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TheRoonBa

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Oct 20 13 1:21 AM

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Just felt like drawing attention to the ineptitude in general of sports governing bodies (I'm sure most of you already know).

In the IHF World Handball rankings for men, the Netherlands appears at both position 22 and position 24 :-)

Also, they have spelled it "hadnball" - "Nederlands Hadnball Verbond"

I wonder which team is missing so that Netherlands can appear twice?


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#5 [url]

Oct 21 13 2:32 PM

why does every sports organisation wants a ranking?  We can do without .....in tennis and other individual sports it is very usefull, team sports do not need it...

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TheRoonBa

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#6 [url]

Oct 21 13 4:27 PM

Rankings are important. I would say the majority of people would like to have some idea where their nation ranks globally. Why is it useful for individual sports and not team sports? You are probably in the minority if rankings do not interest you. It is necessary to say that the ranking has to be good in order to be useful (FIFA's is not useful, because it is the worst ranking ever invented).

It is important for seeding teams for future competitions, and also to give an idea of the development of a nation in sporting terms. How else do teams know where they stand? It also gives them some incentives to win matches which might otherwise be meaningless (for example, Cyprus v Albania in World Cup qualifying)

Overall, it's a tool to show the current strength of national teams in a given sport. It gives a simple way for fans to check how their team (or any other team) is doing without having to find the last 15 years results of that team and try to work out how good they are.  That isn't useful?  I have to disagree.  Imagine the situation - Saint Lucia is drawn against El Salvador - do you think each team would NOT like to know about the strength of the other team?  Of course they would want to know.

I don't understand why a sports organisation WOULDN'T want a ranking.


An equally valid question would be - why bother having a World Cup?  It doesn't necessarily show the best team in the world (in the same way a ranking doesn't).  Why do teams not just play friendly matches, with no end goal?  A ranking is necessary to make sense of the multitude of international competitions and bring together their results in a meaningful way.

Last Edited By: TheRoonBa Oct 21 13 4:31 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#7 [url]

Oct 21 13 4:38 PM

just let me be free to have a different opinion....
I know the Belgian national team is Ok for the moment, I see they have good results and they qualified for the WC, so they cannot be bad.... I was surprised they were so high in FIFA ranking, because they still have to prove in a big tournament how strong they are... And everyone in St Lucia knows they will have a tough opponent when they face El Salvador.... Seedings can be decided on previous results (like the WC 2010).
And talking about Handball and Volleyball is more likely to prove FIFA ranking is not so bad, but I do not need it. We did not have a ranking till the 90's....
In my personal all-time ranking Belgium is on rank 21 and that seems more realistic then a top 10 rank
just an opinion...

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TheRoonBa

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#8 [url]

Oct 22 13 12:01 AM

Of course everyone can have an opinion. But an all-time ranking is a completely different concept from a current ranking (for example) - so it is pointless to compare. 21 is more realistic if we are talking about Belgium over all-time. Top 10 is more realistic if we are talking about the current Belgium. The current Belgium team is stronger than the average Belgium team of all-time. But, for example, the team in the early 1980s (which reached the final of the European Championship) was relatively stronger compared to the other teams at that time. And if we go back to 1920, Belgium was probably at their highest ranking ever after the Olympic Games. Without a ranking, we cannot make comparisons like this (they are just fun, but they are undeniably useful).

Nobody 'needs' a ranking. But it is useful. People who are not in St. Lucia, for example, will generally have no idea about the strength of St. Lucia. If they are curious, they can look at a ranking table and find out how good they are (it's a much quicker way of doing it than consulting a list of matches or looking at an all-time table, which will produce a distorted view of reality - for example, all those people who expect teams who were good in the past to always be good).

So, as I said, it is useful. That is not an opinion, it is a fact. It has a use. Some people may choose not to make use of it - but it doesn't change the fact that it is useful.

Yes, there was no ranking until the 1990s. And especially in the 1960s-1970s, when teams had no real way of comparing themselves against other teams, they would boast that they "should win this match easily", when if a ranking was available, they would have seen that they were actually much worse than the team they said they were going to thrash. A ranking would have prevented the embarrassment of predicting victory so emphatically, and then going on to lose 3-0.

