Indian men to finish 2020 in 4th position, women in 9th spot in FIH rankings

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Lausanne (Switzerland), Dec 21 (PTI) The Indian men and women 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.

In the men's FIH world rankings, reigning world and European champions Belgium (2496.88 points) sit at the top ahead of 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League winners Australia (2nd place - 2385.70), Netherlands (3rd place – 2257.96) and India (4th place – 2063.78).

Olympic champions Argentina (1967.39) are in fifth, followed by Germany (6th place – 1944.34), England (7th place – 1743.77), New Zealand (8th place – 1575.00), Spain (9th place – 1559.32) and Canada (10th place – 1417.37).

Among women, the Netherlands (2631.99 points) are at the top followed by Argentina (2174.61). Germany (2054.28) occupy the third position, climbing one place following their FIH Hockey Pro League results against Belgium in September. Australia (2012.89) will finish the year in fourth place, with England (1952.74) and New Zealand (1818.98) occupying fifth and sixth spots respectively.

Spain (7th place - 1802.13), Ireland (8th place - 1583.09), India (9th place – 1543.00) and China (10th place – 1521.00) complete the top ten list.

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. PTI SSC AH AH