Nigeria retains Africa top spot as FIBA introduce new ranking system

Nigeria retains Africa top spot as FIBA introduce new ranking system

World basketball governing body, FIBA has launched a new ranking format for senior men’s national teams and competitions. The previous ranking was purely competition-based and only took into account the final standings of tournaments.

Nigeria’s D’Tigers retained its number 1 spot in Africa but slipped ten places to number 26 in the world.
Angola is second, Senegal third, 2017 Afrobasket champions Tunisia fourth, Egypt is fifth, Cote’d Ivore, Morroco, Cameroon, Mali, and Central African Republic take the sixth-tenth spot in Africa respectively.

The new ranking is based on results of games ranging from regional pre-qualifiers all the way to the FIBA Basketball World Cup Final, and includes the Olympic Basketball Tournament as well as the Continental Cups.

In a statement on on Wednesday, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: “The new ranking was devised with our new calendar clearly in mind. We are pleased to offer more teams 149 of them, compared to 91 previously -a ranking that can be updated after every window of the Qualifiers so that national teams, fans and their national federations can follow their progress on a more regular basis.

Prior to the change, the rankings already proved to be among the most popular pages on and we expect there will be even more debating and conversations taking place following the implementation of this new one.”
The game-based ranking factors results from official games played by 149 national teams and will be updated after every window of Qualifiers and following the conclusion of top official FIBA competitions.

The Olympic Basketball Tournament staged in Rio de Janeiro has led to some changes in the FIBA World Ranking Men.
Nigeria, Venezuela, Serbia and Brazil all took part in the Rio Games and have had noticeable jumps while Germany, Angola, Iran and Greece have had the biggest falls after failing to qualify for a second straight Olympics.

The basic principle is simple: 1,000 basis points are awarded in each game, with the two teams earning a share of these according to the margin of victory or defeat. Weightings are added on a round basis meaning that, when a team progresses through a top official FIBA competition, its wins are worth more with every round it plays. The ranking has revised weightings of the competitions. For the first time, it sees the implementation of a time decay rewarding teams for their most recent performances.

This replaces the system in place under the previous ranking, where all games over the 8-year period received the exact same value.
Top on the world ranking is USA, followed by Spain, Serbia, France, Argentina, Lithuania, Slovenia, Croatia, Australia and Brazil.

Finally, the new ranking also recognizes the value of away wins and rewards facing and beating opponents that are higher in the ranking. FIBA will work towards drawing up and implementing similar systems for the women’s and youth (boys and girls) rankings at a later stage.

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