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WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, September 10 2017 @ 11:35 pm ACST

OK based on the feedback including some internal email discussions I think for the men we'll:

- exclude B teams (mostly unnecessary and potentially lack continuity from one match to the next)
- exclude hybrids if they are likely to lack continuity or involve nations that regularly play independently (Asian Lions out but Indochina stays in for now)
- the 1993 Canada vs USA game stays out as there are questions over criteria but more so it will have no bearing on the ranks now but would be time consuming to retrospectively add and creates more questions about what other games occurred at that time (we set 1994 as the start for our data, and even matches around then have virtually no effect on current rankings)

- tighten the criteria so all players must be nationals in future (no expats Aussies etc)

For the women:

- include European Crusaders since mostly from countries not represented otherwise, but be ready to drop it pretty quickly (but not retrospectively) since many of its constituents may play standalone soon. In fact I'm not convinced here, as there were 3 British, 3 Irish and 1 Canadian named at IC17, so a big chunk are already from existing playing nations, and a biggest of all was the French with 10 players, so I suspect there could soon be a French standalone side soon too. Leaving them out of the rankings would in no way say they shouldn't play, it's a very separate question. I just think at the content of the team will be changing all the time so no consistency in their ability so it's not fair that teams get or lose points against a team that could be so variable. Some have said vet the hybrids closely. Some have said leave them out once their constituent nations start playing. What if France play at the next European Championships, do we drop the Crusaders then?

- leave the Canada and USA B team results in but don't include any more from them or others in future.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Monday, September 11 2017 @ 10:07 am ACST

I am for some compromise on the B team and combined teams issue. That is, their matches count in the rankings as long as they meet the non-Aussie requirements, and they are given rankings points, but they forever remain 'provisional' 'theoretical' or 'reference' teams. The actual rankings will only be stand alone nations and only for their no.1 team.

I also agree that there should be old results that have no bearing on where a nation is today, that drop off as time goes on.

WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 12 2017 @ 02:29 pm ACST


I believe the Crusaders who played in 2016 European Championships was made up of a wider spread of nationalities than the IC17 team, it had some Swedes, Danes and others other than French girls. (I thought I saw a Polish girl named.) (I could be wrong tho)

If we do see a French standalone side emerge in a couple of years the Crusaders should not be dropped because it will be still made up of players from countries across Europe who can't put a full side together.

The "current" Crusaders has achieved what it set out to do, that is, get more players playing at the "elite" international level than otherwise was possible.

I don't think that the hybrids eg. Crusaders, Indochina and Peace Team should be down graded to a perpetual provisional status because that will be also downgrading the matches to something below International status and I don't think the nations that played against them deserve that. The matches played so far have all been played under "international" standard/status/conditions.

AS I have said before, the Rugby scheme we have adapted can handle countries dividing and our scheme can handle this situation too. I think that the Rugby scheme makes some adjustments to the Rating points held be the dividing nation/s eg. rating points (halved/reduced) for two country split or some thing similar (new nations not as strong as old combined nation theory).  

We have at this stage accepted them as "International teams/nations" that we expect to at some stage to split (as Czech Republic/Slovakia) or Yugoslavia into(Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia etc.etc). Yugoslavia is no longer on any world rankings in other sports.

I believe there is a place for hybrids in International Australian Rules Football and Crusaders, Indochina and Peace Team are all acceptable in their current form.

Any future hybrids likewise need to be similar in make up if they do eventuate, and I don't believe there is anyone in the international footy community who wouldn't be happy to see a couple of new hybrids emerge, say from South America and East Africa a few years done the track, as a step or leap in the development of International footy.

France could well be the first nation to split from the Crusaders.

Any takers on who will be first to split from IndoChinaω I'm tipping Laos, they seem to have a larger pecentage of locals than most of the other SE Asian clubs/nations. 

WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, September 12 2017 @ 06:12 pm ACST

Cam, you say France may be the first to split from the Crusaders but they already include Irish and British players who already have their own standalone sides. It's messy.


