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Rikishi Strength Analysis Revisited


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#1 Doitsuyama

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 14:41

Some of you might remember my Historical Strength Analysis from one year ago. If not it might be a good idea to go back to that topic, because I won't repeat the explanation of the methodical approach, table column meanings etc. since nothing of these have changed this time.Six basho have gone by since this last edition, and I thought it's a good time to look at the changes. Especially since some rikishi's performances, Hakuho and Miyabiyama on the forefront, are throwing up questions in historical context lately.The following tables are listing all rikishi with career high rank in makuuchi who were active in the last six basho, grouped by yokozuna, ozeki, sekiwake, komusubi and maegashira, just like the original tables. Since the rikishi who weren't sekitori after Nagoya 2005 can't change strength ratings I omitted all those for the sake of better readability. You can refer to the original analysis for these (their ranks can be lower now of course with new rikishi rising).Let's start right away with the simplest category as Asashoryu stayed the sole active yokozuna all year. I actually have added two new columns on the right which serve to illustrate the change over the last year. Δ P is the change of the Peak rating (always positive or 0) and Δ R10 is the change of the Rating 10 (normally positive or 0, but can actually get negative as well for rikishi in decline).
Yokozuna 1960-2006
RankShikonaFirstLastBashoMakuuchiKyujoW-L-DPeakRankRating 3RankRating 6RankRating 10RankΔ PΔ R10
YAsashoryu20000920060736340410-11426125260652582525319475
Asashoryu was able to improve his peak slightly after the 14-1 in Kyushu, but suffered an 11-4 in Hatsu and an 1-2-12 in Natsu. Each time he recovered quickly with yusho in Haru and Nagoya of course, but still is 30 short of his peak right now. The last year underlined his career consistency with those two basho being mere bumps on the road in the big picture and his R3, R6 and R10 values have risen considerably. With his peak rating he clipped ahead of Kitanofuji and his R3 and R6 also are ranked 5th just ahead of Kitanofuji, behind only Taiho, Kitanoumi, Tamanoumi and Chiyonofuji. These four are still considerably ahead of Asashoryu except Tamanoumi's R6, which would be better if his career hadn't been tragically cut short. Asahoryu's R10 is lower only because his career still is relatively short and will rise over the next year even if he has an off year.
Ozeki 1960-2006
RankShikonaFirstLastBashoMakuuchiKyujoW-L-DPeakRankRating 3RankRating 6RankRating 10RankΔ PΔ R10
OHakuho20040120060716140168-65251225244241236558231769168106
OTochiazuma19960520060757545480-2752463392450362428372406361317
OKaio19920120060785763728-45224614124543524413124292700
OChiyotaikai19950720060763504555-34324195424184924134424023801
ODejima19960920060756534456-34323946623736623416723127100
OMiyabiyama19981120060745432369-2822392672360692326742298764332
OKotooshu20040520060714120135-74238270233278224512022161308131
The ozeki table is much bigger already with five current plus two former ozeki. Two ozeki are new compared to one year ago with Kotooshu and Hakuho getting promoted meanwhile. Kotooshu had a very promising ozeki run, but injuries prevented him from showing strong performances at the new rank. Right now he would be one of the worst ozeki since 1960, and he isn't exactly showing immediate improvement with his current rating being 75 below his peak. His career still is quite short with just 12 makuuchi basho, so he still can improve his values.The other new ozeki is Hakuho of course, and he didn't stop