Standards for Sumo ranking chart

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How is a rikishi’s rank determined?

A banzuke ranking conference is held within three days after each tournament, and ranks of all rikishi are reconsidered. The conference is attended by:

  • The chairman of the judging committee
  • The vice-chairmen of the judging committee (2)
  • All members of the judging committee (20)
  • Supervisors (3)

The conference is also attended by gyoji, but they are not allowed to give opinions; they are there to act as secretaries.

What are rikishi ranks based on?

A rikishi s rank is based solely on the number of his wins in the tournament preceding. Basically,juryo and makuuchi rikishi are moved up one position for each win and down one position for each loss. For example, an 8-win 7-loss record means moving up one position, while a 7-win 8-loss record means a drop of one position. This is, however, merely a rule of thumb. A rikishi’s rank will often depend on the records of those ahead of and behind him, meaning that there is often an element of luck (good and bad) involved.

How are yokozuna and ozeki chosen?

Yokozuna and ozeki are chosen by the JSA board of trustees according to certain standards. Decisions, however, must be unanimous. In the case of yokozuna, the Yokozuna Judging Committee must also consider candidates.

How is an ozeki demoted?

An ozeki is demoted if he has losing records two tournaments in a row. He can regain his rank, however, if he gets at least ten wins during the tournament following his demotion. The title is reinstated without the ceremony to which a first-time ozeki is entitled.

Can a yokozuna also be demoted?

No matter how poor a yokozuna’s performance, he is never demoted. If he cannot maintain a record worthy of the rank, the only option is retirement. Ayokozuna is never demoted to and allowed to continue competition.

Are there special standards for promotion to sekiwake or komusubi?

No. The same standards apply as for promotion within the maegashira ranks. Movement up or down is based on win-loss records. One losing tournament usually means a drop in rank for sekiwake and komusubi.

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