List of world number-one snooker players

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Neil Robertson is the current world number one

There have been three ranking systems in place in professional snooker since 1975, which have seen ten players hold the number-one rank: Ray Reardon, Cliff Thorburn, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Judd Trump.[1]

An Order of Merit was introduced for the 1975/1976 season, which saw Ray Reardon ranked in the top position. This system was only in place for a season before being replaced by the world rankings, which saw successive periods of dominance for the first 22 seasons by Ray Reardon (1976/1977–1982/1983), Steve Davis (1983/1984–1989/1990) and Stephen Hendry (1990/1991–1997/1998), interrupted only by the 1981/1982 season when Cliff Thorburn held the position. The following period (1998/1999–2009/2010) was shared by O'Sullivan (five seasons), John Higgins (three seasons) and Williams (three seasons), while Hendry regained the position for the 2006/2007 season, ensuring that the four men held the position between them for a twenty-year span (1990–2010). In the first 34 years of the world rankings, only seven players held the number-one position.[2]

This period of dominance ended with the restructuring of the rankings system for the 2010/2011 season, which saw the world rankings updated after each tournament carrying ranking points, rather than just once a year after the World Championship as under the previous system. Since the introduction of the new system, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, Mark Selby and Judd Trump have all attained the number-one rank. Robertson and Trump assumed and lost the position mid-season, so neither would have been officially ranked number one under the previous system.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Sometimes other factors besides performance in ranking events impact upon the rankings. Alex Higgins would have been ranked number 1 in 1982/1983, but had ranking points deducted as a result of disciplinary action,[7][8] and similarly, Robertson assumed the number-one spot earlier than would have been possible if John Higgins hadn't received a six month ban in 2010.[9] Higgins would also have finished the 2010/2011 season ranked number 1 if he weren't banned, since the points he was guaranteed from participating in the tournaments he missed would have been enough for him to take the top spot,[10] and similarly O'Sullivan's decision not to enter the Malta Cup during the 2005/2006 season cost him the top rank for the following season, since the entry points on offer would have been enough for him to retain the position.[11]

Number one players[edit]

Periods[edit]

The snooker players ranked number one in the world are listed below for each period since rankings officially began in 1976/77.[12][13]

No. Nationality Name From To Duration Total
1  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon 3 May 1975[14][a] 20 April 1981 6 seasons 6 seasons
2  Canada Thorburn, CliffCliff Thorburn 21 April 1981 16 May 1982 1 season 1 season
 Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon (2) 17 May 1982 2 May 1983 1 season 7 seasons
3  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis 3 May 1983 29 April 1990 7 seasons 7 seasons
4  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 30 April 1990 4 May 1998 8 seasons 8 seasons
5  Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins 5 May 1998 1 May 2000 2 seasons 2 seasons
6  Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams 2 May 2000 6 May 2002 2 seasons 2 seasons
7  England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 7 May 2002 5 May 2003 1 season 1 season
 Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams (2) 6 May 2003 3 May 2004 1 season 3 seasons
 England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan (2) 4 May 2004 1 May 2006 2 seasons 3 seasons
 Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry (2) 2 May 2006 7 May 2007 1 season 9 seasons
 Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins (2) 8 May 2007 5 May 2008 1 season 3 seasons
 England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan (3) 6 May 2008 3 May 2010 2 seasons 5 seasons
 Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins (3) 4 May 2010 26 September 2010[15] 145 days 3 seasons & 145 days
8  Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson[16] 27 September 2010 12 December 2010[17] 76 days 76 days
 Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins[18] (4) 13 December 2010 2 May 2011 140 days 3 seasons & 285 days
 Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams[19] (3) 3 May 2011 11 September 2011[20] 131 days 3 seasons & 131 days
9  England Selby, MarkMark Selby[21] 12 September 2011 4 November 2012[22] 419 days 419 days
10  England Trump, JuddJudd Trump[1] 5 November 2012 9 December 2012[23] 95 days 95 days
 England Selby, MarkMark Selby[3] (2) 10 December 2012 17 February 2013[24] 69 days 488 days
 England Trump, JuddJudd Trump[4] (2) 18 February 2013 31 March 2013[25] 41 days 136 days
 England Selby, MarkMark Selby[5] (3) 1 April 2013 9 June 2013[26] 69 days 557 days
 Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson[6] (2) 10 June 2013 5 May 2014[27] 329 days 405 days
 England Selby, MarkMark Selby[28] (4) 6 May 2014 6 July 2014[29] 31 days 588 days
 Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson[30] (3) 7 July 2014 Present 6 days 411 days
Key
Current number-one player
Rankings updated once a year after the World Championship