with the promotion as he is 27-3 since. His peak rating is right now naturally, and only a few ozeki had a better one; Kitanofuji, Mienoumi, Wajima and Wakamisugi in the last ozeki basho and Asahifuji after the three basho 1989.01 until 1989.05 without getting promoted (he got promoted to yokozuna later but never reached this peak again). Even the best ozeki rating of Takanohana II was lower despite winning two zensho in the end as always a bad basho would drag his rating down during his ozeki time. In comparison with the yokozuna since 1960 Hakuho still would be in the bottom quarter right now but as he is quite young I expect him to improve his peak rating in the future.Out of the three current longtime ozeki only Tochiazuma could improve his peak rating with a yusho in the Hatsu basho and elevated his career level to be about equal with Kaio now which is among the best ozeki all-time, but nowhere near yokozuna level. Kaio and Chiyotaikai couldn't even improve the R10 as both slipped over the last year to be currently about 150 (Kaio) and 100 below the peak.No improvement for former ozeki Dejima as well and nothing to expect in the future as his rating is sliding slide from 2204 to 2127 as he enjoys regularly being at the fringes of the joi-jin. It is totally another story for Miyabiyama who surprised many observers with a breakout year as the former ozeki actually improved his peak rating by 43 and also the R10 by 32. Just a year ago he was the worst ozeki since 1960 along with Masuiyama, now he is at least leaving Masuiyama alone in that spot. He still would be quite at the bottom of the ozeki ranking at his age we'll have to see if he can continue to improve.
Sekiwake 1960-2006
RankShikonaFirstLastBashoMakuuchiKyujoW-L-DPeakRankRating 3RankRating 6RankRating 10RankΔ PΔ R10
SKotomitsuki19991120060739342342-227236575235372233172231172011
SWakanosato19971120060749444416-29423548123467423337123167005
STosanoumi19941120060770651535-510231710023089222919022768500
SKyokutenho19960320060762470451-4752278123227012022541162228118015
SKotonowaka19900720051189864630-668226813622461402227137221113300
STakanowaka19990520060742332304-297226213922371462209148216916401
SHokutoriki20020120060728260203-215225714421961862162199213221405
STochinonada19961120060758541421-422224115922381442233132222212400
STamanoshima19990920060741340309-3012235169223314822221402196142033
STamakasuga19950320060768551487-502222517521971792182169216416900
There isn't much to tell about the bunch of active career sekiwake as most are on the decline. Noone was able to improve his peak rating. Only Tamanoshima came quite close to his peak, improving his R3, R6 and R10 considerably; still on a rather low level for a sekiwake. Others still showing some sign of improvement or Kyokutenho and current sekiwake Kotomitsuki.
Komusubi 1960-2006
RankShikonaFirstLastBashoMakuuchiKyujoW-L-DPeakRankRating 3RankRating 6RankRating 10RankΔ PΔ R10
KIwakiyama20020320060727230206-1892246154222615522051522165166026
KTakamisakari20000120060734292253-242224116022071712176183214819809
KRoho20040120060716120132-10222211812208168216319821472002456
KKakizoe20030320060721180160-155221419222001782168190215218603
KKisenosato20040520060714110110-982205206212627520683532055364207103
KToki19970720060351371352-400220420821832062161200214320400
KAsasekiryu20020720060725210187-16421982142165226213923221002596039
KAma20040320060715110119-105219621721202882062369204838112362
KShimotori20010520060731201230-225218622821532392127239208729500
KChiyotenzan19970120051148221326-387217424221512412118257206932700
KKyokushuzan19950320060768600466-548216625321652282160205215119004
KFuteno20030520060720140148-1442166254214724320992932062345046
KTochinohana19990120060738191272-2802166255209733420623702029430024
KKaiho19970520060754422382-419214827421342632112273208929300
We had some komusubi debuts over the last year with Roho, Kisenosato, Asasekiryu and Ama all increasing their peak rating in that period as well. Kisenosato and Ama had the biggest increase as they profited from increasing makuuchi experience and are getting better at a young age. Asasekiryu also had a nice improvement going with the debut, he also still is young getting 25 in 12 days. We will see if the can continue to improve over the next year.None of the older komusubi could improve the peak rating while some padded the R10 with more basho experience. The six komusubi from Shimotori down are in the lower half of the komusubi since 1960, and I see only Futeno as having potential for improvement.
Maegashira 1960-2006
RankShikonaFirstLastBashoMakuuchiKyujoW-L-DPeakRankRating 3RankRating 6RankRating 10RankΔ PΔ R10
M1Kokkai20030520060720160160-1372241161222315721841682159175039
M4Baruto20050920060742147-132222180210731120923102086297NewNew
M1Kotoshogiku2004072006071390107-8821672512114301207135020613509937
M3Tokitsuumi19970520060754432381-411214628221422532122246210125601
M1Aminishiki20000120060740350285-30421452832131268211925520982642621
M1Tokitenku20040320060715110118-10521333052108310206236820493799560
M2Hakurozan200409200607127092-88209737220484351999488198749313650
M1Tochisakae19980320060737243267-256209737420813682067356204538801
M3Takekaze20020920060722162169-148208739420843612072346206733306
M1Buyuzan20000520060734250239-260208041020733812060374203641405
M5Toyozakura19980920060730120210-2332069431203146719984891964528018
M6Jumonji19980120060741311293-3182067433206240320484092034420011
M6Kasugao20020720060725140181-1852066437204643620124731990488016
M8Toyonoshima20040520060714100114-9620624432044440202744820234457541
M4Otsukasa19960120060759250420-465204747020324622017466200247700
M10Ushiomaru2002012006072373172-16320384812017482198650219615360-11
M11Homasho20060120060742037-232033488198652119805131978505NewNew
M5Kasuganishiki19990720060731121215-2312016506200050319855041959538013
M8Takanotsuru2001032006032951200-22920145071982527195255419285840-6
M8Tamarikido19990920060727114187-18620095122004499198650119695190-5
M11Yotsukasa1998052005114180275-324200352319845221957544193257300
M9Yoshikaze20050720060774056-48200052919715411967534196552412792
M9Kitazakura1998072006074391314-3301997532198252819605411941559015
M10Harunoyama2000112006073232225-24619815461954562192559519016140-6
M11Wakatoba2001052006072870191-228197655319635521939569191060309
M12Shunketsu2001012006071951133-1501972558194157719176051910605131
M9Tamaasuka20041120060183046-49197255919226061907613190361101
M13Katayama200407200607135094-1011960574193858219275921924588015
M9Kobo1999012006074340298-333194858919415791923600190760601
M16Daimanazuru200401200607121081-9818886561857670183368518286897134
This is the last table, and I am listing all maegashira this time (as opposed to only those with ten makuuchi basho one year ago). Kokkai still is leading all maegashira since 1960 and he still couldn't get to the komusubi rank during the last year. This could change now as he posted a 10-5 from M5 this basho; ironically his current rating still is about 50 below his peak. Comfortably in second place already with only two makuuchi basho is Baruto, and I don't think he'll finish his career as a maegashira... Kotoshogiku in the next place was severely out of his depth in the joi-jin but I could still fathom him reaching sanyaku in the future.Standing out in last place is Daimanazuru with a peak of 60 lower than that of the next-to-last, Kobo. Still, he isn't the worst all time as Oko (1868), Makimoto (1851) and Azumanishiki (1846) had even lower peaks as moto-maegashira. All of them were in makuuchi only for one basho naturally.