Seedings cannot be decided on previous results in all cases, because not every team enters every competition for every edition. Just because a team did not enter, does that mean it has to be in the bottom seeding group? How do you seed a team when it was hosts of the last edition and did not have to play any matches in qualifying? This is what rankings are for.

So, I don't expect you to agree that you like or need rankings, but you cannot deny that they are useful. It's just that you choose not to use them (which is a valid choice).


The point I would make is that handball and volleyball rankings are probably worse than the FIFA rankings, but in general, all official rankings are not good.  So I understand why people would think rankings have no purpose.  A bad ranking has no real purpose, as it is incapable of predicting outcomes of matches, and most people can tell it is not a reflection of reality.  So, this makes them think that all rankings are useless.  But to sit down and study what a ranking ACTUALLY IS and what it intends to achieve - then a proper understanding of its usefulness can be achieved.  The very purpose of a ranking is that it will change.  In that respect, it is a lot more flexible than people's opinions.

Last Edited By: TheRoonBa Oct 22 13 12:09 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#9 [url]

Oct 22 13 4:51 PM

I would like to defend my opinion in a better way, but my English is to poor... Anyway I am interested in the results of teams and not in their ranking, that remains unchanged...

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TheRoonBa

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#10 [url]

Oct 22 13 9:06 PM

I am not attacking your opinion.  I am just saying it is not really an opinion.  It is a preference.  "I am interested in rankings" or "I am NOT interested in rankings" is a preference.  Of course, everybody has different preferences.


All I am trying to say is that, even if you are not interested in rankings, football depends on them (in one way or another).  Every league table is a ranking, so every competition (except cup competitions) depends on a ranking (league table) to define the winner.

Imagine:
Luxembourg 1-1 Andorra
Luxembourg 1-0 San Marino
Andorra 1-1 San Marino

These are simple results.  I am interested in results too.  But in order to make sense of these results (and say a bit more about the teams), we need a ranking (or league table).  If you do not wish to say anything more about the teams, or have an idea of how good they are in relation to each other, then of course you are free to just concentrate on the results and say nothing more.  But to work out who gets through to the next round, we need a ranking or league table to show that Luxembourg finished first.  Results on their own cannot do this.

If you are interested in who wins competitions or who qualifies for the World Cup, then you are indirectly interested in rankings (both of these rely on rankings/league tables).

When you see a fixture (for example, Belgium v Luxembourg) - you are able to predict the outcome.  You will have an idea in your head about who will win the match, and you might even know the result will be 4-0 or 5-0.  The reason you have this idea in your head is because you have made a mental ranking of all the teams.  You know their relative strengths, because you have mentally compared historical results of teams, and your brain has worked out which teams are better than others.  Everybody does it.  It is very rare to watch an international match, and not have an opinion on who will win the match.

So we all use rankings, even if we don't like them.  A computerised ranking is just a more accurate way of listing teams than we can do mentally (because we can't remember every single result in our head).

Last Edited By: TheRoonBa Oct 22 13 9:22 PM. Edited 4 times.

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#11 [url]

Oct 23 13 8:21 AM

a league table is not a computer ranking; most rankings are not very good; Netherlands are vice-world champions, so at least they should be in second position after Spain, but now Belgium seems stronger then Holland.....

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#12 [url]

Oct 23 13 9:56 AM

The Worldchampions have been played 3 years ago. All teams have not the very same players as 3 years ago and even if they would have, most of the players would not be in the same form as three years ago. Holland are reigning vice worldchampions but that does not imply they have a better team now than nations that did not play the 2010 World Cup final. Imho being ranked around 10th place is the right position for the Dutch team now.

