FIFA Women's World Rankings
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|Top 30 Rankings as of 13 December 2013|
The FIFA Women's World Rankings for football were introduced in 2003, with the first rankings published in March of that year, as a follow-on to the existing FIFA World Rankings for men. They attempt to compare the strength of internationally active women's national teams at any given time.
Specifics of the ranking system
- FIFA Women's World Rankings are based on every international match a team ever played, dating back to 1971, the first FIFA-recognized women's international between France and the Netherlands. (The men's ranking system considers only matches in the last four years.)
- FIFA Women's World Rankings are implicitly weighted to emphasize recent results. (The men's results are explicitly weighted on a sliding scale.)
- FIFA Women's World Rankings are only published four times a year. Normally, rankings are released in March, June, September and December. (In World Cup years, dates may be adjusted to reflect the World Cup results.)
The first two points result in a FIFA Women's World Rankings system which is far more similar to the Elo football rating system; ratings for teams with fewer than 30 matches should be considered provisional.
World Ranking Leaders
To date Germany and the USA have been the only two teams to have led the rankings. Between them, they held the top two spots from the third set of rankings in October 2003, immediately after the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, through the December 2008 rankings. Germany was third behind Norway in the first two rankings, and dropped out of the top two in March 2009, replaced by Brazil, though their successful 2009 Euro title defense pushed them back into the top two for the September 2009 ranking, where they have remained.
The latest version of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking, released in December 2013, saw the same teams occupy the top ten as in the previous rankings in August, but with some minor shuffling. The USA, Germany, Japan, and Brazil remained in the top four spots. Immediately below them, France and Sweden exchanged places, with France taking fifth from the Swedes. Canada remained in seventh, while Norway leapfrogged Australia and North Korea into eighth. No fewer than 31 teams reached their highest position ever in the rankings, headed by France, Spain (15th), New Zealand (16th), and Switzerland (21st).
The rankings are based on the following formulae:
|= The team rating after the match
|= The team rating before the match
|= , the weighted importance of the match
|= The actual result of the match, see below
|= The expected result of the match
|= The scaled difference in rating points between the teams
|= The opposing team's rating before the match
|= The "home advantage" correction, see below
|= A scaling factor, see below
|= The "Match Importance Factor", see below
These formulae are designed such that beginning teams can expect a ranking of roughly 1000 points, while top-level teams can exceed 2000 points. In order to be ranked, a team must have played at least 5 matches against officially ranked teams, and have not been inactive for more than 18 months. Even if teams are not officially ranked, their points rating is kept constant.
Actual result of the match
The main component of the actual result is whether the team wins, loses, or draws, but goal difference is also taken into account.
If the match results in a winner and loser, the loser is awarded a certain percentage (always less than or equal to 20%) of the result based on the goal difference and the number of goals they scored, with the remaining percentage points being awarded to the winner. For example, a 2-1 match has the result awarded 84%-16% respectively, a 4-3 match has the result awarded 82%-18%, and a 8-3 match has the result awarded 96.2%-3.8%. As such, it is possible for a team to lose points even if they win a match, assuming they did not "win by enough".
If the match ends in a draw, both teams are awarded the same results which depends on the total number of goals scored, so the result will not necessarily add up to 100%. For example, a 0-0 draws earns both teams 47% each, a 1-1 draw earns 50% each, and a 4-4 draw earns 52.5% each.
Neutral ground or Home vs. Away
Historically, home teams earn 66% of the points available to them, with away teams earning the other 34%. To account for this, when two teams are not playing on neutral ground, the home team has its inflated by 100 points for the purposes of calculation. That is, if two equally ranked teams playing at one team's home ground, the home team would be expected to win at the same rate a team playing on neutral ground with a 100 point advantage. This 100 point difference corresponds to a 64%-36% advantage in terms of expected result.
This also helps define the scaling constant , which has a value of 200. In addition to a 100-point difference causing an expected result difference of 64%-36%, it also results in a 300-point difference causing expected results of 85%-15%.
Importance of the match
|Match importance||Match importance
|FIFA Women's World Cup match||4||60|
|Women's Olympic football tournament||4||60|
|FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier||3||45|
|Women's Olympic football qualifier||3||45|
|Women's Continental finals match||3||45|
|Women's Continental qualifier||2||30|
|Women's friendly match||1||15|
|Women's friendly match between two Top 10 teams||2||30|
- Algarve Cup
- Cyprus Cup
- Elo football rating
- FIFA Women's World Cup
- FIFA Men's World Rankings
- Statistical association football predictions
- Women's Unofficial Football World Championships
- Women's association football around the world
Notes and references
- FIFA.com (13 December 2013). "The FIFA Women's World Rankings". Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "France move back into the top five" (Press release). FIFA. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking at FIFA.com
- Women's World Ranking Procedure at FIFA.com
- Women’s World Ranking Fact Sheet