World Rankings - Method

For our latest rankings and links to match criteria, see World Rankings - Current.

There is currently no official system of World Rankings for Australian Football, as the international game is still mostly amateur, still maturing and historically there have been insufficient matches between the nations to reliably compare them. However, at, we have attempted to create a ranking which resulted in opinion based tables for 2006, 2008 and a statistically based table since 8th August 2010. Below is a discussion of the statistical method used.

We're aware that the system is somewhat convoluted and difficult to follow, however the basic model appears to work in Rugby Union. This version is an accelerated model to allow more rapid movement of teams from less games. It does have some weaknesses, e.g. a team ranked 10th could keep beating a team ranked 11th and acquire points, pushing up past teams ranked higher, deliberately avoiding playing them. We hope this is not exploited and will monitor the situation but for now we have not produced a better alternative that meets all the desirable criteria.

Australia is given an honorary ranking of 1. This appears to be generally accepted although there is the occasional reader who disputes it. In essence our argument is that Australia is clearly capable of producing the best side in the world from existing players. No international side has yet shown itself likely to beat a state league side let alone Australia, which does not compete at internationally not remotely for fear of loss but as a genuine contender has not emerged. If at some time a contender emerges then the #1 rank will be reconsidered.

An additional argument has been that Ireland could assemble a competitive team. But the criteria is based on Australian football players, not "potential" players that could be drawn from other sports. Likewise no doubt a very good side could be produced by taking America's best athletes from the NBA and NFL and fast-tracking them in Aussie Rules, but rankings are never about such hypotheticals. At a more realistic level, yes, Ireland's existing players in the AFL could be considered, but professional players have never made themselves available for international Australian football, so it is too hard to judge, whereas Australia could comfortably draw a #1 side from the AFL, from the SANFL, VFL, WAFL, etc or indeed from numerous top semi-pro and amateur leagues. So for now, the rankings award Australia #1 and all other positions are based on actual results.