Rules Standings
Banzuke Archive
Register Entry
Auto-Pick Formula

Internet Sumo Pool
Rules and Procedures


Before The Contest


In order to maintain continuity in the game and to protect the integrity of your entries, the Internet Sumo Pool requires you to register with, enter a user name, an email address for confirmations, and a password. You can then log in to the in order to make your ISP registration and daily picks. The ISP registration provides you with the ability to declare (or change) your "shikona" (fighting name).


If you are going to be absent for a basho and don't want to play, please go to the registration page and check that you will be absent. You are allowed to skip one basho and register as being absent, you will retain your banzuke position for the following basho. If you miss the following basho, you will receive a 0-0-15 score that will drop you down the banzuke.


With so many players, ties are inevitable. There is no need to enter tiebreakers though, as the standings are ordered by the "risk factor" (with higher risk factor getting a better standing of course) which is calculated as follows: if for a particular match 70% of all players picked the East rikishi to win and 30% picked the West rikishi, and the East rikishi wins, all those who picked him get a risk factor of 0.3 (cause they bet against 30% of all players – and won) – had the West rikishi won, those 30% that picked him, would have gotten a risk factor score of 0.7 – losing predictions will of course score zero in risk factor as well. Should there still be a tie, the leaders will be announced as co-yusho winners.

The tiebreaker system was different until Haru 2012 as until then players had to submit two tiebreakers. The first was a Maegashira rikishi and his record in the basho was used to break most ties. If that still left a tie, the second tiebreaker was a Sanyaku (Komusubi and above) rikishi and his record for the tournament. The old tiebreaker system still led to multiple co-yusho and players forgot to enter tiebreakers outright, so it was abolished with the new system which also provides a way to sort the standings behind the yusho winner.

Absentee Picks

If you are going to miss a few days, you can set a "formula" that will allow the game to pick for you while you're gone. You can prioritize up to nine elements:

Wins This BashoMostLeast
Wins Head-to-headMostLeast
Last Bout WonLost
Last Bout Head-to-headWonLost

If the algorithm you select is unable to resolve a pick, you will be considered absent for the day. Note that Side and Rank are guaranteed to resolve to a pick, therefore it is probably wise to include one or the other as the last element in your formula.

You can submit this formula in anytime during the contest, as long as it's before your absence. The auto-pick formula can be used for up five (5) days during the basho, but not more than three (3) days in a row. This should accommodate most people who don't have computer access on the weekends.

Your formula can be submitted using the auto-pick formula page.

Daily Play

The Pool Matches

The object of the game is to pick the winner of each day's pool match. These matches are chosen by Moti Dichne (Kintamayama) and posted to the sumo mailing list* with the title "[Games] ISP Bout".

Submitting Picks

You can enter via the daily entry form. The Makuuchi matches take place between 16:00 and 18:00 Japan time, which is 07:00-09:00 UTC (GMT) and 2:00AM-4:00AM EST except for the final day when Makuuchi bouts start 1/2 hour earlier. Picks will be accepted until 16:00 JST (except day 15 when the deadline is 15:30 JST), since the pool match could be any time in the following two hour period. You may change your pick as often as you want – the last one received prior to the deadline will be the one that's used. You will be sent a confirmation email each time you submit a pick. If you don't receive the confirmation email due to the vagaries of the internet, you can check your pick was recorded on the today's picks page.


Your score is simply a win/loss record, just like that of an actual rikishi. The standings are ordered by the tiebreaker as described above. Scoring is automatically done daily when the kekka for the day is downloaded from the Nihon Sumo Kyokai web site. You can check the online standings page daily to see how things are going.


The winner is the player with the most wins in the 15 days. In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker described above will be used to determine the "yusho" and "jun-yusho" winners.


There may or may not be prizes awarded. The point of this is to just have fun, not to try to win cool stuff :) But prizes are welcome, of course!!


The Banzuke

All players will be ranked after each basho, and a banzuke will be created around two weeks before the next basho. Ganzohnesushi is the current banzuke shinpan.

Sanyaku Ranks

A player may be promoted all the way up to the rank of Sekiwake by simply winning a majority of her/his matches each time. Promotion to the ranks of Ozeki and Yokozuna requires added criteria much like in the actual sport.

* If you aren't subscribed to the Sumo Mailing List, you can subscribe here.