World Rankings Update heading into the Paris 2024 Olympics

With less than a month to go till the Olympic Games Paris 2024 get underway, the 12 men’s and women’s teams are deep into their preparations! Following a raft of FIH Hockey Pro League matches over the past two months, we are looking at how the teams measure up in the world rankings as they head into the showpiece event in Paris.

In the women’s world rankings, Netherlands (3534) continue to be the dominant force at the top of the rankings. A second consecutive Pro League title, their fourth in the five seasons of the event, came after yet another excellent season where they won 15 out of their 16 games!

Such is Netherlands’ dominance, that their 571-point lead over second placed Argentina (2963) is nearly as big as the 583-points that cover Argentina in second all the way down to China in eighth place on the world ranking table!

Germany (2834), who achieved their best ever finish in the FIH Hockey Pro League as runners-up, are ranked third in the world, and look among the strongest contenders for a podium place finish in Paris 2024. Belgium (2771) in fourth and Australia (2743) in fifth are two more teams that had impressive ends to their Pro League seasons as they make a strong case for medal contention at the Olympics.

England* (2443) in sixth, Spain (2409) in seventh and China (2380) in eighth are separated by less than 65 points. Each of the three teams have shown they are capable of playing excellent hockey and it would not be a surprise to see any of them punch above their weight at Paris 2024.

India (2087), ranked ninth in the world, are the highest ranked team missing out on the Olympic Games. They are followed closely behind by Japan (2076) who round out the top-10 rankings in the world and will be making their second consecutive appearance at the Olympics. New Zealand (2024) and Ireland (1928) are ranked just outside of top-10 in eleventh and twelfth places respectively, with both teams also missing out on the Olympic Games.

United States (1907), ranked thirteenth in the world, endured a torrid time in the FIH Hockey Pro League, before registering their first win of the season in their final match against Great Britain, which is the momentum they will hope to carry to Paris 2024. South Africa (1499) occupy the eighteenth place in the world rankings, and will head into the Olympics as the lowest ranked team in the women’s competition.

In the men’s world rankings, Netherlands (3069) continue to remain in the top spot, which they have held for nearly a year now. While Netherlands fell short of retaining their FIH Pro League title, their season was still littered with impressive wins as they finished second in the table. England* (2986) have closed the gap to Netherlands in the world rankings but stay second in the standings following a title fight in the Pro League, before eventually settling for a third place.

Belgium (2939) had an up and down season in the Pro League, but a final day win over Netherlands sees them climb into third place in the world rankings, ahead of the title winners Australia (2921), who find themselves in the fourth spot.

Less than hundred points covers teams between fifth and seventh places. World Cup winners Germany (2765) find themselves in fifth, followed by Argentina (2690), who had a much improved season in the FIH Hockey Pro League as they finished fourth, four places better than their previous campaign where they came close to getting embroiled in a relegation battle. A poor European leg of the Pro League saw India (2688) drop a lot of points in the Pro League as well as the world rankings, where they now find themselves in seventh, a mere 2 points behind Argentina.

Spain (2365), eighth in the world rankings, lead a quartet of teams all headed to the Olympics. Hosts France (2241) find themselves in ninth, following an impressive showing at the FIH Hockey Nations Cup, where they finished as runners up. New Zealand (2219) were the winners of the Nations Cup, qualifying for the upcoming season of the FIH Hockey Pro League and round out the top-10 in the world rankings. Ireland (2043) found it tough going in their first Pro League season, but two late season wins against Belgium showcased the improvement in the side headed into the Olympics, as the eleventh ranked team in the world.

South Africa (1906) could not repeat the heroics of their previous appearance in the FIH Nations Cup and head into the Olympic Games as the lowest ranked team at world rank thirteen, one place behind Malaysia (1910) who didn’t qualify for the event.

*England competed as a part of Great Britain in FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24, and will also do so in the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024

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.



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