Ranking Procedure

There is no 100% accurate way of ranking football team strength. History has shown that with the much debated FIFA rankings of national football teams.

There are so many different factors that has an influence on team performance and match results that could be taken into considerations. And as they say. "The table never lies". But the table doesn't tell who is currently the best performing team, including cup runs, across leagues on the same level and even between leagues on different levels.

So the aim has been to develop a model that as accurately as possible calculate a teams current strenght and form, including both cup and league performance but still taking the stability of performance over time into account.

Please read the About page for more info on the work with the Non-league ranking.

The Non League ranking is based on the following factors: The ranking consists of a point score that will be adjusted based on the performance in matches played in the current full calendar month.

Points are scored in the following way:
The calculation of points per match looks like this:

Match point * Opponent strength * Match importance

Opponent strength:
Extensive calculations of the points scores for league games, shows that the above factor of 2 between league levels will give promotion and play-off qualified teams around the same amount of ranking points as teams struggling relegation in the league above, which seems a fair evaluation of strength between teams on different league levels.

Match importance:
Round FA Cup FA Trophy
Extra Preliminary Round N/A N/A
Preliminary Round 0 % 0 %
First Round Qualifying 5 % 5 %
Second Round Qualifying 10 % 10 %
Third Round Qualifying 15 % 15 %
Fourth Round Qualifying 20 % N/A
First Round Proper 25 % 20 %
Second Round Proper 30 % 25 %
Third Round Proper 35 % 30 %
Fourth Round Proper 40 % 35 %
Fifth Round Proper 45 % N/A
Sixth Round Proper 50 % N/A
Semi-Finals 75 % 40 %
Final 100 % 50 %

Calculation periods:
As mentioned earlier, the ranking is calculated monthly and based on all relevant matches in the following way:
From September 1st 2017, the ranking calculation has been adjusted slightly to give more weight to current form, so that the before mentioned 4 latest month will, instead of an even 25% contribution from each month, be distributed as 28%, 26%, 24% and 22% and the same way for the following months.

The month of May has very few matches relevant for the ranking and therefore these matches will be included in the matches for April in the roling calculation. There will however still be a ranking calculated and published for the month of May (June edition).

Promotion and Relegation into Step 1 - 4:
Teams that are either relegated or promoted in to NLS Step 1 - 4 from the Football League Two and Step 5 and therefore relevant for the NL Ranking, will be given points from the relevant part of the previous seasons league performance just as for any other team. As these teams do not participate in the FA Trophy, the Football League teams will gain points from their League Cup performance and for the Step 5 teams, the FA Vase is used. The teams will be placed in the new seasons ranking (August edition) based on these points and as long as the calculation period requires.

Check out an example on how the ranking is calculated