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Introducing Goalball World rankings

Date: October 15, 2013

Category: Goalball

Every major sport has a world ranking for either individual players or national teams. Therefore IBSA Goalball decided it was time that we caught up.
Having a world ranking system is also important for many federations for having an idea on where their nation is currently ranked. This often assists with planning funding and future goals.
Goalball has now become a global sport with many nations competing in every continent. This is why it is valuable that countries can compare themselves to other nations from around the world and know where they stand in terms of results.
How will the rankings be calculated?
The basic logic will be that any team that does well in international goalball wins points which enable it to climb the world ranking.
A team’s total number of points over a four-year period is determined by adding the average number of points gained from matches during the previous 4 calendar years with points gained depreciating on a twelve month cycle in the following manner.

  • 100% in the last twelve months
  • 75% in the last thirteen to twenty four months
  • 50% in the last twenty five to thirty six months
  • 25% in the last thirty seven to forty eight months.

How many points do you get for a single match?
The number of points that can be won in a match depends on the following factors:

  • Was the match won or drawn? (Match Result)
  • How important was the match e.g.: friendly tournament, Paralympic Games? (Importance)
  • How strong was the opposing team in terms of ranking position (Opposing Team)
  • The strength of the opposing team’s region? (Region)

These factors are brought together in the following formula to ascertain the total number of points per match (Points).
Points = Match Result x Importance x Opposing Team x Region
What is the value of each criterion when calculating points?
Match result
The Match Result will be scored in the following manner.

  • 3 points for a victory in regulation time
  • 2 points for a victory in extra time or penalties
  • 1 point for a loss in extra time or penalties
  • 1 point for a draw in regulation time (where a winner is not required)
  • 0 points for a loss in regulation time

The Importance of a Match will be scored in the following manner.

  • 0.5 points for a friendly match (development competitions – pool stages or round robins)
  • 1.0 points for a friendly match (development competition – finals)
  • 1.0 points for an International match that doesn’t result in qualification for a major championship e.g.: IBSA Goalball European Championships B or C division(competitions )
  • 1.5 points for an International match (competition finals)
  • 2.0 points for the Paralympic Qualification Tournament or a Regional Qualification Tournament (that leads directly to the Paralympic Games or IBSA Goalball World Championships)
  • 2.5 points for the Paralympic Qualification Tournament or a Regional Qualification Tournament (finals)
  • 3.0 points for IBSA World Championships or Paralympic Games
  • 3.5 points for IBSA World Championships or Paralympic Games (finals)

NB: Finals means any match that is classed as a quarter-final, semi-final or medal match.

Opposing Team
The strength of the opponents is based on their world ranking where the team at the top of the ranking is always assigned 100 points.  The second ranked team is assigned 99 points and so on.  The teams ranked 61st and below are assigned a minimum value of 40 points.  For at least the next two years of competition every team will be allocated 70 points until a true competition order is established.
The ranking position is taken from the opponents’ ranking in the most recently published IBSA Goalball World Rankings.  These rankings will be published monthly on the IBSA website.  Full results of tournaments are to be sent to IBSA for processing.  Results can be sent to Rob Crestani at [email protected]. If you have held or competed in a friendly tournament over the past two years and haven’t sent your results through, please do it immediately to make the rankings more accurate.
The strength of an opponent’s region is calculated on the basis of the number of points collected by that region at the last two IBSA World Goalball Championships and Paralympic Games when playing against teams from other regions.  These points will be divided by the number of possible points available in those games to form a score for that region.
When calculating the points for a match between two teams, the opposing team’s regional score will be used as the multiplier.
Current regional scores based on the last Paralympic Games (2012) and IBSA Goalball World Championships (2010) are;
Africa                     Men    0.458           Women         NA
Americas                Men    0.513           Women         0.696
Asia Pacific             Men    0.619           Women         0.615
Europe                   Men    0.418           Women         0.263
Results from the next IBSA Goalball World Championships and Paralympic Games will be used once these results are available.
Current rankings
So who is at the top of the current rankings?
Teams from the Americas are topping the male rankings. This is because the rankings are only being calculated based on results from the past two years and the other regions are yet to have their regional championships.
Current Paralympic silver medalists, Brazil, top the rankings. They are followed by the Americas regional champions, Canada and the runners up USA are in third place.
Despite not qualifying for the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships, Canada heads the women’s rankings. This is due to their second placing at the 2013 IBSA Goalball Parapan American Championships and quarter-final finish at last year’s Paralympic Games. China makes it into second place on the back of their strong performance at London 2012. Third place goes to the Americas champion, USA.
To see the full list, click on the documents at the top of this article.
I have an opinion on this. Where can I share my thoughts?
We within IBSA Goalball know that this is quite controversial and many of you will have strong feelings and thoughts on this.
We encourage open discussion on this and thoughts on ways that the system can be improved. We remind you that this is just in the initial stages and it will take a few years for the numbers to correct themselves. The system is also not set in stone and could be tweaked over the next couple of years.
We also understand that this system does have its limitations but it does also have its advantages. Unfortunately the perfect system doesn’t exist.
You can comment on our Facebook page where the link to this article was posted. For those who don’t already follow us on Facebook, our address is
You can also discuss it on twitter or reply to our tweet. For those who discuss it on twitter, please use the hash tag #goalballrankings or tweet to @ibsagoalball.
For those of you, who wish to share your thoughts more privately with a member of IBSA Goalball, please contact our Regulations Officer, Rob Crestani.

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