Zermelo Features and Letters From Users

Ernst Zermelo
Ernst Zermelo (1871–1953)

Zermelo Features

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

To learn more, just download and run the setup program or read the user’s manual. You can find the setup program and user’s manual on the Submitting Events page.

Zermelo Letters

Below are letters from users of Zermelo. For letters about Ratings Central, see Letters From Users (and some articles).

September 3, 2020

I really enjoy using the Zermelo program to run tournaments due to its efficiency and simplicity. I recall the days of the manual processes and many hours required to seed players, do draws, and then run a tournament, all of which are now substantially reduced due to Ratings Central and Zermelo.

Anyway, keep up the great work with Ratings Central and Zermelo.

Andrew Freer
Treasurer, Moreton Bay Table Tennis Association

November 22, 2017

Hi Support,

I‘m the match recorder for WTTA in Melbourne, Australia and recently we ran a Veterans Tournament using the Zermelo program. This is a great program and was more impressed to see a direct upload to Ratings Central. … Programming interfaces is not new to me as I have been in the SCADA industry for over 25 years and have written some complex programs. …

David Bartolo

May 7, 2015

Hi David,

Jessie T. Zhang

P.S. Just wanted to say that I think Zermelo is a great system!

March 29, 2015

… So glad you created Ratings Central, even if I don’t use it yet. Thanks for creating Zermelo; it rocks.

David C. Evans III

March 23, 2015

Hi David,

Hope all is well with you. …

This past weekend there was a table tennis tournament at … . I went to check it out and watch top players playing. The tournament managers were using … software to run the tournament. In my opinion, the … software sucks. Zermelo is a much better system in many many ways. The scheduling, arranging matches, printing of match cards and the flexibility in managing the tournament are much better using Zermelo. Thank you for all the work you have done to make the Zermelo software available for the table tennis sport.

Mohamad Al-Sabek

March 20, 2015

Used Zermelo to run last week’s 4-Star Butterfly San Francisco Open—235 Players and 40 tables! Largest tournament I’ve been asked to run! The tournament director and Butterfly haven’t decided yet if they want to post results to Ratings Central—so I decided to pay you first. …

Yau-Man Chan

February 25, 2015

Dear David,

I have been using Zermelo for over 12 years now. It is a great program and I would not run a tournament without it.

Alan Grambo

February 2, 2015

Dear David,

Thank you very much for the help!

I used your software [Zermelo] to run the tournament and like your software very much. It is very helpful. I re-checked my results and only found a few entry errors but all these errors are numbers not games. This is amazing considering we had about 280 games in one day.

Again, I really like and enjoyed your software and rating system. Thank you very much for making such great software and making it publicly available. …

Best wishes,
Kui Zhang
Vestavia Hills, Alabama

January 10, 2015

FYI: Thanks for Zermelo and Ratings Central. Everytime I use Zeremlo to run a tournament, I learn something new. Today I learned how to conduct a 2-stage round robin format with the first stage being one event (5 groups of 3), followed by a second stage to which all players advanced. The second stage consisted of 3 groups of 5, depending on the place that each player finished in the first group. The second stage groups were separate “events”. During setup of the events, I predicted where each player would finish based on seedings, and added them to the appropriate second-stage event. After the first stage was done, I only had to juggle a few players among the second stage events, and it worked like a charm.

Michael V. Lauro, Jr.

August 25, 2014

Hi David,

Thank you for allowing us to use this magnificent program Zermelo. It made running our tournament a breeze.

Kind Regards,
Robert Katsipis
Technical Committee Chair, Table Tennis Victoria

August 7, 2014

Hi David,

We are very happy with the program [Zermelo]—last week was the first time we have used it to call matches and it went really well. You have done a great job.

Thanks and regards,
Jeff Grubb
Bendigo & District Table Tennis Association, Victoria, Australia

July 28, 2014

Hi David,

Thank you for your great application [Zermelo] and all the work you put into it.

Jared Stanley
Mackay Table Tennis Association

January 25, 2014


Enclosed is your check for our just-completed 2014 Winter Sooner State Games.

I had a grand total of zero significant problems! The only minor problem was quickly resolved by the user’s manual. (I couldn’t figure out how to do a double default.)

Also, I had a volunteer help with data entry, and she seemed to pick up on the software [Zermelo] quite well. This gave me more time to devote to “bigger picture” stuff.

Britt Salter
Oklahoma City Table Tennis Club

May 11, 2013

Hi David,

A quick note to say thanks for the use of your Zermelo software. We used it recently at our RITTA Spring Open.

We got many compliments on running a very efficient tournament, and much of it was due to Zermelo. As a database developer, I can appreciate the work that goes into making a good quality piece of software. We look forward to using it again at our next tournament in September.

Manny Silva
RITTA President

December 12, 2010


Thank you very much for giving such amazing software [Zermelo] to TT community. ICC is using your software for the tournaments.

Rajul Sheth
India Community Center Table Tennis

December 5, 2010


The software [Zermelo] worked out great. We could not have done the tourney without it.

Thank you for your efforts.

Jeff Webster
Colorado Springs, CO

October 17, 2007


Your reply triggered a thought for me. We have been having a series of Foothills Celebrity TT (2-star) tournaments at our scruffy little city here in Knoxville, TN. While we play in a YWCA gym that barely permits us to process 52 players, we have been fortunate to attract celebrities like Danny Seemiller, and we make up some of our facility shortcomings with a lot of care and friendship from our club members, so we have been getting very nice feedback from participants in our tournaments that mostly come from this region, although we’ve had a few from New York and Florida. We typically have a coaching clinic (led by our celebrity) on a Friday and play our matches the next day from 9 a.m. to about 6 or 7 p.m.

