Sunshine Girls opt out of Caribbean showpiece over ranking concerns

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CMC) – Jamaica have withdrawn from the Senior Caribbean Netball Championships scheduled for St Lucia later this month, amidst concerns their participation will hurt their international ranking.
The August 19-26 showpiece has been classified as a ranking tournament for the first time and Netball Jamaica said based on an analysis carried out, even if the Sunshine Girls played unbeaten, they stood to lose up to five ratings points.
Currently, Jamaica are ranked fourth in the world with 149 ratings points and would have been the highest-ranked side in the tournament.
“The review presented revealed that participation would result in a loss of five rating points,” Netball Jamaica said in a release.
“Jamaica currently has a world ranking of fourth which is based on a rating of 149. The country that is ranked third has a rating of 159, whilst the fifth ranked has attained a rating of 137.
“The report revealed that, assuming that Jamaica wins every match played during this tournament, on its conclusion we stand to lose five rating points, which mathematically results in a rating of 144.
“This would effectively widen the gap between Jamaica and England currently holding third place in the world ranking to 15 points, while at the same time, narrow the difference in rating points between us and South Africa currently ranked at fifth from 13 to eight.”
Jamaica have long been the powerhouses of Caribbean netball, reaching the semi-finals of the last World Cup in Sydney before losing to eventual champions Australia.
They came away from that outing fourth in the international rankings.

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