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Understanding the IIHF World Rankings System

Terry Chucas

The recipient of a juris doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Terry Chucas draws upon nearly 30 years of legal experience in his role as a self-employed attorney. Beyond his professional pursuits, Terry Chucas is a hockey fan who played the sport for almost 40 years and competed for Canada in an international tournament in Sweden.

Every year the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) releases its world rankings of the best men's and women's hockey nations. The ranking is based on points accumulated through the past four IIHF World Championships and the most recent Olympic ice hockey results. The team that wins the Olympic gold medal or most recent IIHF World Championship gold medal receives 1,200 points, with lower-finishing teams receiving fewer points based on a 20- and 40-point sliding scale. The performance of previous years is also factored in. For instance, 900 points is awarded for a first-place finish from two years ago; 600 points for three years ago; and 300 points for four years ago.

The most recent rankings were released in April 2018, and Canada topped the men's ranking with 3,990 points. Sweden finished second with 3,945 points and Russia came in third with 3,930 points. Meanwhile, the United States topped the women's rankings with 4,200 points, while Canada and Finland finished second and third with 4,060 and 3,910 points, respectively.

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