I know we are very happy with the use of Zermelo and from that standpoint you are a celebrity for us. I have no idea how many people are using Zermelo or if you have ever had some kind of regional or national gathering, or how you promote your program other than making its presence known over the Internet. One of the nice features of Zermelo is that is basically user friendly, but I know we would have several of our own club members participate in a seminar type session if you led it.

Just a thought, but would appreciate you letting me know if the idea interests you. If it does perhaps we could make it happen.

Take Care,
Dwain Kitchel
Knoxville Table Tennis Club

September 15, 2007


Thanks a lot. I am sure you heard this before, but your software [Zermelo] is exceptional. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s very powerful.

Thanks again,
Ivan Popov
Michigan Table Tennis Academy

March 9, 2007


I have been using Zermelo every week and I like it very much …

Joseph Sabas

December 11, 2006


Zermelo was great, and I got only good compliments from the tourney I just ran, and a lot of that credit has to go to the software you developed. …

Shashin Shodhan

September 27, 2006

Dear Mr. Marcus,

Our company has just completed our table tennis tournament, and it was a great success. Your Zermelo software has made the organization of the tournament much simpler than it would have been. Thank you for a great piece of software.

Gideon Fung

May 30, 2006


Just to give you an update. I ran the Golden State Open 2006 with Zermelo version 15.4 this weekend. 2 days, 23 events, 24 tables, and 278 players—amazing—the biggest event we’ve ever done. Everything ran well. Just to let you know some of the highlights:

  1. The notes for players was wonderful—the cashiers loved it—they know why the player owes money or gets a refund when asked without having to dig through the original entry forms.
  2. Check-in was a breeze—we had a lot of compliments on how smooth and simple the check-in was. Using the export feature, I mail merged their name on the USATT waiver and their ID number on the top corner, in a tiny font. All they had to do was sign the form. The check-in person then checked the ID number on Zermelo to check them in—a two for one process—if they signed the form and turned it in, they are checked in.
  3. Also using the export, I was able to do a mass mailing to players to confirm their entry—cut down on a lot of phone calls from them asking if we got their form!! Also, the export helped in making our program where we list all the players and the city and ratings.

The only problem with calling matches in a big tournament like this is people not returning their playing slips. When I noticed a match slip out for over 45 minutes, I went looking for the players and found one of them sitting around chitchatting with her friends—match slip in hand. I don’t know what to do about this other than to send out a spotter to keep harassing players to turn in their match slips as soon as they finish. The gym is three basketball courts in size and the control desk is in the lobby—can’t see the players. So, maybe a reminder in Zermelo to prompt the control desk that a match slip has been out for over thirty minutes?

Again, thank you for a wonderful program. The Golden State Tournament committee is now totally sold on match calling and will continue to use it in the future.

Yau-Man Chan

April 27, 2006


Our club used your program [Zermelo] for our recent tournament [Dogwood Arts Festival First Annual Table Tennis Open]. It worked like a charm and our tournament ran smoothly—almost like we knew what we were doing. If you are the guy who developed this program and supporting manual, all I can say is a helluva great job! Thanks!!

Dwain Kitchel
Knoxville Table Tennis Club

October 6, 2005

Btw, your new added feature for version 15 is exactly what I was going to suggest. Our tournament committee for the Golden State Open has decided to continue to use Zermelo in next year’s tournament because of that additional feature. They want to do timed events for the RR groups and match calling for the SE rounds.

Thanks again for a wonderful program.

Yau-Man Chan

September 27, 2005

[Zermelo is] an exceptional program and I encourage all directors to use it.

Greg Thompson

June 13, 2005


As I mentioned previously, this is the first time I’ve used Zermelo to run such a big tournament—2 days, 240 players, 21 singles and 3 doubles events—a total of 713 event entries. I was able to use Zermelo to streamline the check-in, especially with the new USATT rule of having each and every individual player sign a separate waiver. What I did was mail merge the names onto each waiver. On the top-right corner, I mail merged the player ID, and on the lower-right corner, I mail merged a “see cashier” on players who owed money.

The check-in worker just had to give the player their pre-printed form. The player would then find a flat surface to sign it and put it in an in basket. If they didn’t return it, they were not checked in—the data processing person periodically picked up the forms and checked the player into Zermelo using the ID printed on the form. Voilà! No check-in line. Only players who owed money had to stand in line—only 23 out of 240 entries—their penalty for not doing the math correctly and paying the correct amount when they sent in the forms!!

All in all, the program worked great.

Yau-Man Chan

April 18, 2005


Used Zermelo for the first time on Saturday. I liked it a lot. We had 70 entries in 11 events on 12 tables. Began at 9:15 a.m. and finished at 5:40 p.m. with all events in four-man round robins!

Ed Hogshead

October 11, 2004


Zermelo worked flawlessly.

Please add the following new features:

Larry Rose

May 2, 2004

Hi, David!

Zermelo was flawless Saturday, that is, once I figured out that our U1400 RR was set in the program to start at 12 a.m. instead of 12 p.m. (Noon). I couldn’t figure out why it kept calling the U1400 matches! Hehehehehe.

Thanks for all of the hard work! Your blood, sweat, tears and frustration makes it soooo nice and simple for us. :-D

Charleste King

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

February 22, 2004


I was asked to run the ACUI Region 15’s Table Tennis tournament at UC Davis this last weekend. I used Zermelo. …

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

December 6, 2003


[I used] 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 fliers 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