Records[edit]

  • Stephen Hendry holds the record for most seasons at number one, with nine seasons (1990/19911997/1998 and again in 2006/2007). His first spell of eight consecutive seasons in this position is also a record.[31]
  • It took both Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry just five seasons from turning professional to reach the number 1 rank.[31]

Notes[edit]

  • a Even though the "official" rankings started in 1976, an Order of Merit was published in 1975 to determine the seedings for events. It used the same criteria that was used to determine the first set of official rankings the following year.[2]

Season-end number-one players[edit]

Per season[edit]

Season Nationality Player
1975/1976  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon (1)
1976/1977  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon
1977/1978  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon
1978/1979  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon
1979/1980  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon
1980/1981  Canada Thorburn, CliffCliff Thorburn (2)
1981/1982  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon
1982/1983  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis (3)
1983/1984  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis
1984/1985  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis
1985/1986  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis
1986/1987  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis
1987/1988  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis
1988/1989  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis
1989/1990  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry (4)
1990/1991  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
1991/1992  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
1992/1993  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
1993/1994  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
1994/1995  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
1995/1996  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
1996/1997  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
1997/1998  Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins (5)
1998/1999  Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins
1999/2000  Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams (6)
2000/2001  Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams
2001/2002  England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan (7)
2002/2003  Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams
2003/2004  England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan
2004/2005  England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan
2005/2006  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
2006/2007  Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins
2007/2008  England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan
2008/2009  England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan
2009/2010  Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins
2010/2011  Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams
2011/2012  England Selby, MarkMark Selby (8)
2012/2013  England Selby, MarkMark Selby
2013/2014  England Selby, MarkMark Selby
No. 1 all weeks of the following season

Per frequency[edit]

No. of
times
Nationality Player
9  Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry
7  England Davis, SteveSteve Davis
6  Wales Reardon, RayRay Reardon
5  England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan
4  Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins
 Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams
3  England Selby, MarkMark Selby
1  Canada Thorburn, CliffCliff Thorburn

Players who were ranked world number one without ever having won the World Professional Championship[edit]

Player Date of first No. 1 position First World Championship final[32]
Trump, JuddJudd Trump 5 November 2012 2011 World Snooker Championship (1–2 May 2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Trump Hammers Ebdon To Become No 1". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Turner, Chris. "Historical World Rankings". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "UK Snooker Championship 2012: Mark Selby beats Mark Davis". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Updated Rankings – Trump Back On Top". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Official world rankings issued after the China Open 2013". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Official world rankings issued after the Bulgarian Open 2013 (ET1)". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Osley, Richard; Gray, Sadie (25 July 2010). "Snooker legend Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins is dead". The Independent. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Alex Higgins: The genius". The Belfast Telegraph (Independent News & Media). 26 July 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Higgins cleared of bribery claims". BBC Sport. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Rankings after 2011 World Champs" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 6 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "2005-6 Main Tour Two Year Rankings Updated 01/05/06 after 888.com World Championship". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 5 October 2008. 
  12. ^ Turner, Chris. "World Number Ones". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Downer, Chris (2012). Crucible Almanac. p. 143. 
  14. ^ "Reardon Retains Title". The Canberra Times. 3 May 1975. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "2010 World Open results". Global Snooker. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  16. ^ "Neil Robertson beats Ronnie O'Sullivan in World Open". BBC Sport. 26 September 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "12Bet.com UK Championship 2010". Global Snooker. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  18. ^ Hirschowitz, Ivan. "Higgins – My Finest Hour". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  19. ^ "Chinese Cracker Into Semis". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  20. ^ "Shanghai Masters (2011)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "Mark Selby beats Mark Williams to win Shanghai Masters". BBC Sport. 11 September 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "International Championship (2012)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  23. ^ "williamhill.com UK Championship (2012)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  24. ^ "BetVictor Welsh Open (2013)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "Bank of Beijing China Open (2013)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  26. ^ "European Tour Event One (2013)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Dafabet World Championship (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  28. ^ Skilbeck, John (5 May 2014). "Mark Selby dedicates first world title to late father". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "Australian Goldfields Open (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  30. ^ "World rankings after the 2014 Australian Goldfields Open". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 July 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Årdalen, Hermund. "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  32. ^ "Hall of Fame". Snooker.org. Retrieved 24 February 2011.