World Sport Ranking

 

The World Sport Rankings by The Sportspedia are the first collection of reports that assess and compare sporting excellence across over 150 sports.

The Sportspedia 100 is the yearly edition of the World Sport Ranking for Sportspeople, it is the list of the 100 best sportspeople in the world, across all sports, only utilizing quantitative methods.

 

 

There is no precedent for a World Sport Ranking that measured sporting excellence by numerical means across over 150 sports and considering over 3,000 sportspeople from all around the world.

The Sportspedia 100 World Ranking has the specific scope of classifying the 100 best sportspeople in the world only utilizing quantitative methods.

 

The bottom line is to determine who are the best sportspeople in the world for a yearnot necessarily within a year.

 

This means that there are two axes:

 

1.-Excellence in Performance within a given year relative to competition

 

 

 

2.-Historical significance of the achievements within the year.

Excellence in Performance is worth 60% and it measures:

 

  1. The result in the most important competition in the discipline
  2. World ranking progression within the year
  3. World-class win-rate
  4. World-class success in multiple categories
  5. The best result in a world-class competition
  6. Ranking within the sport

 

This total is then multiplied by the competition factor.

 

The competition factor is used to assess the competitive level of the tournaments where the measured results are obtained.

 

This considers five categories of variables:

 

  1. The sport’s globalization
  2. The tournamen’s professionalism
  3. The competitive level within the sport
  4. The competitive level within the specific discipline
  5. The competitive level of the specific athletes that were faced

 

  • Each of them has their own variables that determine subscores. There are a total of 28 variables. For example: the international presence of competitors within the tournaments and how many other world-class winners were faced.

 

 

Historical significance is worth 40% and it measures:

 

  1. The historical ranking within the group of sports
  2. The historical ranking within their discipline
  3. The historical ranking within their main category, compared to the time win which the category has existed
  4. World-Class records of milestones achieved during the year

 

It took weeks of research and analysing data to determine the historical rankings within the categories, disciplines and group of sports, based on the numbers-based sporting achievements of the competitors in the sport within the last three centuries.

 

It is important to note that the competitors are only credited with a score in this measure if their sporting achievements for the given year contributed -numerically- to their position within such historical rankings and/or they broke or continued to extend world-class records or milestones.

A Graduate student at Cornell University started the World Sport Ranking as a side project where he could design formulas and equations to quantitatively assess sporting performance across all types of competitive sports, for a specific year.

 

 

After months of work designing equations, computing data, designing taxonomies, gathering data, generating in-house historical statistics for dozens of sports in order to determine the world’s best competitors within groups of sports and within sports and running the numbers, this idea became a reality.

A lot. Hundreds and hundreds of hours making sure that every single variable is correctly added for every single athlete. 

In some cases this meant actions such as counting -one by one- every single nationality represented at a World Ranking at a single discipline -and repeat per discipline within each sport-, or gathering the historical data of the top 20 winningest athletes per each discipline, for dozens of disciplines. Some externalities of this work can further be published.

The overwhelming majority of the work is not represented in this list.

  • Why is my favorite athlete not listed there?
This exercise is fully numbers based, meaning we did not factor aesthetic considerations such as how beautiful the play is. 

We also did not consider how popular an athlete is, nor their impact outside of sporting performance such as their impact in social issues or advancing causes.

It is probably well worth a shot to eventually make other lists that factor those considerations but it was not the scope this time.

  • Why are some sports not represented at all?
Certainly not because we decided to exclude a sport or group of sports.  The global pandemic made some sports shut down altogether, meaning there were no relevant competitions at all. 

In other instances there were generational changes that meant the new world leaders within their sport are not yet as dominant or historical as the sportspeople in this list.

There are several other variables that might have affected the individual ranking of the athletes because their sports are not as globalized, are not professionalized or competition is very scattered or largely unorganized. These are all factors that were considered in the competition factor we have previously mentioned.

  • Why limit the list to 100 if you say you considered over 3,000 sportspeople?
Every single athlete that is included here had every single variable and number revised and confirmed by hand to make sure that the number is accurate. In some cases when it was mathematically impossible for some sportspeople to be ranked within the top 100 then we did not fully thoroughly finish making their calculations. However, we did exhaust it if there was a remote mathematical chance that they would be within the top 110 or so.
  • Are you sure you did not overlook other athletes that could fit within the top 100?
Fairly certain, yes. There might be some athletes in some sports that you are pretty much sure that they could have made it in this list. We can almost guarantee we probably did, as long as the sport is generally organized.
  • Some of the athletes in the list were beaten by athletes outside the list. Why are these not included?
Great question! This can be explained by different individual variables depending on each case. It is usually explained because “Historical significance” is worth 40%. So in these instances even though an athlete was not necessarily the best throughout the year -which is accounted within the 60% for “Excellence in Performance“- they kept on breaking or extending records that place them among the very best of all time. 

