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Post IC11 World Rankings update - Ireland #1 contenders


WFN has updated its unofficial World Rankings after the recent 2011 AFL International Cup. With so many matches played (54) there was quite a bit of movement on the ladder, and 4 teams moved into full ranking status for the first time (Tonga, India, China and the Peace Team).

Ireland's unbeaten tournament was enough to push them up into 2nd, making them effectively the number 1 contender to Australia. Papua New Guinea, so often runner-up in the IC, slip down one spot to 3rd.

Tonga impressively debut in the top 10.

There are now 19 fully ranked sides and 6 provisionally ranked nations (yet to play 8 eligible games).

Read on for the full list.

World Rankings

There is currently no official system of World Rankings for Australian Football, as the international game is still mostly amateur, still maturing and there are often difficulties in nations having all their best players available. However, due to popular demand, worldfootynews.com has been providing rankings since 2006. Below are the current rankings.

This is the first update since 6th June 2011 which was the last prior to the 2011 AFL International Cup. The winners Ireland have replaced Papua New Guinea as the number one contender to Australia.

The matches on the initial seeding day were much shorter games so weighted as 1 whereas International Cup matches are normally worth double.

54 IC11 men's games were played, with 4 teams graduating from provisionally ranked to fully ranked (i.e. have played 8 eligible matches) - Peace Team, China, India and Tonga.

Big movers were South Africa up 3 (although a slightly worse tournament than 2008 their ranking had some ground to make up from their poor results when first on the international scene), Denmark down a massive 7 positions and a 3 spot drop to Japan and Finland, in part due to some new entries being above them.

Perhaps one anomaly is the USA down a spot despite an excellent tournament. However, the rankings reflect how a team performs against its opponents, not where the side finishes a tournament (though obviously these are often closely related). Their early wins were against lowly ranked sides, and their superb victory over South Africa was somewhat diluted, statistically, by South Africa's historically low ranking. The US were then defeated by Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, hence overall their ranking did not push up.

Japan are somewhat hard done by, a symptom of the way the rankings work and having finished at the bottom of IC11 Division 1 meant they didn't have the opportunity to defeat Division 2 sides they were clearly better than. No rankings system is perfect.

World Footy News / Homes Australian Football World Rankings

(as at 28th August 2011)

Rank        Team Points Games Rank Change
1 Australia - - steady
2 Ireland 57.78 38 +2
3 Papua New Guinea 54.66 29 -1
4 New Zealand 53.00 33 -1
5 South Africa 49.03 22 +3
6 Nauru 46.15 19 -1
7 United States 45.87 35 -1
8 Tonga 44.73 9 new
9 Great Britain 43.51 43 +1
10 Samoa 41.85 18 -1
11 Canada 37.82 35 +1
12 Sweden 37.41 25 -1
13 Germany 37.37 10 steady
14 Denmark 37.06 41 -7
15 Peace Team 36.46 11 new
16 China 34.36 11 new
17 Japan 30.39 24 -3
18 Finland 29.02 13 -3
19 India 28.45 11 new
Prov. Fiji 45.21 6 - *
Prov. Croatia 40.60 4 - *
Prov. France 38.23 7 - *
Prov. Iceland 35.64 4 - *
Prov. Spain 28.00 6 - *
Prov. Timor-Leste 27.40 6 - *

* Nations marked in grey with an asterisk have played less than eight (8) matches under our criteria, and currently hold provisional ranking points, but are not yet officially ranked. Spain has not played for more than 4 years and so would be provisionally ranked either way. They must play an eligible match by 13/08/2013 to remain on the list.

   For a full discussion of the eligibility criteria of games see World Rankings - Criteria

   For a full list of the included matches, see World Rankings - Matches

   For a full discussion of how the rankings are produced, see World Rankings - Method

   For previous rankings see World Rankings - Historical

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Post IC11 World Rankings update - Ireland #1 contenders | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Post IC11 World Rankings update - Ireland #1 contenders
Authored by: Darren_C on Wednesday, October 05 2011 @ 11:10 pm ACDT

Do you think it's worth starting to make the rankings say the teams last 20-25 games? Show's more where a team is currently at rather then including the beltings they probably got when they were new to aussie rules.

