The first rankings were produced after the 1976 World Snooker Championship. Because of this system, the 1974 World Snooker Championship is regarded as being the first ranking tournament.

The same system was used for a number of years but the rankings for the 1983/84 season included performances in two additional tournaments during the 1982/83 season.

In 1992/93 and from the 2010/11 to the 2015/16 season there were a number of tournaments which contributed to the world rankings but at a lower rate than standard ranking tournaments.