In other words, sportspeople here are benchmarked against the competition they faced throughout the year and also against every single other competitor in the last 300 years.
  • Did you include non-competitive sports?
We did not. It was already a huge challenge to design equations that would allow us to compare boxers that fight once a year with jockeys that run over 800 times a year with team sport players, etc. This is purely for competitive sports in the strict sense of the word: those with organized tournaments that award positions.
  • Why are some teammates listed in different positions all year long?
In these cases it is very likely that they have the same score for 60% of the total, although it might not be exactly the same. For example, one might have a better rate depending on the matches he/she appeared on.  
 
The other variation would be accounted within the other 40%, where one might have reached more milestones or has previously had more triumphs that placed him/her above their teammates in the historical table within the discipline or across their sport. For example, Sébastien Ogier having had some wins without Julien Ingrassia in the past outside of rally.

Sportspedia 100

The 100 Best Sportspeople in the World for the year 2020

The Class of 2020 of the 100 best sportspeople in the world competed in 39 sports and hail from 34 countries, from every permanently inhabited continent.

Some sports and groups of sports were totally absent due to a total or partial shutdown during the pandemic, and some sportspeople did not compete at all due to travel limits.

Nevertheless, the Class of 2020 saw several historical milestones being achieved and extended. Feel free to click on each photo to know more about these individuals. You can also consult the full list as a table here.

Please feel free to contact us with any concern or enquiry you might have at press@sportpedia.net.

1.
LeBron James

2.
Novak Djokovic

3.
Antoni Bou

4.
Rafael Nadal

5.
Francesco Friedrich

6.
Sue Bird

7.
Hakuhō Shō

8.
Lewis Hamilton

9.
Tom Brady

10.
Ireen Wüst

11.
Mohamed Farah

12.
Amélie Wenger-Reymond

13.
Ronnie O'Sullivan

14.
Roger Federer

15.
Ørjan Larsen

16.
Sven Kramer

17.
Mikaël Kingsbury

18.
Cristiano Ronaldo

19.
Kane

Waselenchuk

20.
Isabell
Werth

21.
Allyson Felix

22.
Sarah Storey

23.
Paola Longoria

24.
Frankie Dettori

25.
Martina Sáblíková

26.
Jon Jones

27.
Shingo Kunieda

28.
Shane Hendrixson

29.
Jason

Belmonte

30.
Reginald Bamford

31.
Serena WIlliams

32.
Mathew Fraser

33.
Therese Johaug

35.
Pavel Andreev

36.
Sébastien Ogier

37.
Nikola Karabatić

38.
Lionel Messi

39.
Mike Smith

40.
Ben Ainslie

41.
Mathieu van der Poel

42.
Marie Bochet

43.
Reanne Evans

44.
Khabib

Nurmagomedov

45.
Felix
Loch

46.
Manuel Neuer

47.
Emma Bristow

48.
Boyd Exell

49.
Tia-Clair Toomey

50.
Robert Lewandowski

51.
Amanda Nunes

52.
Saúl Álvarez

53.
Clarisse Agbegnenou

54.
Diede de

Groot

55.
Dylan Alcott

56.
John Velázquez

57.
Thomas Müller

58.
Diana Taurasi

59.
Mike Bryan

60.
Thorsten Margis

61.
Brian McKeever

62.
Tiger Woods

63.
Julien Ingrassia

64.
Scott Dixon

65.
Magnus Carlsen

66.
Karsten Warholm

67.
Carl-Antoni Cloutier

68.
Yui Kamiji

69.
Lucy Ejike

70.
Kinglsey Coman

71.
Katie Taylor

72.
Esteban Gaubeka

73.
Martins Dukurs

74.
Thomas Chareyre

75.
Kristian Nergaard

76.
Peter Gilchrist

77.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo

78.
Armel Le Cléac'h

79.
Christian Taylor

80.
Jonathan Rea

81.
Robert Fulford

82.
Michael van Gerwen

83.
Anna van der Breggen

84.
Alex Marshall

85.
Teddy Riner

86.
Iñaki Osa Goikoetxea

87.
Bob Bryan

88.
Timothy Cheruiyot

89.
David Wagner

90.
Meg Lanning

91.
Joshua Cheptegei

92.
Valentina

Shevchenko

93.
Noah
Lyles

94.
Cédric Sorhaindo

95.
Daniil

Ivanov

96.
Javier Urriza

97.
Jarl Magnus Riiber

98.
Ibeth Zamora Silva

99.
Joshua Kimmich

100.
Stipe Miocic