And re-stating my argument as to why... the whole idea of rankings is that teams have a certain level and so when other teams play them they are rewarded with points or penalised by losing points when they defeat or lose to them. Thus the competing teams have their points adjusted and move up or down, with a throttle on that if they are already considered far above.

The entire concept fundamentally depends on teams playing to roughly their ranking, and if the results suggest otherwise then they move and in concert the teams they play adjust. So if a team does improve they will go up but it takes a bit of time for the teams they defeated to recover from the unexpected (by the system) loss.

If a team performs completely inconsistently with their ranking then it is unfair on the other teams (whereas Cam you said it was unfair to remove them). If the Crusaders are ranked 10th and then field a team without any French players and get smashed by 11th who get a nice boost to launch up to 9th, how is that fair to the original 9th who may have played the Crusaders 3 months earlier with all their French players?

What if the Irish decide they can't attend the next major event so suddenly the Crusaders pick up 8 of the world's best (excluding Australia) players? Suddenly the ranking bears no resemblence to the team's ability.

Yes over time teams change anyway, but any mathematical approach assumes some consistency over time and moving trends, it can't fairly track random performance.

So I say the Crusaders are great and should continue to play but we need to be very careful about keeping them in our ranks else they could easily distort the system. As someone said above, we need to vet hybrids closely.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, September 13 2017 @ 12:33 am ACST

The two manifestations of Crusaders differed in the sense that the IC Crusaders had some European girls in Aussie play(not Aussies I believe)and also picked up some poms who didn't make the GB side, whereas the EC team drew all the players from across mainland Europe. (Cost of travel had some/if not a huge bearing on both teams composition). I also believe that the Crusaders concept/ethos would not under any circumstances load up with Irish players who have already played for Ireland internationally, (as per Asia Lions) and wouldn't be accepted by the other nations as counting in the ranks anyway.

Cost of travel and availability of players will have large effect on all the nations that are playing International footy so sudden drops or rise in standard of play are probably more the norm than the unusual in international footy at the moment and the ranking scheme can handle this (+/-3.00 max). As long as the hybrids remain as they are now (not like the Asian Lions) and as I did say before future hybrid teams need to be vetted carefully.
And when the French do actually raise their own national side (and are no longer part of the Crusaders) the Crusaders standard will almost certainly fall so their rating could/should be adjusted accordingly. It is how it is done in the Rugby scheme.
And remember Brett, that probably all of the bottom two thirds of the Rugby nations all suffer from the same problem of cost of travel, availability of players, amateurism etc. and sudden drop off of standard from one test match to the next (Amateurs v Semi Professional v Professional) is probably quite common.
Also our small number of footy nations has teams of too wide a standard (rating gap > than =/- 10.00 points) playing each other too much. Doesn't happen in Rugby. Hopefully as more nations jump on board fewer mismatches will occur.

IF we think of the hybrids as a bit like Yugoslavia (at some stage down the track dividing up) they can't suddenly start playing Irish players because they happen to be European( they can only have Serbs, Croats etc. etc.)and when the Croats do leave they no longer are able to play for Yugoslavia.
I think the hybrids are a valuable step in the development of international footy and we should have them in the ranks so that when other national teams play them the games are given international status (hopefully the elite -est players each team can muster from their respective player pool). Its our ranking scheme (we don't have to slavishly follow other codes) and eventually (when Aussie Rules takes over the world :-) ) the hybrids will all cease to exist anyway.

WFN World Rankings - decision time on hybrids and B teams
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, September 13 2017 @ 12:04 pm ACST

Cam, you keep citing the Rugby scheme at the lower end but do we know if that provides reliable ranks for those teams? You keep saying the rankings can handle things but it has to handle them well.

You mentioned that the Crusaders can't start including Irish, but they did at IC17, and British. I know they were players who missed out, but it shows an inconsistency that is liable to make our rankings less of an accurate reflection for other teams too, which is what rankings are all about.

Anyway I think we agree for now, Crusaders stay in, but under careful watch.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN