The Tall Blacks currently hold a World Ranking of 27 but with FIBA introducing a new ranking formula that could change in November.
The innovative game-based ranking factors in results from official games played by 153 national teams and will be updated after every window of Qualifiers and following the conclusion of top official FIBA competitions.
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. The previous ranking was purely competition-based and only took into account the final standings of tournaments.
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.
Finally, the new ranking also recognizes the value of away wins and rewards facing and beating opponents that are higher in the ranking.
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 – 153 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 FIBA.basketball and we expect there will be even more debating and conversations taking place following the implementation of this new one.”
For now, the new FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, only applies to senior men’s national teams and competitions. FIBA will work towards drawing up and implementing similar systems for the women’s and youth (boys and girls) rankings at a later stage.
The Tall Blacks begin its World Cup Qualifying campaign with Asian Zone fixtures against Korea in Wellington on November 23rd and in Hong Kong on November 26th.
A loss in either fixture would see New Zealand’s ranking dip as both Korea (34th) and Hong Kong (82nd) hold a lower ranking than the Tall Blacks.
It is expected that the Tall Blacks will be close to full strength for both fixtures with European based players Isaac Fotu, Tai Webster and Corey Webster all likely to be available.