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quote:Originally posted by Jarrek

Just not the same. International Hockey doesn't know the concept of friendlies, and even if a friendly occurs, it's rarely with a full team squad.

I think the women play lots of friendlies (exhibitions). It is all but unheard of in the first tier of men's though. The women do not have pro leagues so you quite often see the Women's team playng other national teams just for the game.

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quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Are you saying that friendlies count towards the FIFA rankings???

Yes, they do, but they count less than any official match.

quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Just not the same. International Hockey doesn't know the concept of friendlies, and even if a friendly occurs, it's rarely with a full team squad.

But, as amacpher implied, this is actually a good thing about the hockey rankings. Friendlies are generally not much more than practices so it's better not to count them in rankings, in either sport.

The only problem in soccer is that if you don't count friendlies then some countries wouldn't get any points for a long time and will just continue to drop down through the rankings (eg. some African countries, thanks to their silly scheduling, won't be playing any official matches for about 3 years after the next couple of months).

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quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Are you saying that friendlies count towards the FIFA rankings???

Yes, they do, but they count less than any official match.

quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Just not the same. International Hockey doesn't know the concept of friendlies, and even if a friendly occurs, it's rarely with a full team squad.

But, as amacpher implied, this is actually a good thing about the hockey rankings. Friendlies are generally not much more than practices so it's better not to count them in rankings, in either sport.

The only problem in soccer is that if you don't count friendlies then some countries wouldn't get any points for a long time and will just continue to drop down through the rankings (eg. some African countries, thanks to their silly scheduling, won't be playing any official matches for about 3 years after the next couple of months).

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quote:Originally posted by Jarrek

Just not the same. International Hockey doesn't know the concept of friendlies, and even if a friendly occurs, it's rarely with a full team squad.

The closest I would see to that was the old Olympic program. They played dozens of exhibition matches and tourneys between olympics.

The program was the main reason for all the federal money they got. They still get it even though the program no longer exists.

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quote:Originally posted by DJT

The only problem in soccer is that if you don't count friendlies then some countries wouldn't get any points for a long time and will just continue to drop down through the rankings (eg. some African countries, thanks to their silly scheduling, won't be playing any official matches for about 3 years after the next couple of months).

Rankings, by their very nature, will always be greatly imperfect. Friendlies should count. If one Confederation has less competitive games, weigh them accordingly.

DJT, the "silly scheduling" of the African means that the games here are more worthwhile, and that they can get their A players for the competitive matches. It is a far more onerous duty for Afro players to travel here (the practicalities of travel and problems here make it so), yet African players are far more willing to make the sacrifices than Canadian players in Europe. It helps that their Confederation has whittled down the matches and spread them over a more reasonable period. For a continent where little works, it's amazing how seriously things like Football are treated. We could all learn a lesson from them, especially CONCACAF.

DJT, you now officially have no right to complain when any of our best Euro players don't make it to a national team match ;).

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quote:Originally posted by beachesl

DJT, the "silly scheduling" of the African means that the games here are more worthwhile, and that they can get their A players for the competitive matches. It is a far more onerous duty for Afro players to travel here (the practicalities of travel and problems here make it so), yet African players are far more willing to make the sacrifices than Canadian players in Europe. It helps that their Confederation has whittled down the matches and spread them over a more reasonable period.

Yes, yes, I know, we've been through this a couple of times already. If you are posting to present a different side of the story for the benefit of other readers then that's fine, but if you're trying to convince me then I think we'd better just agree to disagree. :)

I just think the tradeoffs of their new qualifying system (most significantly, throwing aside about 15 countries for 3 years) are not worth it. If they really wanted to do it right they'd have moved the Cup of Nations to a 4-year cycle.

quote:For a continent where little works, it's amazing how seriously things like Football are treated. We could all learn a lesson from them, especially CONCACAF.
I agree with you here.
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