The First Unofficial Gaelic Football World Ranking

World ranking is well documented in other sports. I wanted to see if it would be possible to do the same in Gaelic Football. I examined the methods used by Soccer and Rugby and stuck very much to those lines. Once you have the match results data and a formula to follow its an easy enough process.

The Formula:

Result Points: This is quite simple the winning team is awarded 3 points the losing team 0 and if the match is a draw 1 point is awarded to each team.

Match Status: This can be argued back and forth (and no doubt will), but I needed to assign a match importance weighting. The ranking was as follows;

  • Championship Game: 4
  • Qualifier: 3
  • League: 2

Opp Strength: This was by far the hardest to calculate. First I needed a starting ranking I took the league tables from the 2008 season and ranked teams in the order they finished 1 – 33 (rather arbitrary – but as you will see historical results have less of a weighting). I would obviously have preferred to use Championship games but it is very difficult to rank teams in the championship.

That got me my ranking for the start of the 2009 season. Once I calculated a World Ranking based on the method below I used that on going.

Historical Weighting: Again I copied FIFA here, they assign different weightings to games depending on how long in the past they happened. (2009 = 0.2, 2010 = 0.3, 2011 = 0.5, 2012 = 1). Therefore games that happened in 2009 are not as important as games played in 2012.

Ranking Points = 100(Result Points x Match Status x Opp Strength x Historical Weighting)

This is averaged for the 3 years involved (will be 4 years when I add 2012). So here is the current standings as at Jan 1st 2012.

Team Ranking
Dublin 1
Kerry 2
Cork 3
Kildare 4
Donegal 5
Tyrone 6
Down 7
Mayo 8
Roscommon 9
Wexford 10
Limerick 11
Meath 12
Derry 13
Armagh 14
Wicklow 15
Laois 16
Louth 17
Offaly 18
Antrim 19
Longford 20
Sligo 21
Waterford 22
Leitrim 23
Cavan 24
Carlow 25
Tipperary 26
Monaghan 27
Clare 28
Fermanagh 29
Galway 30
Westmeath 31
London 32
New York 33
Kilkenny 34

No doubt there are many talking points in both the tables and the method I have used. Perhaps the league should be less valuable or provincial championships weighted differently than the All Ireland Series. If you have any thoughts on ways to improve this please let me know. I would love to get your thoughts.