#2 Asojima

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 15:39

Thanks much for the masterwork update.

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#3 Fay

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 17:58

Thank's very much for this great analysis. Well I fear I have to go back to the old forum post and spend an evening with it ;-) to understand it all, but it's worth it.

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#4 Zuikakuyama

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:23

A very big thanks for your analysis!!! (Applauding...)

A question.

The data you have here seems to be different than those on Here

Are they different?

#5 Doitsuyama

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 09:20

The data you have here seems to be different than those on Here

Are they different?

The two sets are quite similar. The difference results from two changes I did for the historical ratings. The most important and most obvious change is that this set adds all makuuchi bouts from 1927 to 1988 in addition to the Heisei ratings which leads to calculated ratings where the Heisei ratings had to assume entry ratings for all rikishi in 1989.01. The second and more subtle change is a more refined method to determine entry ratings (= ratings for rikishi entering the rating system for the first time). The Heisei ratings simply have a fixed entry rating which definitely wasn't possible for the historical ratings due to greatly varying size of makuuchi, and especially the Shunjuen incident, so entry ratings are now based on banzuke rank (as a rank number, counting from 1 upwards; eg J14w now would be rank #70).

#6 Quentooshu

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 21:48


The data you have here seems to be different than those on Here

Are they different?

The two sets are quite similar. The difference results from two changes I did for the historical ratings. The most important and most obvious change is that this set adds all makuuchi bouts from 1927 to 1988 in addition to the Heisei ratings which leads to calculated ratings where the Heisei ratings had to assume entry ratings for all rikishi in 1989.01. The second and more subtle change is a more refined method to determine entry ratings (= ratings for rikishi entering the rating system for the first time). The Heisei ratings simply have a fixed entry rating which definitely wasn't possible for the historical ratings due to greatly varying size of makuuchi, and especially the Shunjuen incident, so entry ratings are now based on banzuke rank (as a rank number, counting from 1 upwards; eg J14w now would be rank #70).


Incredible work!

What database do you have that contains all of the results and is it available?

Also, does your rating calulator change the ratings of each rikishi after each bout or after each basho?

#7 Ryukaze

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 04:16

Im a little dissapointed in you bro, seems to me like you plug in this formula and use it to make your sumo game picks eh? (or anyone who uses any type of formula etc.) As they should come from you, your own head and knowledge of watching individual bouts etc. not with the help of statistics, I dont agree.

Edited by Ryukaze, 30 July 2006 - 04:16.

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#8 Fay

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 08:44

Im a little dissapointed in you bro, seems to me like you plug in this formula and use it to make your sumo game picks eh? (or anyone who uses any type of formula etc.) As they should come from you, your own head and knowledge of watching individual bouts etc. not with the help of statistics, I dont agree.



Hey bro, this is really one of the biggest bollocks I've read in the last time .... (I am not worthy...)

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#9 Zeokage

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 09:35

I agree, the analysis gives a scientific analysis of past results. All that can do for the future is tell you how they're currently doing. For all we know, Futeno could go 13-2 next basho which would be completely against the science. You can predict a trend using science, but it will not be 100% accurate. If it was, there wouldn't be betting.
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#10 sumofan

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 10:58

I agree, the analysis gives a scientific analysis of past results. All that can do for the future is tell you how they're currently doing. For all we know, Futeno could go 13-2 next basho which would be completely against the science. You can predict a trend using science, but it will not be 100% accurate. If it was, there wouldn't be betting.


Indeed, but this is exactly what bookmakers do.
They use statistical analysis to determine the odds, and then use those to calculate the odds they are going to give the gamblers.

Strange things, miracles and disasters happen during the games, but on average, the games turn out as predicted.
That is why bookmakers and casinos always win in the long run.

And I do NOT agree with Ryukaze.
You can make sumo predictions any way you want. flipping coins, using your gut feeling, or statistical analysis.
Why would you not use the knowledge that you have?
That's called improvisation.

If I want to solve a difficult sudoku or logic puzzle, I 'll write an application to do so. Just because I can.

Instead, I am grateful that doytsuma shares this knowledge with us, instead of keeping everything to himself, which he could do as well.

#11 _the_mind_

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 16:19

I agree, the analysis gives a scientific analysis of past results. All that can do for the future is tell you how they're currently doing. For all we know, Futeno could go 13-2 next basho which would be completely against the science. You can predict a trend using science, but it will not be 100% accurate. If it was, there wouldn't be betting.



i sincerely doubt Doitsuyama-san went through all the trouble of making this in an attempt to predict the future. it is a ranking of where each rikishi stands in relation to all previous rikishi(and current). it is in no way trying to predict the future. it is a comparison ranking of the past. .....i could be wrong, as i did not recreate it so i dont know its true intention, but that is how it is presented. thats is why he called it "historical strength analysis" not "here is my predictions for the future"

Edited by _the_mind_, 30 July 2006 - 16:24.


