She Cranes Coach Mugerwa Challenges World Netball Rankings, Calls for Review

Fred Mugerwa, the head coach of the national netball team, she cranes has criticized the criteria which the world netball uses to determine world netball rankings. 

Mugerwa’s reaction was in response to the newest netball rankings published by the International Netball Federation, which saw Uganda’s ranking drop to the eighth position with 119 points.

The rankings also indicated that Tonga has overtaken Uganda with 120 points, further continuing the decline that started last year when Malawi overtook Uganda and secured the sixth spot. 

This was so because She Cranes has not participated in any ranking games since November 2022. This saga started when the local netball Federation was compelled to withdraw the She Cranes from the world cup qualifiers because they did not have funds to facilitate the team. 

Subsequently, the International Netball Federation- INF imposed a USD 5,000 fine which they had to pay before taking part in any ranking games recognized by the INF which kept the She Cranes out of action since November last year.

According to world netball, for a country to accumulate points in the latest rankings, it must have played six International Netball-sanctioned matches from the last time of rankings, to the newest ranking time.

As a result, they have been unable to accumulate any points to improve their rankings after failing to play any match since November 2022. Fortunately, the UNF confirmed last month that the fine was cleared and they can take part in any future tournament.

In an interaction with URN, Mugerwa castigated the whole process that the world netball uses to rank the best netball teams in the world. 

He argued that the criteria for ranking the top netball teams in the world unduly favours countries that have the financial resources to participate in a wide range of ranking series conducted so long as they are invited by the hosts.

He added that some countries hold their ranking series and invite only those countries that they are in good books with which creates an unequal playing field and allows certain countries to improve their rankings at the expense of others who may not be invited to participate.

He believes that this leads to an uneven distribution of opportunities, where some countries can easily improve their rankings while others are left out, creating a distorted ranking system.

According to Mugerwa, in their rankings system, the world netball should disregard tournaments that are organized by particular countries that cannot guarantee the participation of all countries that subscribe to the International Netball Federation.

He urged the International Netball Federation to focus on championships that attract all countries, such as the African Nations Championship, world cup qualifiers, commonwealth games, and others related to those, in order to create a level playing field.

Mugerwa further stressed that by also incorporating such championships, the rankings would be a more accurate reflection of each country’s actual performance and capability on an equal platform, rather than relying on rankings generated through tournaments that are limited to certain countries.  

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