS at Wembley. WENDY CLARKSON, at No.3, upset reigning world champion LENE KOPPEN in the All England and lost narrowly to KONDO. KOPPEN had a good win over HIROE YUKI at Auckland and captured the European Crown to earn No.4 spot. VERAWATY WIHARJO, despite a loss to INGE BORGSTROM of Denmark in the All England, recovered strongly in the Uber Cup to beat YUKI. YUKI is rated No.6. JANE WEBSTER was surprise finalist in the European to edge out JOKE VAN BEUSEKOM, who lost in 3 to KONDO at Wembley.
The two Indonesian teams, TJUN TJUN/JOHAN WADJUDI and ADE CHANDRA/CHRISTIAN HADINATA continue their complete domination of world badminton. In the first four rounds neither pair lost a single game in the All England. RAY STEVENS/MIKE TREDGETT lost early in the All England but recovered to win the European title and gain No. 3. BENGT FROMAN/ THOMAS KIHLSTROM were All England semi-finalists and European finalists.
ATSUKO TOKUDA/MIKIKO TAKADA won the All England and were undefeated at Auckland, making this pair an obvious choice for No. 1 in the world. IMELDA WIGUNO/WIHARJO were early losers at Wembley but redeemed themselves with their Uber Cup victory over the No. 2 Japan team EMIKO UENO/YOSHIKO YONEKURA who were the All England finalists. Tied for 4th place are CLAIRE BACKHOUSE/JANE YOUNGBERG, All England semi-finalists; NORA PERRY/ANNE STATT, the European champions; and THERESIA WIDIASTUTY/REGINA MASLI, All England semi-finalists.
TREDGETT/PERRY dominated with victories in the All England and European championships to gain No.1. World champions STEEN SKOVGAARD/KOPPEN were the runners-up in both major events. PRI/GILKS extended TREDGETT/NORA Perry to three at Wembley and won the Rotterdam International. The RIDDERS (MARJAN and ROB) were All England and European semi-finalists.
World Badminton plans to publish new world rankings with each issue. These rankings will be updated on the basis of all sanctioned tournaments and International match results in the current period. They will not be based on overall results during the course of a playing season,as is normally the case with national rankings published by many national associations, but on a player's latest position as of the ranking date.
Later this year World Badminton rankings will be computerized, resulting in a clear-cut system of evaluation without the necessity of applying as many subjective judgments as is now the case.
Computerized rankings are now in use in other sports-notably tennis and table tennis. World Badminton will be fortunate to be working with an expert in this field, William Thorpe of Ottawa, Canada. Mr. Thorpe has had a great deal of experience in this area. Three years ago he created the first program for computer draws. His programme, which follows precisely IBF regulations for national open championships, has been adopted by the Canadian Badminton Association for all major events held in that country. A notable exception, for reasons unknown, is the XI Commonwealth Games held this August in Edmonton, Canada.
Computer draws require considerably less time and effort, producing a 64-draw in less than a minute including a scheduled time for each match and a draw sheet which can be reproduced in a programme without the cost of type setting.
Computer rankings may prove much more complicated. The only judgment fact or required in draw making is at the time of seeding. But for rankings, judgment must be applied in several ways. Should all matches between players be considered equal? Or should the All England be given highest priority? Are the scores of a match relevant? How long should a particular result be recognized - 3 months, 6 months, a year? All of these vital questions must be answered before the computer takes over.
Read the next issue of World Badminton to see how close we have come to the eventual goal of computer rankings. In the meantime, all national associations which have players listed above, will be requested to submit to us on September 30th, the results of all sanctioned competitive matches in which these players have participated. Special report forms for this purpose will be mailed to the associations concerned early that month.
-- World Badminton, August 1978