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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?

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An official rankings table for the nations playing Australian football has been a long-held dream at worldfootynews.com, although we've maintained in the past that this would be an unofficial system at best and mainly based on conjecture. However, we've recently been sent some ideas for how such a system could work.

WFN reader Campbell Homes has been crunching the numbers and has created a rankings system based solely on actual match data, without resorting to estimation.

The rankings are based on full-scale footy, played under or close to IC rules, dating right back to 1994. In spite of how far back the data goes, the rankings are recalculated after every match played, and adapt to current relative strengths very quickly. Matches that will enter the system in the coming months include the GB vs Denmark test in April, the European Championships in August, the US vs Canada test and as many more as we hear about.

All ranking systems will create plenty of discussion, but Campbell's system is the first that WFN has published based on empirical evidence. The full table and a description of how the ranking system works is available at our World Rankings Page, let the comments begin.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings? | 74 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 08:32 PM ACDT


Please note that WFN is not claiming this system to be official - maybe it will be one day if it is widely accepted.

We will be talking to the international leagues to gain their thoughts on the system - we welcome their comments here, by email, or when we contact them directly. As always, we wish this to be as inclusive as possible.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 08:49 PM ACDT


Just looking through the numbers, my gut feeling is that there is not sufficient range. With an expected scale of 0 to 100, yet values all between 31 and 58, only 27% of the range is covered. 10 teams are huddled within 6.5 points.

I guess the question is - will this spread out as more games are played, or does the system need adjusting?

Slight surprises are how low Canada, Japan and Sweden are. And South Africa are clearly much better, but under this system will take a while to move up the rankings.

I'd still be quite uncomfortable with the system, but new to the international itinerary this year are the European Championships and the senior Oceania Cup, which will add many more games to the system, giving teams a chance to settle into more appropriate positions and newer footy countries to qualify.

Please note that if countries are agreeable to this system then over time, and it will take some time, we will go back through the data publicly so that everyone knows exactly which games do and do not qualify for the rankings. We'll also lay out some more of the exact details of how the system works.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 11:04 AM ACDT

Brett
Japan has managed to beat Spain twice, India and Samoa. Samoa being the only higher ranked team that it has beaten.
South Africa have beaten Japan, Spain, China, and most recently Denmark, USA and Ireland. Those last performances had them rise from 13th out of 15, to 8th out of 18. Their next match may well see them rise further up the ranking where you THINK they should be.
The number of games played and being played is as I have said before, the systems biggest drawback. As more matches are played a truer picture will emerge. The only way that we can test that is if, on the whole, higher ranked teams keep beating lower ranked teams and improving teams occasionally having some wins over huigher ranked teams. Have a look thru the scheme and that appears to be happening.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 12:35 PM ACDT


Regarding the rank of those other teams, I'm not questioning the data, I'm just saying that in terms of their actual ability, they aren't quite placed where I think they deserve to be. Obviously any settled system has to stick to its rules, so I'm not saying they be moved. But any scientist/mathematician when examining a model of the real world will always look to anomalies and ask the question "Is this a fault in the measurements or the calculations, or in my system (indicating the rules MAY need to be changed), or maybe an unavoidable consequence of quite reasonable rules"?

To have such a system widely accepted these are the kinds of criticisms we have to accept and discuss constructively.


---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: John Enright on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 12:39 AM ACDT

so Australia wont have a ranking because they dont play international matches?

---
John Enright
http://www.arfli.com

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 07:11 AM ACDT

I'm not sure how we could rank Australia relative to other nations, so at this point no they won't have an actual ranking score. I don't think anyone can say that Australia is anywhere other than number 1 though.

As we've said though, this is just a model we're trialling. We'll see how it works out this year and keep everyone updated with ranking changes as they progress.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Christopher P. Adams, Ph.D. on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 08:25 AM ACDT
The teams are clustered because they all started at 40 and there haven't been that many games. To move to 70 a team would have to beat a comparable team 30 times, or 15 times in Cup games, which may take 10 years. You should link to the IRB's explanation:
http://www.irb.com/rankings/explain/index.html/#eg

---
Carna Revos!

www.usfootynews.com

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 03:25 PM ACDT

Chris. You are absolutely right about the ranking points being close together because all teams start at 40 and some teams have had less than 10 games included and there are three nations who have only played 5 games. If a team played a series of matches and they were able to achieve the Max of 2.00 ranking points they could move up quite quickly. But most match results only produce small amounts of exchange points so movement up or down is not generally rapid.
The up-coming Denmark v GB match is a case that can show how teams move in the ranks.
Lets assume neither team wins by plus 40 pts.
If GB wins their ranking points will rise to 43.39 not enough to rise above Ireland and Denmark losing will see their points drop to 40.06 still enough to stay above Peace Team.
However if Demark wins their points will rise to 42.06 and GB's will fall to 41.39 enough for Denmark to rise to 6th and GB falling to 9th. actually swapping places. Lower ranked team winning exchange points are more benificial.
As they have played quite a number of matches against each other and quite a few other teams their rankings are pretty sound. Denmark has probably beaten GB more often, but not more recently, so a win by Denmark would "rightfully" see them rise above GB.
"Rightfully" being where Denmark supporters, Brett, yourself and myself THINK they should be.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: kolja51 on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 08:22 AM ACDT

Wow, I see the reasoning behind your system, but I don't see Croatia anywhere in the ranking, and by being 2nd in 2008 and 3rd in 2009 EU Cup. We didn't play any 18 a side games, but if that's the only criteria, then I would say, who cares about ranking.
Must say I'm disappointed with ranking.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 09:53 AM ACDT

You are right kolja51, nobody cares about ranking when trying to compare teams that haven't played matches under the same criteria, eg some only playing 9-a-side and others at least 14 or evem 18-a-side matches. One-eyed Freddie can claim his side is better than one-eyed Sam because their is no match reults to disprove his arguement.
Has Croatia played any 'internationals' other than 9-a-side? If so then those matches would be included onto the ranking scheme and one-eyed Freddie then could say we are as good as New Zealand or South Africa because there is the empirical data to back up his argument.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 12:29 PM ACDT


Kolja has a reasonable point to be discussed though. When we put together our rankings for 2008 we included countries that were playing 9-a-side provided they met the other criteria such as few expats and theoretically able to field 18-a-side.

Even that was difficult because much of the opposition in a tournament like the EU Cup has either expat-Aussies or are not full strength sides such as England selected from a subset of generally less experienced English players.

However, there is still value in those results, and clearly Croatia are amongst he strongest of the newer European nations fielding national Aussie Rules sides.

So I think most people would care about those results, and to have buy in from as many nations as possible, we do need to think about whether 9-a-side is valid data if those other issues can be resolved, probably on a match by match basis, i.e. expats/handicaps/whether nations are fielding a true national side etc.

An opposite argument would be to say that 9-a-side is not normal Australian football as we know it. Certainly it becomes somewhat different, and who knows, they could diverge as sports. Do Rugby 7s results contribute to full Rugby rankings? Similarly indoor soccer to the full system? So an argument can be made to exclude 9-a-side. But the absence of 18s data for some countries does have me leaning towards wanting to include some of it - perhaps one day more data will overwhelm this issue anyway.