#12 Coo-cook

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 02:09


I agree, the analysis gives a scientific analysis of past results. All that can do for the future is tell you how they're currently doing. For all we know, Futeno could go 13-2 next basho which would be completely against the science. You can predict a trend using science, but it will not be 100% accurate. If it was, there wouldn't be betting.



i sincerely doubt Doitsuyama-san went through all the trouble of making this in an attempt to predict the future. it is a ranking of where each rikishi stands in relation to all previous rikishi(and current). it is in no way trying to predict the future. it is a comparison ranking of the past. .....i could be wrong, as i did not recreate it so i dont know its true intention, but that is how it is presented. thats is why he called it "historical strength analysis" not "here is my predictions for the future"


Who knows, we might have a Sumo- Nostradamus among us. (I am not worthy...)

Edited by Coo-cook, 31 July 2006 - 02:10.


#13 Ryukaze

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:42

Notice the key words, "It seems to me....." just my thoughts and opinions, (which is what this board is here for right?) I may very well be right with regards to "Doitsuyama-sama's" uses of the information he has (seemingly) painstakingly gone through the trouble to gather, and I may not be. Either way it's just that "my opinion" so "RELAXXXXXXXXX" he's a big boy so he can defend himself if he feels the need to, yet Im sure by now he knows not to take anything I say too personally, he he he

(Incidentaly regarding sumo games however I do indeed still think that the highest degree of skill is shown when someone can predict the outcome of a match using their own personal knowledge having watched bouts etc. as opposed to using any kind of statistics, win % etc to pre-determine the likelyhood of a bouts outcome.)

Edited by Ryukaze, 31 July 2006 - 06:32.

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#14 Naganoyama

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 15:28

I think it shows a considerable amount of skill to carry out analysis like this also.

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#15 _the_mind_

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 15:56

(Incidentaly regarding sumo games however I do indeed still think that the highest degree of skill is shown when someone can predict the outcome of a match using their own personal knowledge having watched bouts etc. as opposed to using any kind of statistics, win % etc to pre-determine the likelyhood of a bouts outcome.)



so if Asa were to fight takamisakari you wouldnt already know the outcome? based on the fact you personally know Asa usually only loses one or two a whole basho and sakari is usually scraping just to get 8. and the fact you know the rank difference and that Asa owns everyone except hakuho. you dont think that is using your personal knowledge of the statistics of sumo? it is, it just isnt written on paper. you are using statistics when you try to pick a winner or you would just use a dart board to pick the winner. you can act like you arent using statistics, but you are. its just in your head, the knowledge you have of previous fights, insead of a list.

#16 sumofan

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 17:04

so if Asa were to fight takamisakari you wouldnt already know the outcome?


Well, if that would ever happen (suppose all sanyaku rikishi go kyujo), Taka might actually amaze you.
He is pretty strong, and most of all, he is unpredictable.

He manages to lose matches that he should win, based on ranking.
He also manages to win against a strong Tochiazuma, who is someone who could win against pretty much all rikishi when he is not injured.

So with Takamiskari, you never know until the fat lady sings.

#17 Kintamayama

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 17:14

Doitsuyama is on holiday at the moment, so he can't answer y'all dudes, bro. (LOL). We have an ongoing rivalry in all sumo games (till Fujisan came along and showed us how it's done..) I always make fun of him that his picks are analytical as opposed to my gut feelings. To each his own, I don't see no problems wif dat..

Edited by Kintamayama, 31 July 2006 - 20:59.

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#18 aderechelsea

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 18:36

ok .. since Doitsuyama is not around it is the best opportunity to state that this topic is completely insanish (sic).

i cannot follow it even for a bit.

i guess that's why i never do good in the games when results are "normal". Do you get the same Kintamayama?

The bad thing is that the results in Sumo tend to be very "normal" so that's why Doitsu is so much better than me in the whole gaming world.

I wonder if Fujisan is using his tables or if he is going by gut feeling too, and if he is WHY THE HELL DOES HIS GUTS PREDICT THE FUTURE SO MUCH BETTER THAN MINE ???

Edited by aderechelsea, 31 July 2006 - 18:36.

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#19 Jakusotsu

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 18:50

Psst, a secret: Fujisan doesn't rely on his own guts - he uses rabbit entrails instead. (Chucking salt...)
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#20 _the_mind_

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 02:47

ok .. since Doitsuyama is not around it is the best opportunity to state that this topic is completely insanish (sic).

i cannot follow it even for a bit.

i guess that's why i never do good in the games when results are "normal". Do you get the same Kintamayama?