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#13 [url]

Oct 23 13 10:06 AM

What is the use of finishing second or third at the WC ? Belgium still has to prove everything, they are not better then Holland.... This case like 100's of others proves rankings are meaningless...I prefer to look at real competitions, like the WC 2010 and Euro 2012:that is ranking based on results and no computer simulations... Everybody criticises FIFA ranking but at the same time you are defending the principle of ranking. I do not have to look at rankings to predict Uruguay will eliminate Jordan and Croatia eliminates Iceland (hope I am wrong) 

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#15 [url]

Oct 23 13 10:42 AM

one result says nothing...it was not even Netherlands A-team, a lot of substitutes were used...as national teams only play about 40 matches every four years, it is for me logical to take the latest wc and ec (ac, gc, oc....) as references....all the rest is speculation and teams like Colombia and Belgium will have the chance next year to prove their value....I hope they get far but we will see...

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TheRoonBa

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#16 [url]

Oct 23 13 11:49 AM

pieter wrote:
a league table is not a computer ranking; most rankings are not very good; Netherlands are vice-world champions, so at least they should be in second position after Spain, but now Belgium seems stronger then Holland.....
A league table is a computer ranking (unless you can keep all the information in your head).  It is calculated in a very simple way - 3 points for a win, 1 points for a draw.  Changing the ranking variables (number of points for a win or draw) gives different results.  Just as changing a computer ranking variables gives different results.

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TheRoonBa

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#17 [url]

Oct 23 13 11:51 AM

pieter wrote:
What is the use of finishing second or third at the WC ? Belgium still has to prove everything, they are not better then Holland.... This case like 100's of others proves rankings are meaningless...I prefer to look at real competitions, like the WC 2010 and Euro 2012:that is ranking based on results and no computer simulations... Everybody criticises FIFA ranking but at the same time you are defending the principle of ranking. I do not have to look at rankings to predict Uruguay will eliminate Jordan and Croatia eliminates Iceland (hope I am wrong) 
Everybody criticises FIFA rankings because they are not good.  I defend the principle of ranking, because I know it is possible to have a good ranking.

You do not need to look at rankings to predict Uruguay will eliminate Jordan, or Croatia eliminates Iceland - but you do need to look at your mental ranking of these teams.  If you did not have a mental ranking (even a simple ranking - Uruguay is better than Jordan, Croatia is better than Iceland), you would not be able to make any predictions.

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TheRoonBa

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#18 [url]

Oct 23 13 11:56 AM

pieter wrote:
one result says nothing...it was not even Netherlands A-team, a lot of substitutes were used...as national teams only play about 40 matches every four years, it is for me logical to take the latest wc and ec (ac, gc, oc....) as references....all the rest is speculation and teams like Colombia and Belgium will have the chance next year to prove their value....I hope they get far but we will see...
The mistake you make is that teams can reach the final of competitions by playing different levels of teams.  One team could have an 'easy draw' and reach the semi-finals. Another team might be unfortunate and play Spain in the Last 16.  You cannot say that the team who reached the semi-finals is better, just because they went further in the tournament.  It's simply wrong to do so.  The team who lost to Spain may be the second best in the world.  The team who reached the semi-finals may be the 10th best in the world.  Just because the 2nd-best team lost to Spain in the Last 16, does that mean they cannot be considered to be in the Top 10 any more?

What proper rankings do (which simple 'final placing' rankings do not) is to take into account the strength of schedule.

A simple example to illustrate my point:

4-team tournament, semi-finals and final

SEMI-FINALS
Luxembourg 2-1 Faroe Islands
Netherlands 1-0 France

FINAL
Netherlands 5-0 Luxembourg

Luxembourg is better than France because they reached the final and France did not.

That statement is simply not true.  Make this statement on a bigger scale (for example, based on a World Cup tournament), and it is still not true.

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#19 [url]

Oct 23 13 2:07 PM

sorry, but this is not a realistic example .....Switserland beat  Spain in 2010 and this proves nothing about Swiss strength .... 

I want to stop this discussion, my life will go on without rankings and I will enjoy football , just like before the rankings were invented (for commercial reasons?)

there is only one good thing about rankings: Belgium will be seeded in Brasil and teams like Netherlands and France will not... Hope we do not have those "minnows" in the Belgian group.

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TheRoonBa

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#20 [url]

Oct 23 13 2:32 PM

OK - I will stop the discussion too.

But if you make other statements like "team sports do not need rankings" - expect people to argue with you.

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