For me, the aim of any rankings should be to most accurately as possible reflect the actual ability of nations, where possible demonstrated on the field.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 10:18 AM ACDT

Very true Chris Adams max # of games by any country is 31 many still less than 10 and 3 countries only just 5 so they will be no longer provisional after their next game. Some Rugby countries are playing 10 to 15 matches a year. and there is something like 90 countries in the scheme.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 02:07 PM ACDT

By the way, if there is any of the international Footy Leagues that haven't made it onto my ranking and has played an 'International' or 'Test' that they believe meets the criteria that we have indicated in our preamble, please, provide WFN with the Date, Scores of both teams and the Home Team. Also if possible the composition ratio (nationals : aussies/others) of the respective teams and, if this information is verifiable we will add that match to the data and publish a revised Ranking based on that additional data.
I wish to keep the system as accurate and fair to all nations as possible. That is: all teams playing under the same conditions in the era's we have indicated.
eg. a team playing a few 9-a-side matches with 4 or 5 aussies in the side as opposed to another team playing full 18-a-side games with only the reserves being aussies, being ranked together will not and cannot produce reliable indicators of future or even current performance.
I hate to use the term but "level playing field" is how many descibe it.
If we can get all the data as "level" as possible then a reliable measure of the nations current relative strength in the footy world is possible and even desirable( avoiding matching teams like New Zealand and India in IC's for example).
I am open to any constructive comment especially from the International Leagues so the system can be fine tuned an made more reliable.
Cam






Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: kolja51 on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 04:58 PM ACDT

No Croatia has not played official 18 a side match, apart for playing West London Wildcats.
I reckon it's a bit early to use that system, as most countries didn't play enough 18 a side matches. But I do think that previous ranking was fair, no matter how has been done.
Here we used World Ranking to show potential sponsors that our results matter, now...

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 05:11 PM ACDT

That's a fair point too regarding sponsors. Alongside Croatia, there are a couple such as France, the Netherlands, Italy and Catalonia who could should be on there. Maybe we should look at also having a 9s ranking?

The bottom line is that this is just a proposed system and at this stage isn't in any way official. At this point, it's mainly about generating debate. After each match or tournament, we'll look at it again.

On a related note - will Croatia be at the Euro Championships in Denmark/Sweden in August? This would be an opportunity to get onto the table.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 05:19 PM ACDT


Kolja's comment shows we need to be very careful before jumping from one system to another. Although our old system was unofficial, we did of course hope it would be taken seriously and used as a good quick snapshot to people of the approximate strength of countries. It appears that it was indeed taken seriously.

So perhaps while we thrash out details for this candidate new system, we might need to keep it clearly separate. That was kind of what I had in mind. Run through all the results, slowly build agreement on what goes in and what does not, and maybe if there is widespread support, it could be "launched" as our new (unofficial) system towards the end of the year.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: WFN Administrator on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 05:54 PM ACDT

So after the feedback from today - I think a few things need consideration.

Firstly - people feel that there should be some recognition of 9s matches that are played under genuine local-content criteria. As Kolja pointed out, Croatia have performed very well at the EU Cup with an all-local side, and last year they had easily enough spare players that they could have fielded a full 18-a-side squad at the tournament.

They haven't really had the chance yet to play 18s/16s.

So, we'll tinker some more and hopefully get some feedback from the international leagues as to what they want to see in a rankings system.

Keep the comments coming - we need the discussion!!

= Aaron

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: David Verngren on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 06:12 PM ACDT

Why couldn't there be one seperate ranking for each format?

Clearly some teams participate in both 18/16 a side and some teams only participate in 9 a side.
Similarity to Soccer. You have Futsal ranking. For an example there, you have Iran ranked at number 5 in the world.
You wouldnt have Iran at number 5 in the world in the "normal" soccer. Cause its two different sets of rules. So is 18 a side, and 9 a side.
Two different sets of rules.

My two cents...

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 09:48 PM ACDT

That's another idea we've discussed and it's another thing we'll look at. We'll keep you posted.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 09:58 PM ACDT

Great to see such debate and comment on the ranking scheme. Yes! there should be a seperate ranking scheme for 9's footy. My challenge is that is there anyone out there in international footy who is willing to have a go at researching all the matches and then compiling them into a ranking scheme. A hell of a lot of work involved I can assure you. I made a start but looking at what is involved I choose to just focus on the "full" version of the game. As it seems that a large proportion of 9's footy is of a shortened game time and scores tend to be lower, so possibly 40 point bonus would be too generous. I reckon an actual computer program would be need to be written before tackling the 9's. To have a ranking scheme where all forms of the game are clumped together would be like trying to compare Chalk and Cheese and could not truely be an accurate reflection of all the nations standard of where their footy is at. I concede the variuos leagues point about gaining sponsorship by using the various achievements and successes of their 'National Team' but to use a ranking scheme that suggests (and I don't mean to degrade any countries efforts to grow the great game) say France or Croatia or Catalonia who it seems are yet to play a 'Full' scale match on the 'International Arena' is in the same league as New Zealand or PNG could be seen as a bit fraudulent.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 11:10 PM ACDT


Such diverse opinions! I actually think some 9s SHOULD be included in this scheme.

If a team performs well in 9s, is fielding an all or mostly local players (i.e. very few expat Aussies), and plays well against similar opposition, particularly such a country already ranked, then surely that does show they are a good team.

I understand that at first glance comparing 9s and 18s could be like comparing apples and oranges, but at this stage they are all of the same family of game. And if we think 15s or 16s are ok then what of 14s or 12s or 9s? And we are suggesting that International Cup games be worth double, which I agree with, yet not even those matches are full length 20 mins + time on.

Clearly in an ideal world we only include 18s. But 9s is very common in Europe. I'd much rather include appropriate data from those countries so they are ranked and recognised for their matches.

A separate 9s system has drawbacks such as:

- needing a whole separate lot of work
- does not help the 9s nations be included in the main rankings
- has a heavy mix of expats/handicaps/not always full national selection
- is almost entirely limited (at international level) to Europe, so it would be just a European 9s ranking. I'm struggling to think of any other international tournaments played as 9s in recent years besides the CEAFL and EU Cup? Dubai 9s. Anything else?

So I would like to see us carefully consider a small set of 9s results to be included. Perhaps just as IC matches are worth double exchange points, so might 9s be worth only 75% of exchange points. Over time, if the country moves to playing only 16s or 18s then those newer results will be far more dominant. A question would be if they played a combination of 9s and 18s. Do we include both?

So I suggest that if a country plays 9s, with all or almost all locals, against a side of similar content, then it be included (at 75% value). No system will be perfect, so I don't have a problem with that mix and match. There's nothing in the mathematics of the proposed rankings system that means matches of different player numbers can't be put together. As with all the other matches, we would go through and verify with nations whether they think it was a valid match.

And yes Cam, I think I should write you a program to make handling and adjusting the data easier.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: David Verngren on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 11:33 PM ACDT

I can see that point Brett about some 9s SHOULD be included.

But as you pointed out "where do we draw the line" ie 18/16/14/12.. Where do we draw the line of which 9's to be included?
Now I'm fairly new in the game, but as you pointed out, which cups have 9's rules, from what I can see, there are more cups for 9's than 18's.
I only know of the IC and now, the inaugural EC in Denmark/Sweden.

