List of world number one snooker players

The sport of snooker has utilised a world rankings system since 1975, used to seed players on the World Snooker Tour for tournaments. Originally rankings were published once a year, at the culmination of the season, however, since 2010, the rankings have been changed to be updated after every ranking tournament.[1] The number one rank has been held by eleven players; Ray Reardon was the first to hold the position, and was followed by Cliff Thorburn, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Ding Junhui.

photo of Mark Selby
Mark Selby is the current world number one.

Hendry held the number one position for the longest time under the annual format, holding it for eight years between 1990 and 1998, whilst Selby has done so since it changed to a rolling format in 2010.

HistoryEdit

 
Stephen Hendry ended the season ranked at number one on nine occasions; more season finishes in the top spot than any other player.

The sport of professional snooker first adopted a ranking system for the 1975–76 snooker season, which saw Ray Reardon ranked in the top position. Certain events carried ranking points, and at the end of the season, they were tallied. Over the next 22 seasons, five men held the first position; Reardon (1976/19771982/1983), Steve Davis (1983/19841989/1990) and Stephen Hendry (1990/19911997/1998), interrupted only by the 1981/1982 season when Cliff Thorburn held the position. The following period (1998/19992009/2010) was shared by Ronnie O'Sullivan (five seasons), John Higgins (three seasons) and Mark Williams (three seasons), while Hendry regained the position for the 2006/2007 season. In the first 34 years of the world rankings, only seven players held the number one position.[2]

For the 2010–11 snooker season, the world rankings were changed to be updated after each tournament carrying ranking points.[3] Since the introduction of the new system, Higgins, Neil Robertson, Williams, Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Ding Junhui, and O'Sullivan have all attained the number one rank.[4] Selby has also finished the season seven times ranked in first place, putting him in joint second place overall with Reardon and Davis (seven times each) and behind Hendry (nine times).[4][5] Alex Higgins would have been ranked number one in the 1982–83 season, but had ranking points deducted as a result of disciplinary action after assaulting a press officer.[6][7]

List of playersEdit

Hendry holds the record for most seasons at number one under the traditional system, 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.[8] Under the rolling ranking format, Mark Selby holds both the total and consecutive records.[4]

PeriodsEdit

The snooker players ranked number one in the world are listed below for each period since rankings began in the 1976/77 season.[9][10] Even though the rankings officially 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][4]

Number one players
No. Nationality Player From To Ref
1   Wales Ray Reardon 3 May 1975 20 April 1981 [11][4]
2   Canada Cliff Thorburn 21 April 1981 16 May 1982 [4]
  Wales Ray Reardon (2) 17 May 1982 2 May 1983 [4]
3   England Steve Davis 3 May 1983 29 April 1990 [4]
4   Scotland Stephen Hendry 30 April 1990 4 May 1998 [4]
5   Scotland John Higgins 5 May 1998 1 May 2000 [4]
6   Wales Mark Williams 2 May 2000 6 May 2002 [4]
7   England Ronnie O'Sullivan 7 May 2002 5 May 2003 [4]
  Wales Mark Williams (2) 6 May 2003 3 May 2004 [4]
  England Ronnie O'Sullivan (2) 4 May 2004 1 May 2006 [4]
  Scotland Stephen Hendry (2) 2 May 2006 7 May 2007 [4]
  Scotland John Higgins (2) 8 May 2007 5 May 2008 [4]
  England Ronnie O'Sullivan (3) 6 May 2008 3 May 2010 [4]
  Scotland John Higgins (3) 4 May 2010 26 September 2010 [12]
8   Australia Neil Robertson 27 September 2010 12 December 2010 [13][14]
  Scotland John Higgins (4) 13 December 2010 2 May 2011 [15][16]
  Wales Mark Williams (3) 3 May 2011 11 September 2011 [17][18]
9   England Mark Selby 12 September 2011 4 November 2012 [19][20]
10   England Judd Trump 5 November 2012 9 December 2012 [21][22]
  England Mark Selby (2) 10 December 2012 17 February 2013 [23][24]
  England Judd Trump (2) 18 February 2013 31 March 2013 [25][26]
  England Mark Selby (3) 1 April 2013 9 June 2013 [27][28]
  Australia Neil Robertson (2) 10 June 2013 5 May 2014 [29][30]
  England Mark Selby (4) 6 May 2014 6 July 2014 [31][32]
  Australia Neil Robertson (3) 7 July 2014 10 August 2014 [33][34]
  England Mark Selby (5) 11 August 2014 7 December 2014 [35][36]
11   China Ding Junhui 8 December 2014 14 December 2014 [37][38][39]
  Australia Neil Robertson (4) 15 December 2014 24 January 2015 [40][41]
  China Ding Junhui (2) 25 January 2015 8 February 2015 [42][43]
  England Mark Selby (6) 9 February 2015 24 March 2019 [44]
  England Ronnie O'Sullivan (4) 25 March 2019 11 August 2019 [4]
  England Judd Trump (3) 12 August 2019 22 August 2021 [4]
  England Mark Selby (7) 23 August 2021 Present [4]
Key
Rankings updated once a year after the World Championship

Total time spent at number oneEdit

Players ranked number one at the start of the seasonEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b Turner, Chris. "Historical World Rankings". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
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  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Ranking Records". World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 13 August 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
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  10. ^ Downer, Chris (2012). Crucible Almanac. p. 143.
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  30. ^ "Dafabet World Championship (2014)". Snooker.org. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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  40. ^ "World Rankings after the Kreativ Dental Lisbon Open 2014 (ET5)" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 15 December 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  41. ^ "Asian Tour Event Three (2015)". Snooker.org. Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
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External linksEdit