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WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 11:51 pm ACST

In response to Conyers suggestion of wiping older results, it really doesn't matter too much. The system is designed so that older results fade away anyway, but in a subtle way.

Imagine 2 teams play and 1 defeats the other and their rank pushes higher, the other's lower. That means that the higher team then has more to lose when they play lower teams in future (the system penalises them more if they lose) and less to gain. So if in later games they perform about the same they don't shift much, but if it turns out they are better they can still rise by playing better teams, or fall more quickly if losing to lower teams.

Hard to explain. Their results set them on a path in the rankings but if they don't deserve that position then future results will correct them more quickly - if your rank is higher than it should be then you will crash faster as you give up more points when you lose to nearby or lower teams. So once that body of future results have been played they will correct the past quickly if it was wrong or indeed non-existent, i.e. if those games were not played or were removed so everyone starts on the same generic 40 points ten years ago. Not sure if that is making sense to people.

Anyway to prove to myself it's true I deleted 13 years of results leaving just the last approximately 10 and the ladder change was remarkably small. In the top 20 positions the following teams swap positions:

NZ/Ireland, Fiji/Croatia, Japan/Germany, Peace Team/Iceland

So the only change is some immediate neighbours swap. No team moves by more than 1 position. A lot of those teams are currently separated by much less than 1 ranking point so any single result now can have the same or larger effect than that mass deletion. Remarkably stable really given how few games most nations play - I think due to the maths behind this system and because the nations do perform pretty similarly over time compared with each other.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, September 04 2017 @ 12:10 am ACST

You've done very well, I was sitting here trying to work out how to explain same to Conyer but you got in ahead of me. B show-off. :-)