Its hard for developing countries to field an all national side. Not only for 18's but also for 9's. I do not know how the development in Oceania/South Africa and North America is, with regards to beeing able to fill the whole squad with nationals.
Maybe an idea for the points is: If an expat-aussie plays for a 9's team, then 11% of those points are deducted. if 2 play, 22% etc etc.. Same rule could apply for a 18's game, with modified percentages. Just throwing up ideas to discuss, not saying they are great or even good.

Bottom line however for me, is that 9's for me is a completely different game regarding, tactics, positions and the overall flow of the game. But yes Brett, they come from the same family of games.. and maybe the sport just isnt big enough to have to complex world rankings running just right now.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 12:11 AM ACDT


Exactly David, we're all just kicking around ideas and bouncing them off each other.

Yeah, certainly my initial gut feel was that there is insufficient data for a statistical model for rankings. But some of Cam's results, and given the forthcoming Euro Champs and Oceania Cup, gave me reason to think it may work. Especially if relevant 9s can be included.

In terms of you saying there's more 9s tournaments, yes kind of. Certainly a lot of club 9s. But in terms of internationals, what do we have? The EU Cup and CEAFL (held occasionally and was the forerunner to the EU Cup and mostly stood aside when the EU Cup got going). Not sure what numbers the recent Scotland and Wales matches have used.

The Middle East 9s wouldn't really count at this stage as almost all are expat Aussies. In Asia I think the Asian Champs are played with larger squads, although again, mostly expats although slowly changing.

South Africa these days don't get to play internationals against other countries outside of the IC, though their matches against the Boomerangs and Australian U17s are 18s. (I guess we could chuck Australia in with ranking points based on the U17s!)

But the US play Canada regularly in 18s. Ireland, GB and Denmark have been playing a 3-way series as 18s, or at least "Tests" between the 3 of them. Germany, Sweden and Denmark had the same briefly.

So I think outside of the EU Cup I don't see a lot of 9s internationals. Anyone else think of any?

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Joel Adin Porretta on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 10:51 AM ACDT

Good point david. I think games should be a least 14 a side.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 11:27 PM ACDT

Please note that this system is just a proposal. While we hope the final version may be the same or similar, it is open to suggestions and should not be taken as final.

The World Rankings page has been adjusted to better reflect the situation:

http://www.worldfootynews.com/staticp...d_Rankings

i.e. our latest rankings are still the 2008 version. The proposed system under discussion is a candidate to become WFN's version once feedback has been received and data verified. It may become our primary ranking system say at the end of the year, once the Euro Championships and senior Oceania Cup have been played.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: 00Bock on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 12:21 AM ACDT

First: thanks for the attemt of an official & mathematical ranking. Of course it can't be perfect jet, but I guess we are all aiming towards a situation where internationals are held on a regular basis.

I agree with Brett: 9s should be included with a limit on points gained (and also lost). 50% of the points of full-team games would be better than 75% in my opinion. And rules should be strikt when regarding non-nationals in the team: it has been shown that the inclusion of one or two aussies can totaly change the output. Only teams from 100% local players vs teams from 100% local players. My guess is, that the only data in this context would come from the past EU cups - on footyrecord you should get info on handycap points.

An other thought I had, is to somehow include junior games. It's fair to say that if e.g. Tonga can field 18 Juniors it can field a proper team in a few years (when the system should be working more properly). That would include some games from the south pacific. though, hard to deal with NZ in that case.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Jake Anson on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 07:14 AM ACDT

Congrats on taking the initiative to get this going.

The most apparent concern I have is that often there isn't a lot of cross-over in international competitions. In North America, the USA and Canada play each other exclusively, outside of International Cup years. It seems that a few victories from the USA probably have pushed them artificially high up the ladder, and Canada artificially down. The ranking of the Peace Team above Canada, and of Ireland below the USA is in direct opposition to the performances and results of the International Cups.

Surely there is a way to control for instances where two teams play each other over and over again?

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 09:52 AM ACDT

Those two discrepancies (particularly Canada vs Peace Team) stuck out to me as well.

I think almost everyone who was at the last IC would rate the Canadians fairly highly, definitely a better side than the Peace Team. USA similarly were a good side by international standards, but not better than Ireland.

As Cam pointed out in his example of Denmark vs GB though - if Canada beat the USA in the upcoming test, that could make for a big points jump for them, and a big jump for the USA.

Hopefully as we feed in the results for this year, people can see how quickly things can adjust.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 12:08 PM ACDT

Calculation for up coming USA v Canada match.
As I don't know who the home team is I have calculated as a neutral ground match.
If USA wins their ranking pts. will rise from 44.69 to 45.11 still 3rd.
Canada losing sees their pts drop from 38.92 to 38.49 still 11th.

However if Canada wins their ranking pts will rise to 40.49 putting them into 10th behind Denmark. and USA losing would see their pts drop to 43.11 dropping them back behind Ireland at 6th place.
My placings put
Australia P-1 (P being for professional) (Suggestion)
the other countries are ranked
A-1 and so on (A being for amateur) That gets around fact that Aussie don't play any of the other nations.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Joel Adin Porretta on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 10:48 AM ACDT

For a little while I've had my own world ranking sytem which I think sounds pretty affective. Here's how it works:
1. Only games played in the last three years count.
2. The ranking of the winner is divided by the ranking of the loser and by multiplied 100 and rounded off to the nearest number. For instance if 23rd played 27th and 27th won, 27 would be divided by 23 by multiplied 100 and rounded off to the nearest number, so that would be 27/23=1.1739130435x100=117.39130435. Then 117.39130435 would be rounded off to 117 which means 117 ranking points to the 27th ranked team.
3. Points for games played 3 to 2 years ago are multiplied by 1, points for games played 2 to one year ago multiplied by 2 and points for games played within the last year are multiplied by 3.

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 12:00 PM ACDT

Jake has hit the nail on why some teams don't appear to have rankings that match that displayed at last IC. eg Canada has been the loser in all but a few of their nearly annual encounters with the US. Those losses pushing their ranking down and US up. Unfortunately that is probably the biggest problem with this system not enough games played and being played, and in the case of USA & Canada they are restricted by costs to playing each other and IC's. Peace Team who had a win at the IC and China, India and Germany are on only 5 matches. But the scheme does rank any particular team as good as its last few of games, unfortunately that can be several years old and therefore not match what all the pundits think their form or rank should be. The IRB system drops teams off if they haven't played for a few years and then they restart back in the rankings at where they left off when they play their next game. Spain is definitely in that position. I think the teams who have only played in the IC's would be in the same boat if we followed IRB on that. I keep taking the mickey a bit with Brett on this as he keeps coming up with "gut feeling" "where they deserve to be" " I think they are too high" The system rules all of that out and I'm not criticising Brett's knowledge, skill, ability to judge a teams standard on this. But the team that we all think has improved since their last game will prove us all wrong or right when they play the next one. I am confident that with the Euro Champs and the Oceania Champs coming up will help provide plenty of games to help push the nations with the longer playing records into a pretty accurate ranking reflecting their actual standard on the world stage. I think teams like PNG, NZ, GB, Denmark, Nauru, Ireland, South Africa, USA ,Samoa and even Canada (all teams with over 10 games played) do reflect their current standard (current meaning at when last game was played)
Hey! it seems I put a cat amongst the pigeons with my suggestion on a ranking scheme. I'm quite pleased about that. But I do think it is time that the International Game has one especially as the game has grown since 2003 when I started to take an interest after finding WFN and looking how Milwaukee Bombers were going back then (another story there).
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 02:57 PM ACDT

