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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

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