The bad thing is that the results in Sumo tend to be very "normal" so that's why Doitsu is so much better than me in the whole gaming world.

I wonder if Fujisan is using his tables or if he is going by gut feeling too, and if he is WHY THE HELL DOES HIS GUTS PREDICT THE FUTURE SO MUCH BETTER THAN MINE ???

perhaps it might be less confusing if you check out the link in his post to the previous whole ranking. it is pretty well explained. at least i think so.

#21 aderechelsea

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 08:12

i tried to watch this thread since joining this forum but i guess it is not "my cup of tea" after all. It's probably not difficult but it's not that interesting to me after all ...

anyway .... back to the topic before Doitsuyama returns and finds out i am wrecking his topic .... (Whistling...)

My "Virtual Heya" (Haru 2014): Kyokushuho 8-7, Tosayutaka 5-2, Shohozan 5-10, Tokushoryu 9-6, Toyonoshima 5-10, Ishiura 4-3

Virtual Oyakata: Musashigawa Mitsuhide (Yokozuna Musashimaru)

Adopted rikishi: Jd5e Hokutoki 5-2 KK .... Jd30w Kaiho 4-3 KK

Proud passenger of the "future Yokozuna Kyokushuho" bandwagon.


#22 Kotobaru

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 23:06

Well, back to topic, as a new here it's really amazing to see how many work one :-/ person have been through! My area of knowledge is much related to math and numbers, so they tell me a story. I think this analysis giving the best possibility to compare rikishi of present time to those who are out of dohyo. I hope Doitsu will be back soon to answer my question. I'm really wondering where you got the idea to use the Elo kind of ranking system? Is there any argumentation why it's better than some other, or is it just so easy algoritm to use? Can you give some light ... ;-)
Thanks.

#23 mokele

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:08

These numerical ratings are very similar to those in the chess world, and your work is similar in some ways to that of Jeff Sonas:

http://db.chessmetrics.com/

In any case it's a great idea. I've been a sumo fan since around 1992, diligently watching every basho as long as I could access it. I've noticed that the Kyokai doesn't have a strict or well-defined manner in which the ranking of a maegashira rikishi changes from 1 basho to the next. The only thing that a sumo fan seems to know is that, among maegashira, a rikishi's ranking rises (if there's room for him to rise of course) if he scores kachi-koshi and falls with a make-koshi result, and better scores result in a greater rise in the ranking whereas a very bad result results in a large drop in the ranking. Sekiwake and komusubi will invariably drop out of sanyaku if they win less than 7 bouts in a basho, and will at least keep their ranking if they score kachi-koshi.

1 thing that a numerical rating for rikishi could do is to allow a fairly reliable prediction of how a rikishi will do in a given basho based on his rating and the ratings of his opponents. Of course intangible factors are involved too such as injuries and other health issues. Also, psychological factors seem to play a role, as the plethora of "elevator rikishi" demonstrates. Many of the maegashira rikishi have good results when ranked near the bottom of Makunouchi but have disastrous results when ranked near the top. I suspect that this phenomena is due not just to the strength of the rikishi they face but their mental attitude as well. It's a complicated issue.

Anyway, great research and study! It is appreciated.

#24 Zeokage

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 16:37

This analysis is brought together using formulae derived from the Elo system, which was originally used for chess...
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#25 Doitsuyama

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 17:03

Im a little dissapointed in you bro, seems to me like you plug in this formula and use it to make your sumo game picks eh? (or anyone who uses any type of formula etc.) As they should come from you, your own head and knowledge of watching individual bouts etc. not with the help of statistics, I dont agree.

I certainly use my statistics as a help for making game picks, not solely by any means, and not even exclusively as anyone is invited to do the same (the Heisei ratings are freely available after all).

But even if I would use this stuff solely and exclusively - I don't care if you agree or not. I still feel it's a valid approach.




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