Turning the table on rugby world rankings

Ranking systems should be designed with the goal to objectively display the order of ranked subjects with as best accuracy as possible. Many official ranking systems are flawed in their mathematical approach and lack the impartiality needed to obtain a quality ranking system. At MyLife Digital we’ve developed a ranking system to overcome these limitations that can be applied to different sports and competitions. We are exhibiting it using the Rugby World Cup 2019 competition as a backdrop.

“It is a ranking that is badly done and I said it the first day I arrived at World Rugby. It has no order, it is all mathematical and I would say that it is almost a matter of marketing…This was demonstrated when Wales never beat New Zealand in history (since the inception of the rankings) and now appears first. It’s ridiculous!..”

Augustin Pichot – VP World Rugby

Historically, ranking strategies have commonly been based on simple win or lose outcomes. However, these outcomes do not reflect the true achievement.

This is because the outcome ‘win’ does not take into account the calibre of the losing opponent or the margin of victory. Without addressing these aspects, interactions between multiple teams/players are not captured. This is a major flaw with current rankings models that needs to be addressed.

“I’ve never understood their system. You win a game and you lose the top ranking?”

Steve Hansen, All Blacks Coach

Additionally, many ranking systems focus purely on one specific sport, which results in a lack of standardisation across all sports, limiting the ability to compare the athletes, or teams’, position across sport variants, such as Rugby or Football.

Our new ranking model overcomes these limitations by incorporating the missing elements, allowing for network interactions to be captured. This model is not limited to one sport variant; allowing analysts, journalists, coaches or whoever to compare team or players across different sports.

Discover the details of the model