Just to add some more info so a better understanding can be reached.
GB and Denmark 30 plus games to get their ranking to where it is.
USA, Ireland and Canada 25+ games.
NZ and PNG 24 and 23 games respectively.
Samoa and Japan 18 each.
Sweden 15, South Africa14 and Nauru 13.
Finland 9, Spain 8.
Germany, India, PeaceTeam and China only 5 each.
IRB scheme has less than 10 as provisional ( their research suggests that many games are needed for newcomers to find their place amongst the nations that have already been there a while) remembering the newcomers start off at 40 pts.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 03:13 PM ACDT


It's curious as to why newcomers start almost mid-field. It would be reasonable to assume that since they are new they are unlikely to be strong, so should have to earn their way up the system. I guess the problem is in initialising the system, if everyone starts low and the net points exchange is zero everyone will remain low.

How do you feel about us providing some specific 9s matches for 50% or 75% value Cam? I think I made a persuasive argument above - but did it persuade you at all? I think more data will help the system achieve truly indicative results quicker, and be more inclusive.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: flyinghigh on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 08:17 PM ACDT

hi all...Im thinking you shouldnt add 9s to this ranking system...when you think of cricket rankings,there are now 3 different standing systems..you have the 20/twenty,50 overs and test rankings..you could be no1 in test rankings but be last in 50 overs etc(same game,same rules but totally different incertain ways) ....with footy 18s and 9s are the same game but these games are not a true reflection on a nations strength if a couple of aussies can dominate a 9s game for 1 nation....maybe 14 aside could lvl out the results with a few aussies but 9s could produce false results....dont add them and just let the nations build there own standing over the yrs...this ranking system is great just give it time

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 08:52 PM ACDT


But if you're saying don't include 9s because of a few Aussies skewing the results, then I think that would be an argument to not include games with Aussies, not to exclude all 9s altogether.

Again, I agree if there were many nations playing 9s then it would deserve a separate rankings, but it is mostly limited to Europe, and only a few playing with all locals.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 09:17 PM ACDT

Brett, I have wondered why the newcomers start at 40 too, and I have come to the conclusion the IRB wanted to avoid the assumption that all newcomers are cr-p compared to the rest. eg. Croatia might be as strong as you and krolja51 think they are and when they finally make the jump to "full" size games to start them at the bottom would penalise them unjustly. Coupled with the fact that newcomers are provisional for the first 10 games. Maybe we have been too generous by making our teams full blown at only 5. I chose that number basically to get as many nations on the board as possible. I don't see a problem as long as the provisionals are shown as that. Canada being below Peace Team would not be seen as an anomoly but Peace Team just not played enough games yet. Maybe 6 or 8 might be a better number to come off being a provisional.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: 00Bock on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:13 AM ACDT

I don't get it: isn't it compulsory to exclude Australian players?
Of course rules differ from tournament to tournament / game to game but they all exclude aussie expats, or? e.g. Euro Championships allow only players who lived in the coutry they represent between their 10th and 16th birthdays. If not, that surely has to change because I can remember an incedent where a 16s game with 100% locals turned from a 70 point lead after the first half into a level game at the end after 2 aussies were included for the loosing team.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 06:49 AM ACDT

That's another important issue we need to discuss. Obviously going forward, we'd like ideally to just include games played under the "country of origin" rules.

I think Cam's reasoning behind having some tolerance on that was so that as many games and nations as possible could be included. For example, even at the IC there have been a few exceptions made so that teams can get a team onto the park, Spain wouldn't have been able to play at the 2005 IC without a few Spanish Australians, and Finland fielded a few Aussies in 2008 to fill the gaps as well.

Ideally, you wouldn't include that, but that's the reality of international footy at the moment.

Benno, on another topic do Germany have any further 16/18-a-side test matches scheduled for this year besides the Euro Champs in Denmark/Sweden?

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 10:25 AM ACDT


So we could say "no games included that had Aussies" but then that would exclude quite a few IC games. Although the AFL tries to keep it to an absolute minimum, there are occasional exceptions made, such as those Aaron mentioned. I think there have been a few others too.

Although it isn't ideal, everyone acknowledges that at this youthful stage of international Aussie Rules, no hard and fast system can cover everything adequately. I guess we just make some rules, try to be consistent, and make occasional exceptions where there is reasonable agreement. In 15 years time we should have 30 ranked teams all playing a lot of 18s (or maybe 16s?). Of course the 9s issue may be a long term debating point.

Perhaps the best thing is for us to focus on 16-18s games, start releasing our data of what is and isn't included, and allow there to be debate on any "extra" inclusions. I'd suggest we start with the most recent matches and slowly move back from there. In the next few days I'll roll some of that info out and probably do it as a separate story / thread. But for now, keep the comments coming on here.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 11:33 AM ACDT

The player criteria that I suggested was so that we can get at least some equality between all the matches that have been used so as to be fair to all nations. Also we can't go back and change the circumstances of those matches. We are accepting that at the time that the countries were accepting a set of rules applicable for both teams and that they were at least trying to make the match a legit 'International' or 'Test' even thothe game wasn't a full 18-a-side game.
I have included the Atlantic Alliance Cup games in the ranking and I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that it was a 12 or 14-a-side comp, but all played under the same set of rules. Correct me if I'm wrong.
If the scheme is accepted by the leagues and we go ahead with it, there MUST be Criteria set down for all future games to played under. (possibly with a small degree of flexiblity as has occurred in the IC's) Again, my criteria is only a suggestion.
00Bock I think suggested that Tonga could field a strong team soon so we could include the juniors matches in the scheme. Can't go along with that idea - Some teams have both juniors(not very many tho) and senior teams. Most at this stage don't have junior sides. Also we never play junior teams against a senior team "not level field" that one.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:08 PM ACDT

I think the upcoming USA vs Canada is in Toronto during August. It's Canada at home at any rate.

There are a few new countries that could enter the rankings in the coming months if we stick with the current system:

Inaugural Oceania Cup (Seniors): Tonga and Fiji very likely, plus Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia have been invited and could be there. This is being held in Auckland at the end of this year.

