IAAF has undertaken to create a global Ranking System where athletes score points based on a combination of result and place depending on the level of the competition in which the result is achieved. The ranking is then based on their average score over a certain number of competitions in a defined period of time.
The basis for the ranking method has been developed with Elite Ltd (All-Athletics) whose founder, Dr. Bojidar Spiriev, developed a first set of rankings already back in 1979. The calculation mechanism, as well as the different categories of competitions and the placing scores awarded for each category, can be found under the tab World Ranking Rules.
Under the Event Rankings tab, you will find the single Event Rankings based on results achieved in each Event’s respective ranking period and calculated according to the illustrated ranking method. By clicking on an athlete’s score, it is possible to understand how his/her average score, and therefore ranking position, has been calculated.
In any calendar year, the IAAF processes more than 1,000,000 results from over 10,000 competitions worldwide which feed into the World Rankings. Globally, this means that in any given week there are more than 70,000 athletes, ranging from elite to club level from all four corners of the world, who have valid Ranking Score across the 46 athletics Event Groups. As we develop tools and processes to further expand the reach of our statistical service, these figures are destined to grow steadily and consistently.
The calendar of the competitions, where athletes are able to score ranking points is available in the corresponding tab. This is limited to competitions holding an IAAF or Area Permit and to those National Permit Competitions which have been proposed by Member Federations for upgraded to Category E. All other National Permit competitions, though scoring according to Category F, are not listed.
Because of their nature, the World Rankings can also be used as a tool to compare multiple performances across a range of competitions. By applying standardised compilation methods, it is therefore possible to evaluate the comparative quality of the participating fields at competitions of the same type and to produce Competition Performance Rankings. These are available in the specific tab where there is also a link to the ranking rules which apply.
The World Rankings are issued every Wednesday. Comments and feedback will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org.