Ernst Zermelo (1871-1953)
Ernst Zermelo

Zermelo is the premiere software application for running table tennis tournaments. Zermelo:

  • Imports a rating list
  • Makes the draw
  • Calls matches and prints match cards
  • Optionally keeps track of which players have checked in or are playing
  • Prints updated draw sheets that show all results
  • Handles the most popular event formats:
    • Single elimination
    • Round robin (up to twelve players per group)
    • Multiple round robin groups with one or two players advancing from each group to a single-elimination or round-robin second stage
  • Submits results to Ratings Central or USATT
  • Has no explicit support for time scheduling, but is compatible with time scheduling
  • Has a complete user’s manual in PDF
  • Is especially designed to handle USATT-sanctioned tournaments
  • Is reasonably priced

Zermelo runs on Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, and 7. You will also need a printer. You can run it on a Mac or Linux using Wine, CrossOver, Parallels, etc. (Or, you can buy a Windows computer.)

To learn more, just download and run the setup program. You can find the setup program on the Submitting Events page on the Ratings Central website. The setup program installs Zermelo and the User’s Manual. You can also download the User’s Manual separately, if you want to look at it without installing Zermelo.

Zermelo is not free. See the Cost page on the Ratings Central website for more information.

Letters from Users

December 6, 2003


Enclosed is $20 for the use of Zermelo for the Univ. of California, Berkeley, Associated Student Union Center tournament. This was a really strange one, as was how I got involved. Evidently, the Student Union advertised this “ping pong” tournament with flyers in all the dorms, frat, and co-op houses around the campus, but I didn’t know about it. The 1st prize was $150, 2nd $75, and 3rd $50—a lot of money for students. I found out about it when I happened by the Rec. Center and they were getting ready to start and a huge “discussion” ensued. The organizer had no clue how to run a TT tournament, 90% of the players only knew the ping-pong version of the game. A few players insisted on playing with 40 mm balls and under proper TT rules; that was what the whole discussion was about. So, when I happened by, prompted by a few TT players there that I knew, I volunteered my service as a certified USATT Club Umpire and offered to explain the rules and help the organizer run the tournament—if they can start 15 minutes later so I can go to my office and get my laptop and printer. We got everyone to agree to play by USATT rules (except dress code), and I had enough 40 mm 3-star balls in the trunk of my car!

So, I ran a totally impromptu tournament with Zermelo. It took no more than 10 minutes to enter all the names (30), set up the event, print the draw, and call players. We had 6 groups of 5, with 2 advancing to single elimination. I set it up to play 2 of 3 for the RR and 3 of 5 for the SE rounds. With 30 players, we finished in 4.5 hours.

Yau-Man Chan

February 22, 2004


I was asked to run the ACUI Region 15’s Table Tennis tournament at UC Davis this last weekend. I used Zemelo. You’ll be getting a $20 check directly from my bank (I used up my last check and don’t plan to print up any more—it’s all electronic banking for me!!!)

Anyway, all went well—there were 5 women and 24 men. Since I was the tournament director and umpire/referee I was called to the floor a lot, so my 11 year old daughter was able to run the program to enter results and print the call sheets. With 6 tables, 4 groups of 6 RR, then advancing 2 from each group to SE, we finished the tournament in 4 hours. Wonderful program!

Again, thanks for a great program. Organizations from a few schools were interested in the program when they saw me using it. They are all using either a spreadsheet or not using a computer at all in their school TT club or intramural tournaments.

Yau-Man Chan

March 31, 2004

Hi David,

Thank you for showing me Zermelo when I was at the Boston club. The software is easy to use and the manual explains in detail how to use it. At the Rhode Island tournament, we had an awesome experience using Zermelo. All the staff liked the software and were happy that it reduced the amount of work we had to do this year to organize the event.

Mohamad Al-Sabek