European Championships: Croatia have it on the calendar on their website, plus Iceland were talking about it. France were discussing it, but last I heard probably won't be there. Maybe Catalonia, Spain, Netherlands, Italy? Italy are sounding like they're keen to make the IC 2011.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 02:01 PM ACDT

That's not good for the Canucks if the US win as far as points exchanges are concerned.
I had some discussion with somebody from French Footy a whle back when they used a Central District guernsey in a match because they were short of their own Red, white and blue ones on the day. He seemed to think they were holding off for the next IC. Costs and experience etc all being considered.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 04:48 PM ACDT

We've had some contact with the guys in Paris suggesting they're interested in 2011. Hopefully they can make it, it would be great to see them on the big stage.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: WFN Administrator on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 04:57 PM ACDT

Note that we've altered the presentation of the table, so that you can see the teams that have played under 5 games and are therefore still only provisionally ranked.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 05:25 PM ACDT

If a team is provisionally ranked then I think they can be shown on the table for interest, to see where they would fit in, but they should not be allocated an actual ranking position. In other words, the current list:

RankCountryPoints
1AustraliaN/A
2New Zealand51.57
3PNG51.10
4USA44.69
5Nauru44.20
6Ireland43.81
7Great Britain42.19
8Samoa41.72
9South Africa41.61
10Denmark41.27
11Peace Team39.86
12Canada38.92
13Germany38.22
14China35.43
15Sweden35.21
16Japan34.21
17Finland32.92
18India32.00
19Spain31.05


would instead be:

RankCountryPoints
1AustraliaN/A
2New Zealand51.57
3PNG51.10
4USA44.69
5Nauru44.20
6Ireland43.81
7Great Britain42.19
8Samoa41.72
9South Africa41.61
10Denmark41.27
Prov.Peace Team39.86
11Canada38.92
Prov.Germany38.22
Prov.China35.43
12Sweden35.21
13Japan34.21
14Finland32.92
Prov.India32.00
15Spain31.05


because a provisional team is not actually in possession of a ranking yet. Sound fair?

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 05:37 PM ACDT


I agree that we shouldn't stretch the system to include juniors.

Another issue that can only been mentioned briefly was Australia. It was debated in our 2008 rankings. I assume there is no large groundswell of opposition to Australia being granted a defacto number 1 status?

Obviously anyone that has ever seen the AFL and seen international footy knows there is still a large gulf between even the top international sides and the best Australians. PNG is the reigning IC champions, and their side (probably a bit under strength) were competitive in the Cairns AFL pre-season. Cairns would fall well below the Brisbane-based league, which is well below the WAFL/SANFL/VFL leagues, which are well below the AFL.

I think the only reason to exclude Australia would be if they were actively avoiding competition for fear of losing or misplaced arrogance. That is not the case presently. If an argument was made that the rankings were amateur sides only then the argument for Australia to front up would be greater, though clearly still a large disparity exists.

Of course all this will be severely compromised by increasing numbers of international players entering the AFL. PNG now have several listed. What if they are all fully embedded in 2nd tier (e.g. VFL) competitions next year? They may not be available to play for PNG at IC2011. Basically 4 near-AFL quality players out of their side. If they lose to NZ by 1 point you'd have to think PNG are a better side. I guess the answer is that you play with what you've got and results are all that count - music to Cam's ears. 8)

And if countries are being sufficiently compromised because of players unavailable in the state leagues or AFL, then the lobbying will have to begin to play the IC outside of the AFL season or during a break in it. That's a whole other can of worms.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Andrew Sawitsch on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 06:13 PM ACDT

This is really interesting. I've loved reading the discussion.

Traditional Australian Rules Footy fans judge success of their team on where they finish on the ladder in a particular year, but to think that in the future, footy fans can judge success of their national team on a ranking system that accumulates and stays up to date, is pretty awesome. it also helps with teams who cant make some tournaments or play teams in other regions regularly, but can still have a presence in the ranks.

I like the system as a concept to adhere to for the future. But it's still a few years off being able to be a good indicator and have any merit in being an official ranking. the provisionals that brett added in are a good idea. How you phase Australia in there- I'm not sure. But i've no doubt they deserve #1 for quite a while.

set the system up, keep collating the info.

other comments:
-9s matches don't count. this is a ranking of standard international test matches played under AFL International Cup regulations. its for the long term. and you can still set up a separate international 9s ranking as that area of the game emerges. or use the experience playing 9s to one day also have a formidable 18v18 team. its ok to include some 16v16 matches- restricted by space or numbers, but i think thats it. brett has also made good points about 9s being euro dominated as far as national teams go and having played with different eligibility regulations in past tournaments. e.g. handicaps for aussies etc.
-if it becomes official, needs to have AFL involvement and endorsement. as international matches increase, and AFL effectively act as the IRB or FIFA, the AFL, or someone else, needs to confirm that a certain match is a sanctioned international test match that is played under proper rules and match officiation. then you are sure where the ranking counts. its a while away, but you could have arguments over whether a development squad of south africans on tour who play a match against china for example, and lose by 10 goals, and people think that china will head up the ranks. likewise with 'breakaway' groups or expat involved national teams. perhaps similar set up to 'friendlies' concept in soccer. i guess arguments are unavoidable either way, but someone needs to decide what is a 'test match' and what isn't.
-I think International Cup rules is a good indicator, there may have been some aussies technically playing in past IC tournaments, but in these cases, they applied and were deemed eligibile to play, and i don't think it affected many results anyway. still a good indicator of where the countries are at. games that end up being more for practice and experience and add experienced aussies in the 2nd half for example to even things up would unfortunately have to be deemed invalid.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 08:51 PM ACDT

Just so people know, Sanga is Andrew Sawitsch, who is heavily involved with development in China. And yes, I checked with him that it was okay to name him here (Sanga is his well known nickname). But he did note that the comments are "made as a long time fan of international footy rather than taken as any official statement etc."

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 08:53 PM ACDT


I agree with Sanga that ultimately any ranking has to have AFL sanctioning, as do the matches that qualify, if it is to be considered official - for the simple fact that the leading nations recognise the AFL as the world governing body. So as long as that is the case then they would have the final say as to whether something is official.

But at this stage they don't appear to have pushed for such a system, so I figure if one is put in front of them that the Leagues support then there is a good chance they would sanction it down the track. And until such time that they do sanction some kind of system, then finding one is worth exploring. I think we pretty much all agree on that, although we may not all ever agree on what that system should look like!

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 10:46 AM ACDT

In the IRB system I think the provisional teams don't even make it onto the list until they have played their 10 matches, so I can go along with our provisionals appearing with their provisional score but without a ranking. I reckon that is a good compromise, Nations get their name up there "in lights" showing the world they're battling to get on the board. It also lets other nations know that there is another team at around their own score about to come onto the ranking scheme.
Let's go with this aspect at least.
Getting back to including 9's, leave ya footy here we still wanna play. Promise to give it back when we're finished with it.
As 9's is mostly the shortened version of the game and final scores are less than full time games. it brings in how do we account for our 40plus margin of victory bonus when very few games, if any, actual result in a 40 plus victory. I still reckon a seperate 9's ranking is a better option. Once we have an computer program up and running (not pressuring anyone) the 9's version would be relatively easy to get going ( I stopped because of the amount of data (many more games played)(just one EU Cup went over a page and a half) and the player rules don't have to be as strict. And a lower Margin of Victory bonus can be used. Then the 18's version can be a true measure of a nations standing and ability at playing "Aussie Rules" at the (hate this term too) "purest" form. Keeps the maths at its simplest too.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 10:45 PM ACDT


Yep, I've started the process of automating the procedure so that it's easier to make updates and less likely to have errors.

