Movements in world rankings following the FIH Hockey Nations Cup and FIH Hockey Pro League

Lausanne, Switzerland: Two months of action packed hockey in November and December have shaken up men’s and women’s world rankings as we close the curtains on the year 2022.

While there are small movements at the top of the table, there have also been teams who have made big moves up and down the world rankings over the length of the year.

In the FIH Men’s World Rankings, the top-9 teams who play in the FIH Hockey Pro League have all retained their rankings, showing the competitiveness at the top, with no team managing to pull clear in the early stages of the tournament.

Australia, who recently played a 5-match test series against India winning 4 games and losing 1, remain at the top with 3054 points. It’s the European triumvirate in the next three positions, with Belgium (2858) second, Netherlands (2723) third and Germany (2623) in fourth position. India (2486) dropped a point in the test series against Australia, but remain in fifth place, followed by England (2478) in sixth, Argentina (2266) in seventh, Spain (2120) in eighth and New Zealand (1918) in ninth.

In the race to grab the final spot in the top-10 to end the year, Korea (1853) pipped Malaysia (1840) by defeating them in the Bronze medal match on the final day of the FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup 2022. The Korean team was very aware of the change in ranking that would happen if they defeated Malaysia in the bronze medal match and mentioned in the post-game interview that it was a major driving factor in inspiring them to get the win.

Of the teams playing in the Nations Cup, Malaysia now sit in eleventh, dropping down one spot. France (1767) moved down a spot as well to twelfth. Ireland (1739) who had a near perfect tournament, winning all 4 games until they lost to South Africa in a closely contested finals moved up a spot to thirteenth, followed by South Africa (1653) in fourteenth, who were the biggest gainers, having started the event in the seventeenth position. Japan (1544) moved up two spots into the sixteenth position, followed by Pakistan (1495) in seventeenth and Canada (1489), who dropped four places, in eighteenth.

Through the entirety of the year 2022, some of the biggest gainers in men’s rankings include Korea (from 16th to 10th), Sri Lanka (from 39th to 34th), Portugal (from 46th to 40th) and Guatemala (from 81st to 44th)!

In the FIH Women’s World Rankings, the FIH Hockey Pro League and the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup have seen the top ranked teams exchange points through wins and losses, but the top 16 ranked teams have continued to hold on to their rankings through the matches in both events.

Netherlands (3199) remain at the top having won all 4 of their Pro League matches so far. Argentina (2643), who were unbeaten in the Pro League last season, have had a slower start this time, but continue to remain in the second place in the rankings ahead of Australia (2588), who are yet to start their Pro League campaign. Less than 70 points separate teams between the fourth and seventh position, with England (2217) in fourth, Germany (2199) in fifth, Belgium (2175) in sixth and Spain (2149) in seventh.

India (2088), who had a perfect FIH Nations Cup campaign, winning all 5 of their games, have closed the gap to Spain, but continue to remain eighth. New Zealand (1977) and China (1794) close out the top-10, with both teams yet to begin their Pro League campaigns.

Japan (1700), Korea (1626), Ireland (1539) and Chile (1439) who remain just outside the top-10 in eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth places respectively, were all involved in the Nations Cup. Japan and Chile gained points in the Nations Cup, while Korea and Ireland dropped points, but their positions continue to remain the same on the ranking table.

Canada (1425) who pulled out of the Nations Cup remain in fifteenth ahead of the United States (1316) in sixteenth. The US women’s team will begin its Pro League campaign on 18 February 2023 in New Zealand. Italy (1256) who had an impressive Nations Cup, finishing in the 5th place, remain in eighteenth position, but have closed the gap to Scotland (1261) in seventeenth. South Africa (1076) who are in a transitional phase, dropped from nineteenth to twenty second at the end of their Nation Cup campaign.

Through the entirety of the year 2022, some of the biggest movers in women’s rankings include Chile (from 19th to 14th), Canada (from 11th to 18th), Switzerland (from 35th to 44th) and South Africa (from 16th to 22nd)

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.

More details about the formula used in the algorithm, weightings of matches and other factors can be found HERE together with a Frequently Asked Questions document HERE.

For more information about FIH and hockey in general, please consult, follow the FIH social media channels – FacebookInstagram and Twitter – and download the Watch.Hockey app.