With the FIH Hockey Pro League 2022/23 season coming to an end earlier this week, we take a look at the impact the ups and downs of the season have had on the outdoor hockey world rankings.
In the FIH Men's World Rankings, Netherlands (3133) have pulled away from Belgium (2918) and consolidated their hold on the top spot. The two teams were separated by a mere 2 points two months back, but Netherlands impressive run of victories in the FIH Hockey Pro League, including two back-to-back wins over Belgium in their final two games sees them create breathing room at the top.
Great Britain’s brilliance throughout the season of the FIH Hockey Pro League, which saw them finish second, featured a majority of English players and with the unique method baked into the world rankings system to fairly allocate the points to each representative nation, England (2761) have now moved up to third place, a mere 15 points ahead of India (2746)!
Germany’s (2680) performances after their World Cup title have seen them slip down the rankings. The world champions were ranked number one at the end of January, but having used the Pro League to blood new young talent, they produced their lowest average points total in the tournament, which sees them ranked fifth in the world.
Australia (2608), much like Germany, also used the opportunity provided by the FIH Hockey Pro League to give international experience to young players, finished in the seventh place this season, which is their lowest finish ever. This sees their ranking fall to sixth in the world, having started the year ranked first!
Spain (2466), Argentina (2350) and Korea (2042) remain in the seventh, eighth and ninth positions respectively. New Zealand (1876) had a disappointing FIH Hockey Pro League season, finishing in the bottom spot with 3 points from their 16 games, and have now been relegated for the next season. While they started the season inside the top-10, they have now slipped back twelfth in the world behind Malaysia (1953) in tenth and France (1932) in eleventh.
In the FIH Women’s World Rankings, Netherlands (3303) remain at the top of the table, after wrapping up yet another FIH Hockey Pro League title, their third in four years, in incredible fashion. Netherlands finished the season with fifteen wins and one draw to finish on 43 points, breaking their own record for most points accumulated in a season.
Australia (2703), who were the only team to take points off Netherlands this season have moved up to second place in the world, going past Argentina (2667) who drop down to the third spot. Germany and Belgium were separated by one point in the FIH Hockey Pro League this season, with Belgium finishing fourth, while Germany finished fifth. In the world rankings however, its Germany (2418) in fourth place, who hold the narrowest of margins lead over Belgium (2417) who slot in at fifth in the world.
With the vast majority of the Great Britain players coming from England, they are the big beneficiaries of GB's late surge in the Pro League. Great Britain won seven of their final eleven matches, which brought them much required points after starting the season with four consecutive losses. These results see England (2342) maintain their sixth place in the world rankings.
Spain (2257) and India (2176) continue to hold on to their seventh and eighth spots respectively, however there's movement lower down as New Zealand (1916), who staved off relegation with a shoot-out win over Germany have moved up to ninth place, ahead of Japan (1800) in tenth. China's (1794) run of 8 consecutive losses to end their FIH Hockey Pro League 2022/23 campaign sees them drop from their previous ninth ranking down to eleventh ahead of Korea (1709) in twelfth.
To see the complete FIH World Rankings, please click here.
The rankings calculations model that FIH introduced on 1st January 2020 moved away from the previous tournament-based rankings system to a dynamic, match-based method where opposing teams exchange points in official, FIH sanctioned games. The number of points exchanged depends on the result of the match, the relative ranking of the teams and the importance of the match. More information about the new rankings model can be found below.
How the FIH World Rankings work:
The number of points exchanged depends on the result of the match, the relative ranking of the teams and the importance of the match.
FIH World Rankings explained:
Based on the Elo rating system, which is used as the basis of many other sports ranking systems
When two nations play against each other, a number of ranking points are exchanged between them
In every match, the number of points gained by one team is exactly matched by the number of points lost by the other
Teams will win more points for beating teams ranked above them, and therefore teams will lose more points for losing to a team ranked below them
Teams will win less points for beating teams ranked below them, and therefore teams will lose less points for losing to a team ranked above them
If a draw occurs, the lower ranked team will gain a small number of points and the higher ranked team will lose the same number of points
The number of points exchanged is dependent on the result of the match (win, lose, shootout win/loss or draw), the importance of the match (part of a major tournament, or a test series for example), and the relative difference in ranking points between the teams before the match.