I really wouldn't suggest using this scheme for an individual 9s rankings scheme because as discussed, at a nation versus nation level, 9s has been a European phenomenon, so such a scheme would only be for Europe and if it followed no-expat rules then it would only have a handful of games in it and would require quite a few more years of data before there would be even 7 or 8 teams qualifying for a ranking.


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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Ando on Thursday, April 08 2010 @ 12:47 AM ACST

I get what you're doing with the rankings but predicting the future I reckon GB and SA both will be higher. After the next International cup expect them both up the ladder.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, April 08 2010 @ 09:21 PM ACST

G'day twoleftfeet.
Good to see/hear a new voice!
I don't think you'll get much argument on SA showing big improvement and even GB at IC11 and but success in International Footy does really depend on $$$ (see comment from Vildmand on Denmark's funding efforts to attend IC's, in theLong list of possibles - - - discussion). Certainly the apparent growth in SA and GB tends to suggest a greater talent pool from which to pick your "national side" so here's hoping.
I'm looking forward to both the up-coming Euro and Pacific Champs to see a few more nations entering the "International Arena" and add further games( too few games seems to be problem) to our Ranking System to see how it unfolds.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Thursday, April 08 2010 @ 09:36 PM ACST

The one thing that's sticking out at me in the rankings is that NZ and PNG are a long way ahead of the pack in points. I reckon this is pretty accurate.

You've then got a big group sitting in the middle on very similar scores, including GB and SA. Any team who can string a few wins together they could go right up to third spot pretty quick.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, April 20 2010 @ 03:44 PM ACST

Aaron , if you look a little more closely at the next bunch as you call them(especially those with more than 40 ranking points) you will see that they have all had wins and losses against others in that bunch (and a few wins over the lower than 40 teams).
The teams below 40 don't seem to have had very many wins against those in the higher bunch.
Which seems to suggest that the ranking, despite a couple of apparent anomalies, in the main, ranks teams where Brett(especially):) and most of us reckon they ought to be, and as you suggest any team that can string a few wins together (especially against teams with similar ranking) could quickly skip ahead of the bunch and close the gap to PNG a NZ.
Gives me confidence that the system is sound and with a few more games overall and by some of the teams we'll see those anomalies disappear.
The best test is seeing the higher ranked team win more often than not in each match.
Bring on more games I say :)
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, April 20 2010 @ 07:30 PM ACST

See also discussion in this poll: http://www.worldfootynews.com/polls/i...4180353694

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 08:56 PM ACDT

The following comment was sent to us by Wes Illig, coach of Nauru at the 2008 International Cup and an important person in the game's development in that country.

Great debate and many interesting issues raised.

For my 20 cents worth:

No way can 9's competition rank with 18's as we all know that it is depth of talent that separates the top 3 or 4 sides from the rest.

The crossover series bw USA Canada and many Euro countries does harm the current system under review. If you play regular matches against better opposition, which we all want to do to improve your own footy standard, then your ranking will be going down. I think Canada and the Peace Team are a prime example of that.

The number of games being played is the flaw in the system, but it has merits and congratulations to the designer even if we do not adapt this program per se it has generated great discussion

Cheers Wes

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 09:49 PM ACDT


My first thought was that Wes is right, depth counts for a lot. But then I started applying that to the IC to see if it really holds true. Now Wes was a recent coach in the IC so he probably knows better than me what the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents were. But in my reckoning it's actually the top end of players that matter more.

My point is not to include all 9s. Not even most 9s. It's to include, at reduced value, just 9s for teams not regularly playing 18s. So is depth a big decider in team ability? Yes in some cases.

But I would argue e.g. in most IC matches, it's the top end players who play a more important role. A few guns tend to dominate. Where would Ireland have got to without Mick Finn in 2008? Where would Samoa have been without Fia Tootoo in 2005 and 2008? Where would NZ have been in 2008 without Moss Doran, Andrew Congalton and James Bowden? Repeated performers that make the difference over and over again in matches between teams probably ranked within say 2 to 4 spots. Beyond that, it's the level across the board that counts - take PNG's best 3 out and they'll still beat Sweden every time. So my contention is that for close teams it's the top few game breakers that matter, and for more widely separated teams its the overall standard. I guess there may also be examples of close teams where the 18th player may be exploited as not as good as the other team's 18th.

But besides all that, my point is that I'm not saying that Team A should get credit for beating Team B at 9s when Team B was better than Team A at 18s. No way.

It's for including results where the teams don't play each other in 18s. Surely the result of A beating B in 9s, when A don't have a history of 18s, tells us that A are better than B at footy in general? And so worth including in the short term, to be swamped once they commence 18s.

And what about if A beat B and C regularly in 18s and all 3 are ranked, and along comes a new team D which plays B and C in 9s and wins. Doesn't that suggest D are better than B and C? Or at least indicate that they are reasonably good at Aussie Rules compared with B and C? Under the current system that will be steadfastly refused a ranking until they play 18s. Teams like Croatia remain on the outer. Aaron has mentioned the Euro championships, but doesn't that only have spots for a few teams? The remainder will continue with 9s.

But I concede that at this point I feel like maybe I'm losing the battle on including some appropriately selected 9s results, unless we get say the Europeans weighing in hard. If so that's okay, I'll just take my footy and go home.... 8)

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 01:02 PM ACDT

Just checked what I had done with the 9's stuff and with the EU Cup 2005 out of 26 games only 3 were 40 plus pts wins. If we look at the scores from the '18's' table the number of 40 plus wins was at a higher percentage than 3.85%. Biggest problem with mixing 18's with 9's I reckon.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 07:28 PM ACDT


Haha, if that's your major objection then it would be easy enough to define a separate bonus threshold for 9s. Frankly, 18s or 16s games vary in length from about 14 min quarters through to 25 plus time on, so a cutoff of 40 points is very arbitrary anyway.

Once I've got the automatic system up and running we can crunch the numbers a bit more easily and try out some scenarios then report back on-line.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: danteNL on Thursday, March 25 2010 @ 01:50 PM ACDT

Really like this topic, particularly when it comes to the growing European league...

Just one thing to note, all this talk of Croatia, but let me remind everyone that THE NETHERLANDS beat Croatia in the 2009 EU Cup Semis to finish second overall...;-) Orange and Blue!

Was hoping the world rankings would reflect this, but sadly 9-a-side is a Clayton's format (the game you have when you don't have a game).

The Flying Dutchmen are planning to send a team to compete in the 2011 International Cup, details will be sent to WFN when available.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, March 25 2010 @ 05:34 PM ACDT

9's has to be better than nothing, so is a must for emerging nations and I have noted The Netherlands success in the 09EU Cup. We can talk about you and Croatia now, as you have also entered the debate, Great! We still want more comment from the leagues around the world on this topic. Also great to see that the Flying Dutchies are planning on IC11.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Thursday, March 25 2010 @ 07:53 PM ACDT

With the 9-a-side domestic league kicking off in the Netherlands this year, maybe we'll see an 18-a-side test at some point in 2010, even if you can't make it to the EC?

...traditional rivalry Germany vs Netherlands?