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Post IC11 World Rankings update - Ireland #1 contenders
Authored by: Ian Hill on Thursday, October 06 2011 @ 06:02 am ACDT

Guess I'm wondering how on earth both Sweden and Germany can be above Denmark.

Denmark and Sweden have played each other eight times. They drew once - in the second of those games which was six years ago, in a game where Sweden played 12 Aussies and Denmark 0. Every other game has been won by Denmark, convincingly, by margins of 24, 81, 15, 58, 101, 50 and 39 points - the last two of which were this year and one in a match of such importance that it was in the IC.

As for Germany, well I guess they don't play enough to be ranked accurately. But Denmark and Germany have played each other only twice, with Denmark winning both games, by margins og 197 and 174 points - Germany having not yet scored a goal against Denmark.

Yes, I know there are more variables, but I think it's safe to assume the above simple facts justify a re-think of the system.

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Post IC11 World Rankings update - Ireland #1 contenders
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, October 06 2011 @ 03:11 pm ACDT

It's a symptom of not enough matches played between teams of varying strength.  There's a link at the end of the article which shows all the matches that have been included.


I agree Denmark should be a little higher.  But their IC11 form was a loss to South Africa, a somewhat statistically meaningless win over the very low ranked China, a win over Sweden, thrashed by Ireland (including a "bonus" loss of points for the big margin), destroyed by Nauru (another "bonus" loss) and a loss to Great Britain.  So there's plenty of evidence to push them down.

Compared with Germany who did not play so sit steady, and Sweden, who lost to NZ, a largely statistically meaningless win over India, a loss to Denmark, thrashed by Ireland, lost to Tonga, beat Japan.  So some wins and losses but also overall poor.  Overall my gut feel would've been they would've stayed below Denmark as a result of that.

Not defending the system, just trying to explain the quirks that will always occur with any purely mathematically driven scheme without human "common sense" intervention.  If I win the lottery and can retire to a beach somewhere I will sit and ponder a new system.  I do have a few ideas.

But as bad as it might look for Denmark, they really are only probably 2 spots out of 19 too low.  And only 0.35 points behind Sweden, which is tiny.  Change any recent result and they'd probably jump above.  The difference between top and bottom is about 30 points, so Denmark is about 1% of that range behind a more appropriate ranking.

Hopefully Denmark plays an eligible match some time next year and a win against middle ranked opposition should see them jump above several teams.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Post IC11 World Rankings update - Ireland #1 contenders
Authored by: Cam Homes on Saturday, October 08 2011 @ 04:37 pm ACDT

I have to agree with most of what you say Brett (doesn't happen that often :-) ) but think that these little quirks have popped up because of the log jam of nations in the mid section of the ranks.

We have 4 nations between 57.78 and 47.00 rating points and we have 9 nations between 47.00 and 37.00 rating points(4 of which are on 37 something points) and then 5 nations between 37.00 and 27.00 rating points.

If we look at Peace Team, China and Japan and add them to the middle section we've got 12 nations jammed into a 15-16 point spread. So any movement(which can be up to 3.00 points) by any one team could see that team leap above or fall below a team whose standard is clearly not as high or not as low respectively.

A few more tests between the teams in the middle ranks will see the spread of points widen and fewer of these little quirks pop up.

We all reckoned a while back, that Canada was ranked too low, but I don't think any one can complain about where they sit now. One quirk gone and we have another pop up, eg. Denmark falling below team that hasn't played as many games recently -Germany- and Japan falling below team only three games into being fully ranked -China-.

Perhaps we will have little quirks continue to pop up for a while until the points spread widens a bit more between these middle ranked teams, and if we continue to have bunches of teams entering the ranks at the same time as we did during the IC.

Denmark could play a test against any of Germany, Sweden or France (or GB although they lost at IC) and win and they would jump up above those teams and if we could get a China v Japan test we'd see Japan slip above China(unless they lose of course).

?? How far off is a Norway v Finland Test or an Iceland v Finland Test??


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