Indian men will end 2020 in fourth place

The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams will finish 2020 in fourth and ninth positions, respectively, after a major part of the year was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Monday confirmed that the Belgium men’s team and the Netherlands’ women will finish the year at the top of the world rankings.

In January, the world body introduced its new match-based model for calculation of world rankings, with the FIH Hockey Pro League matches that were played in early part of the year seeing regular fluctuations in standings before the outbreak of the global health crisis brought all sporting activities to a grinding halt in March.

According to a statement issued by the FIH, the “brief but wonderful return” of the competition between September and November saw further exchanges of points between the men’s and women’s national teams of Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Great Britain.

Belgium men on top

In the men’s FIH world rankings, reigning world and European champion Belgium (2496.88 points) sits at the top, ahead of 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League winner Australia (2385.70), the Netherlands (2257.96) and India (2063.78). Olympic champion Argentina (1967.39) is in fifth, followed by Germany (1944.34), England (1743.77), New Zealand (1575.00), Spain (1559.32) and Canada (1417.37).

Among women, the Netherlands (2631.99 points) is at the top followed by Argentina (2174.61). Germany (2054.28) occupies the third spot, climbing up a place following its FIH Hockey Pro League result against Belgium in September.

Australia (2012.89) will finish the year in fourth, with England (1952.74) and New Zealand (1818.98) occupying fifth and sixth spots respectively.

Spain (1802.13), Ireland (1583.09), India (1543.00) and China (1521.00) complete the top-10 list.

Dynamic system

The FIH 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.

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