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, March 25 2010 @ 10:59 PM ACDT


I wouldn't say 9s is a Clayton's game either. It obviously has a role, and it's not known yet whether it will remain important like that, or even become in some ways a recognised separate sport.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Jörg Pareigis on Friday, March 26 2010 @ 06:34 PM ACDT

@Dante: There's probably that much talk about Croatia as they fielded a complete squad of locals. Most of the readers here would probably agree (and was mentioned in the discussions here earlier) that in the 9-a-side format a couple of good aussies make a big difference and that the handicap system does not completely make up for it. Sweden won the tournament because of this in 2007.

Great to see that you start a competition this year! Best of luck for that!

@Brett: Sorry for not getting back yet to your email. I'll reply in the next few days.

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Saturday, March 27 2010 @ 11:43 AM ACDT
Just had a thought, Brett, and hope its not asking too much of you, but is it not too difficult a job to include in the program an 'archive' facility so that nations can actually go back and see what their ranking was, say at end of each month historically. eg.GB could see that back in Sept-06 they were 11th with 35.83 ranking points, and now of course see that they have improved to 6th with 42.19 ranking points. Or if too hard at present something we could incude if/when the system gets up and running.
Cam
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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, March 27 2010 @ 02:02 PM ACDT


I haven't got too far yet, so everything is still possible. I imagine allowing a user to enter a date and the results be produced to that point. There's some nuances that suggest a programming language will be better, and I'd find that easier to set up, but to make this a bit easier for multiple people to use, I might still just do it in Excel. That's a bit messy setting up, since I want to make it as easy as possible for the end user to enter data. Hopefully I'll get time to get stuck into it over this weekend or Easter.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 03:15 PM ACST

I seem to think I was going to publish the actual games used for the compilation of the proposed World Ranking, and as yet haven't done so. I will try showing each nations win-loss record in such a way that shows how the nation achieved its ranking and at the same time hopefully put to rest the concerns of those who fear that the system lacks accuracy and fairness to all teams.
If I start at the bottom and work up I think that I can show that each team's(mostly) ranking is sound.
Spain's Ranking is 19th with 31.05 Ranking Points.
Spain has played 6 matches(all at IC05) losing to Japan twice and losses to NZ, USA, SA, and Canada. As they have beaten nobody above them it is safe to say they are last.

India's Ranking is 18th with 32.00 Ranking points.
India has played 5 matches(all at IC08) (yet to play sixth match so provisional) losing to Samoa, NZ, Japan, Finland and China. As they have beaten nobody above them it is safe to say they share the cellar with Spain but losing one less game their points exchanges losses will be less.

Finland is next at 17th with 32.92 Ranking Points.
They have a 1-8 win-loss record, losing to Sweden 4 times(once at IC08), Canada, Ireland, Peace Team and Germany, their only win against India. Safe to assume they are better than India but not as good Sweden and the others.

Japan is currrently ranked 16th with 33.93 Ranking Points.
Win-loss ratio is 4-14 losing to PNG, NZ, Nauru, Great Britain, Canada all twice and Denmark, SA, Ireland and USA once each. Their wins are over Spain twice, India and Samoa. Samoa, the only team above them that they have managed to beat. It was a bit of a surprise win at IC08.

Sweden is next up the ladder at 15th with 35.24 Ranking Points.
5-1-9 ratio with 5 losses and a draw against Denmark and further losses to Ireland, Canada and Samoa. They have one win and a loss against Germany and 4 wins over Finland. Germany the only team above that they have won against.

China is ranked 14th with 35.43 Ranking Points. A smidgin above Sweden.
China have played 5 matches all at IC08 losing to SA, USA, Denmark and Peace Team but registering a win over India. China are still provisional yet to play their sixth international. It would be very interesting to see a game between Sweden and China, it would be a good test for our scheme.

Germany is next at 13th with 38.22 Ranking Points.
Germany have played 6 internationals with a 3-3 ratio.
They have recorded wins over Sweden(and a loss) and Finland twice. Their other losses are against Denmark twice.

From all those results I believe we can see that the ranks are pretty sound, considering which teams each nation has played, won or lost against, I hope a few more 'heads' are satisfied that the ranking is sound.
That is enough for today, I will continue up the Rankings Table again soon so that all can see where each nation fits in.

Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 04:44 PM ACST


Hey Cam,

Actually I will post all the results we have used. I'll roll it out as a series of stories so people can comment and see exactly what games have been used - that will give country officials a chance to dispute any of the data if they wish. I just haven't had a chance recently and I've still been looking at tweaks to the formula - haven't really improved it as yet though.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 05:35 PM ACST

Sorry Germany I made a mistake. I had you having a win over Finland in 2007. Didn't happen!
So your win-loss is 2-3 and are still provisional. Wins over Finland in '09 and Sweden in '07. Two losses to Denamrk and one to Sweden.
But this does not really affect your position in the Ranking. eg better than Finland and possibly better than Sweden but not as good as Denmark.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 05:53 PM ACST

Cam again. I will post a few more win-loss and who played who, for more nations so people can see what the Rank for each nation is based on.
I'll start with Germany since I made a mistake with them yesterday, and work my way up the scale.
Germany is currently 13th with 38.22 Ranking Points.
The win-loss ratio is 2-3 with 2 losses to Denmark, a win and a loss to Sweden and a win over Finland. We could say they are better than Finland, as good as Sweden but not as good as Denmark. As Germany is yet to play its sixth match they are still provisional.

Next up the list is Canada at 12th with 38.76 Ranking Points.
Canada has a 8-20 ratio with 8 losses and one win against USA, 2 losses against GB and Samoa. 4 losses against Ireland, one each against PNG , NZ and Nauru. The other wins are SA and Japan twice and one each over Spain, Finland and Sweden. The wins over SA were back in IC02 and IC05 when SA was lower ranked than Canada.

Next is Peace Team at 11th with 39.86 Ranking Points.
Peace Team has played 5 matches at IC08 with 3 losses to GB, PNG and Nauru. They scored wins over China and Finland. As they have not yet played their sixth match Peace Team is the 4th and last Provisional team.
Peace Team is the prime example of the the situation where only a very few games played can skew the ranking in favour of that team over one that has played many more games and with low win to loss ratio.
Several people have commented that Canada is a better team than PeaceTeam and I would have to agree. However at the end of the IC08 Canada was on 40.41 Ranking Points and Peace Team on 39.86. Canada has played and lost against USA since and and that loss virtually swapped Canada's and Peace Team's Ranking.
The skewing in favour of Peace Team here is reason to acknowledge all provisional Nations.

Next up is Denmark at 10th spot with 41.32 Ranking Points.
Denmarks ratio is 19 -1- 11 with 7-4 over GB, 5-1-0 over Sweden, a win &a loss against USA, two wins over Germany and single wins over Canada, Nauru and Japan. Ireland has beaten them 3 times and one loss apeice against PNG, NZ and SA. They have registered 5 of their 11 losses in the last three years and therefore slipped back from 4th-5th to 10th in that time.

