May Banzuke Prediction Postmortem

The May banzuke is out! While the Crystal Ball is no better than anyone else at telling you when the tournament with this banzuke will be held, it did its finest job yet at forecasting the new rankings.

The first five positions on the banzuke were not difficult to get right: Y1e Hakuho, Y1w Kakuryu, O1e Takakeisho, O1w Asanoyama, S1e Shodai. There was slightly greater uncertainty about the rest of the san’yaku, but the Crystal Ball correctly predicted S1w Mitakeumi, K1e Daieisho, and K1w Okinoumi.

It was clear who would occupy the top two maegashira ranks, but the order was less predictable, and I am especially pleased to have correctly forecast M1e Endo and M1w Yutakayama, who jumped ahead of M2e Takanosho, followed by M2w Onosho. From there, M3e Takarafuji, M3w Kiribayama, and M4e Kagayaki were easy calls.

This is where we come to the first rank the Crystal Ball got wrong: the real banzuke has M4w Aoiyama, M5e Abi, and M5w Hokutofuji, who appears not to have gotten the full deference often given to demoted san’yaku rikishi. My more lenient prediction had him switching ranks with Aoiyama.

After this glitch, the forecast was back on a roll, correctly predicting the next eight banzuke positions, from M6e Enho to M9w Ikioi. And then we hit the messiness of the lower maegashira ranks. Of the last 16 spots on the banzuke, the Crystal Ball called only 6 exactly right, placed two more rikishi at the right rank but on the wrong side, and made 5 one-rank switches affecting the remaining 8 placements. At least it got the identities of all 42 Makuuchi rikishi right, with Nishikigi surviving in the top division (and at a higher-than-expected rank of M16e) and Tobizaru having to wait longer for his top-division debut.

Overall, that’s 30 rikishi placed at the correct rank and side, two more at the right rank, and the remaining 10 off by one rank. I don’t know when the Crystal Ball will next be called into action, but it can rest on its laurels in the meantime.

(Full disclosure: This analysis applies to my final Guess The Banzuke (GTB) entry, not my published prediction. I ended up making three last-minute half-rank switches: Takanosho ahead of Onosho, Myogiryu ahead of Sadanoumi, and Nishikigi ahead of Kotoyuki.)

P.S. This turned out to be the winning GTB entry! I am very happy. I will continue to try my best and do my own brand of sumo forecasting.

17 thoughts on “May Banzuke Prediction Postmortem

  1. Look at it this way, if we don’t get to wrestle in May, the July banzuke crystal ball is going to be exceptional.

  2. You know you are living in strange times when you see Tochinochi Ranked higher then Takayasu in the Rank and file……

      • True enough…. Though don’t take to much away from the big guy, he’s been in sumo a long time and has skill, and despite his record this Basho, it’s not like he didn’t put up good fights Vs tough opponents.

  3. I got 20 spot on, 7 at right rank, wrong side and the rest all out by one rank except Chiyomaru (I had him at 17w) and Tobizaru (16w).

  4. Further down the banzuke, fan favourite Ura at East Makushita #19 is now at his highest rank since his 1st injury in Sep 2017.

    Hope he can stay injury free and get back to the salaried rank soon.

  5. I see you took the yusho – congrats!

    I think I got 46 pts TBC, had a lot 1 rank out in the middle of the banzuke

  6. Just revisiting this and I have to say that Tobizaru was hugely unlucky to land at j2e. Of the 50 previous rikishi to get 10-5 at j4e, 42 were promoted to maku’uchi and 5 found themselves in the “one last heave” slot (j1). I suppose one bright spot is the three men who landed at j2 (Wakanokuni, Rikio and Kotoryu) all made it to the big dance soon after.

    Again on the sadder side Gagamaru is down in sandanme for the first time since 2006. Father Time taps him on the shoulder and says “Time to go, big man”.

    • Yeah, Gagamaru is only damaging his long term health now, I hope he bows out too.

      For Tobizaru there was a wide range of outcomes and he pretty much came out at the bottom of that range

    • As I noted in my Juryo prediction post, there were three rikishi who all had a really strong case for J1, so someone had to get the short end of the stick, and Tobizaru was the only one where flexibility was possible—they weren’t going to boot Meisei lower than that with a 7-8 at M17e, and there was nowhere else to put Chiyoshoma (J2e, 8-7).

  7. Funny, I think I wrote somewhere last time that Nishikifuji could get all the way up to MS3 and he ended exactly at Ms3e. I think Asashosakari pointed out that Kitaharima had a strong case too with 6-1 at Ms19 and he surpassed everyone else to take MS3w, leaving Kaisho and Chiyoarashi outside the top 10. The later one got even surpassed by Kyokusoten. Jokoryu also passed Naya.


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