Tonga Netball is now ranked in the world of netball.

Hard work by the administrators, officials, players and volunteers here has seen the sport rank 32nd out of a field of 41 ranked national teams around the world.

This now means Tonga Netball can earn points from international matches they play on from now on.

Tonga joins South Pacific countries like Fiji (13), Samoa (14), Cook Islands (17) and Papua New Guinea (18).

It is the first time for Tonga to make World Ranking in Netball .

General Manager Tonga Netball Salote Sisifa said “the fact that we have actually qualified for world rankings is an accomplishment we can only develop on,” she said on her Facebook Page while sharing the news.

“Thank you to each and every person who’s believed in Netball and allowed us to persist this far.

Earlier this year Salote told Times Sport that netball has come a long way here in Tonga.

Winning Silver at the Mini Games in Vanuatu last year was an achievement.

But the world ranking now puts the sport amongst the best in the world for Tonga.

Salote paid tribute to all who have supported the campaign.

“To my Board of Directors, Paula Fonua (President) Viola Koloamatangi Ulakai (Vice President) Sulia Makasini Silaiti K Palu and Takitoa Taumoepeau, thank you for the Leadership and trust you’ve given us in office to take Netball through this far, malo aupito,” she said.

“Thank you Liv Philpott, Sam Davey, Julia Lawrence, Your Excellency Andrew Ford, Onetoto Anisi, Netina Latu this is because of you all .

“To the ladies who always have my back Kaumatule Uinita, Misi Tauhalaliku, Lavinia Mafi, Lepolo Taulahi, Malia Vaka-Kupu words will not suffice.”

She also paid tribute to her family for supporting her in her work.

“Sione and our children, thank you for the support, allowing me to to work mad hours and travel and keeping down the forte when I’m away,” Salote said.

“To the Netball Family, Volunteers, Coaches, Officials, Players, this is all because of YOU, acknowledgement and recognition is YOURS. TO GOD BE THE GLORY .”

The latest ranking released:

1- Australia, 2- New Zealand,3- England, 4-Jamaica, 5-South Africa, 6-Malawi, 7-Uganda, 8-Northern Ireland, 9-Scotland, 10-Wales, 11- Barbados, 12- Trinidad & Tobago, 13-Fiji, 14-Samoa, 15- Zimbabwe, 16-Zambia, 17-Cook Islands, 18-Papua New Guinea, 19-St Lucia, 20-Singapore, 21-Botswana, 22-Ireland, 23-Swaziland, 24-Malaysia, 25-Sri Lanka, 26-Grenada, 27-Canada, 28-Hong Kong, 29-USA, 30-Bermuda, 31-Gibraltar, 32-Tonga, 33-St Maarten, 34-Thailand, 35-Chinese Taipei, 36-Namibia, 37-Switzerland, 38-Malta, 39-Israel, 40-Cayman Islands, 41-Argentina.

The International Netball Fedearation said this rankings system was developed for the INF by statistician David Kendix.

The first list was published on 11 February 2008. The latest list has been updated on 16th May 2018 and includes matches up to 21st April 2018. The ranking list relates to senior teams of member countries that are playing regular international test matches.

INF said a rating is a measure of the average performance of a team over a series of matches. Each team earns a certain number of points from each international match. Their rating is the total number of points earned divided by the number of matches played. The team with the highest rating is ranked first in the world. The next highest rating is ranked second and so on.

Weighting Matches played a long time ago are a poorer guide to current form than more recent results. Therefore past results are weighted, giving a lower weighting to earlier results.

For the purposes of this list, matches played since July 2016 currently have a full weighting (100%). Matches played in the two previous years (July 2014-June 2016) have a weighting of 50%. Earlier matches are not directly included in the ratings at all.

Each July, the oldest year of results will drop out of the ratings and the weightings redistributed. This is the one annual occasion when the rankings list could alter other than through a match being played.

The number of points earned by a team for any match depends on two factors. The result (won, tied or lost) and the opponent against whom the result was achieved. The higher an opponent’s rating the more points are earned for beating them.

If a team wins a match they will earn 50 points more than their opponent’s rating. But if they lose, they will earn 50 points less than their opponent’s rating.

It is not meaningful for a team to claim a world ranking if they have only played a small number of matches. As soon as a team has played eight International test matches over the rating period then they will have earned an official world ranking. If a team has played fewer than eight matches, they will still have a rating, but without a corresponding ranking. To have a ranking the team must have played at least 2 games against a rated team.

Salote said they now set their sights on the Pacific Games in Samoa in 2019.

Local competition continues here with a national trial set for December here in Tonga.

Overseas based players are also welcome to trial for team Tonga.

Seven overseas based players played for Tonga at the recent World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand – which was another first for Tonga Netball.

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