South Africa is next at 9th with 41.61 Ranking Points.
The ratio is 6-10. they have registered losses against Samoa and Canada twice and USA and Ireland twice but one win apiece. With single losses to NZ and PNG making up their total loss tally, SA has registered other wins against Japan, Spain, China and Denmark.
Other ranking schemes rate SA much higher because they came 3rd at IC08. The wins at IC08 pushed SA from 14th out 16 with 34.00 Points before IC08 up to 10th out of 19 with 41.61 points. Their next game could very well confirm the higher rank given under other systems. But a low ranked team having a shock win over a premiership table leader doesn't immediately put them in top position on the table.
Enough for today, will try and complete this exercise over the weekend.

Brett, post the games and results at your leisure for the leagues as discussed it needs to be done but I hope this gives the readers a chance to see who has played who, and won and lost against who etc. so that it can be seen to be fair and accurate as far as the numbers we've used, to get to where it's at today.
Can still be tweeked if needed.
Cam

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Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, May 19 2010 @ 11:21 PM ACST

Howdy everybody.
Sorry, I haven't got back to earlier with the rest of the nations win-loss and 'who's played who' data.
I left off a couple of weeks back with South Africa who were in 9th place with 41.61 ranking pts.

Working up the list, next is Samoa in 8th place with 41.79 ranking points.
Samoa have a 9-9 win loss ratio. They have had 4 losses against NZ and one each to the USA, Ireland, PNG, GB and Japan. They have recorded 2 wins over SA, Canada, and GB with solitary wins over Nauru, India and Sweden. The only sucesses over teams higher than themselves are against Nauru and GB. But they also lost to Japan and GB at IC08 so I think their rank is relatively sound.

Great Britain ranks 7th with 42.54 ranking points.
Great Britain has the equal longest playing record along with Denmark at 14-17 win-loss ratio. Their record against Denmark is 4-7 but most of those losses were prior to 2003. They also have a negative ratio of 1-3 against Ireland and 0-3 against PNG, 0-2 against USA and 1-2 against Samoa. They have also lost to NZ once but have recorded wins over Canada and Japan, twice each and a solitary win over Peace Team. GB also has a 1-1 record against Nauru. Since 2007 they have a 5-2 win-loss record that has seen them climb from 13th to 7th place on the ranking. Again I think their ranking is probably pretty sound.

In 6th place is Ireland with 43.85 ranking points.
Ireland's record is a 20-6 ratio they also have the longest winning streak of 12 games along with PNG. That streak included the Atlantic Alliance Cup and IC02, their first loss coming against USA at IC05. They are 4-0 against Canada, 3-0 against Denmark. They are 3-1 against GB, 2-2 against USA , 2-1 against SA and 1-1 against NZ and PNG. Ireland has also recorded single wins over Japan, Sweden and Finland. The loss against GB in 2007 and the losses to SA and NZ at IC08 has seen them slip a little in the rankings recently.

That is enough for now will try to get to Nauru and the other teams soon.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, May 21 2010 @ 03:32 PM ACST

My last instalment of win-loss, who's played who data for the nations currently in the proposed ranking scheme left off with Ireland in 6th place with 43.85 ranking points.

In 5th place are Nauru with 44.20 ranking points.
Nauru has a 7-6 win-loss ratio having two wins apiece over Japan and Canada and 1 win over each of GB, Peace Team and USA. They have not managed to record a win against PNG(3 losses), New Zealand, Denmark and Samoa(1 loss each). One could argue that with losses to both Samoa and Denmark they should be lower in the ranks, but the loss to Denmark was back in IC02 where Denmark actually finished 4th(6th Rank in scheme) and Nauru were 10th. Besides they have scored a win over USA who are ranked in 4th place. There's no rule to say that lower ranked teams aren't allowed to beat a higher ranked team now and then. I believe Nauru's ranking to be pretty sound.

USA come in at 4th place with 44.56 ranking points.
USA has a 19-9 win-loss ratio, the high win record due to an 8-1 ratio over Canada. It has been suggested that USA's ranking is too high because of this, but I should point out that the wins over Canada in 2003, 04 and 07 did not advantage USA nor penalise Canada because the Rating Gap between the teams at the time was greater than 10 anyway. USA is 2-2 with Ireland, 2-1 over SA(the wins back in IC02 and IC05), 2-0 with GB and 1-1 with Denmark. They have scored a win each over Samoa, Spain, China and Japan. On the negative side they are 0-2 against NZ and have lost once to both PNG and Nauru. The loss to Nauru could lead to arguments that Nauru should be higher, but again lower ranked teams are allowed to beat higher ranked teams once in while.

It is worth noting at this stage that gap between USA and PNG who are 3rd with 51.10 ranking points is the biggest between consecutively ranked nations. The rankings here are a good indicator of the relative strengths of PNG and NZ as opposed to the rest of the ranked nations below them.

PNG and NZ in the next instalment.
Cam

[ # ]
Is this the first step towards the Official World Rankings?
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 10:36 PM ACST

OK. Now for the final instalment of win-loss records and 'who's played who' info for the proposed World Ranking scheme.
My last instalment finished with USA at 4th place with 44.56 ranking points.

Next up the list is PNG in 3rd place with 51.10 ranking points.
PNG along with NZ has the equal third longest history in International Footy starting back in 1995 at the Arafura Games. They also share the longest winning streak of 12 games with Ireland, the first loss being to Ireland in the final of IC02. They have an impressive 22-2 win-loss ratio, the only other loss is to NZ at IC05. PNG's record against NZ is 6-1, they are 4-0 over Nauru, 3-0 against GB, 2-0 over Japan, and have single wins over each of Denmark, Samoa, Canada, USA, Peace Team and South Africa. They also have a win to go with the loss against Ireland. It can be argued that since PNG has a good record over NZ and won the last IC then they should be above NZ in the rankings, but as the rankings are dynamic and older games lose their importance we see that 5 of the wins over New Zealand were prior to IC02. The other factor which has affected PNG ranking point score is the number of matches played against much lower teams where they actually achieved no increase in ranking points.(Rating Gap more than 10). These matches were against Japan,(at IC02), Canada and GB(at IC05) and Nauru, Peace Team and GB(at IC 08).
Compare these with NZ.

Coming 2nd on our ranking scheme is New Zealand with 51.61 ranking points.
NZ has a 16-7 win-loss ratio. 5 of the losses were to PNG prior to IC02. The other losses were to Ireland(at IC02) and PNG in the final of IC08. NZ's record is 4-0 over Samoa, 2-0 over USA and Japan. They have single wins over Nauru, South Africa, Canada, Denmark, GB, Spain and India. Along with the loss to Ireland they have a win at IC08. NZ were 9th leading into IC02 with only 38.33 ranking points so 3 of their matches here recorded the 2.00 max points change..
Also significantly they entered the final of IC05 as the underdog against PNG, and their win gained the 2.00 exchange and PNG lost the max 2.00 points. So at the beginning of IC 08 they were 2.69 ranking points ahead of PNG. NZ had a little harder run at IC08 only having 2 matches where they didn't get any rise in Ranking Points (PNG 3) and even tho PNG gained the max 2.00 and NZ lost max 2.00 it wasn't quite enough to reverse their positions as had happened at IC05.

Obviously Australia is top and even tho they have played no International Games I'm going to ignore all that our scheme is designed to eliminate (ie conjecture, guessing, personal opinion, etc) and allocate Aussie with 90.99 Ranking Points and let everybody then argue the toss with that score. :-)

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