With five days left as of Monday to the opening faceoff of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, the IIHF released the pre-Olympic World Ranking Report.
Russia, which has won two consecutive IIHF World Championship gold medals, tops the menís pre-Olympic ranking report with 2925 points ahead of Canada (2905 points) and Sweden (2795). Click here for the menís complete ranking report.
In the womenís pre-Olympic report, the United States is on top with 1790 points, ahead of Canada (1750 points) and Sweden (1675). Click here for the womenís complete ranking report.
The IIHF World Ranking is a tool to reflect the long-term quality of the countries' national team program. The IIHF World Ranking is based on awarding points for the final positions in the last four IIHF World Championships and in the last Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament.
The system uses a four-year cycle as the points earned in one year decline by linearly 25 percent within the next three years and in the fifth-year results are dropped from the calculation altogether.
The pre-event World Ranking Report (in this case pre-Olympic) is the last stage before the final, post-Olympic, World Ranking will be established after Vancouver 2010. In the pre-Olympic report the points from the 2006 Olympic tournaments have been taken out, while the points from the 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 IIHF World Championship remain.
The pre-Olympic report can be compared with a standing of a 100 meter race after 75 meters.
The team that wins the IIHF World Championship gold medal or the Olympic gold medal receives 1200 points. In general, there is a 20-point scale between two ranked positions, but a 40-point interval between first and second place. Consequently, Canada would overtake Russia in the menís post-Olympic World Ranking in case of a gold medal win in Vancouver.