The RLIF World Rankings is a ranking system for the men's rugby league national teams. The teams of the member nations of the RLIF, rugby league football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest. A point system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of RLIF-recognized international matches. Under the existing system, rankings are based on a team's performance over the last three years, with more recent results and more significant matches being more heavily weighted to help reflect the current competitive state of a team.
- As of February 2012
|2||-||New Zealand Kiwis||1,011.35|
|5||1-||Papua New Guinea||287.04|
|8||1+||Tonga Mate Ma'a||198.57|
|11||-||United States Tomahawks||169.87|
|14||8+||South Africa Rhinos||155.41|
The RLIF World Rankings are calculated based on an average of points accumulated by each Nation over a three year cycle. Under the structure, matches deemed of higher importance such as World Cup games, Four Nations and other major tournament finals draw more points than mid-season Tests and other ‘Internationals’. For each match that a nation participates they are given a base level of points. This base level is affected upon the type of match (World Cup, Major Tournament, Test Match and International) and the status of the opponent.
Bonus points are given for teams that reach certain milestones deemed of significant international importance including reaching a tournament final or qualifying for an event such as a World Cup.
From the total number of points that a nation will receive these points are then averaged to help give a more accurate view of the performance of a nation over the three year cycle.
Nations which have played less than 5 matches over a three year cycle will be penalised under the current point structure.
Use of the rankingsEdit
The rankings are used by Rugby League International Federation to view the progression and ability of the national rugby league teams.
Since the ranking system's introduction in 2007 many peopleTemplate:Who have criticized the rankings of some of the teams placings in the official standings released by the Rugby League International Federation with claims that the strength of the teams are often seen as a secondary force in the moving of rankings in comparison with the amount of fixtures that are played in by a nation.Template:Fact
The counter balancing argument to this though is that this system encourages nations to play in more international matches or 'friendlies' outside of just major tournaments in the hope of gaining a higher RLIF ranking.
Current calculation methodEdit
A weighting system has been implemented by the RLIF to give more points to teams if they gain a victory over a major team in a major tournament, with friendlies ranked with considerably less points than any World Cup finals match or the final of Cups such as the European, Mediterranean and Pacific Cups.
The RLIF has organized the rankings so that a win against a very highly ranked opponent is a considerably greater achievement than a win against a low-rated opponent, so the strength of the opposing team is a factor.
All matches played over the last thirty-six months or three years are included in the calculation of the rankings, but there is a weighting system implemented to put more emphasis on recent results.