Malawi national netball team, the Queens, still rule the African continent having maintained its position as the highly ranked team despite losing to South Africa 54-52 in the Africa Netball Championship.
The latest International Netball Federation rankings released on July 1 has also registered Malawi as the fifth in the world.
There were fears that following 54-52 loss to the Proteas Malawi would lose its position to their rivals.
But there has not been much change at the top with New Zealand as the best team followed by Australia on position two while England is third and Jamaica is fourth.
The Queens are on position five in the world while the rivals South Africa are sixth.
The Queens are rated 137 from 27 games with 2,430 points while South Africa are closely following at of 135 from 45 games with 4,259 points.
The rating is derived from the total number of points earned divided by the number of matches played with the team with the highest rating ranked first.
Although South Africa have more points they have played more games than Malawi while Malawi’s points are from almost half the games South Africa played.
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) president Rose Chinunda said Malawi should take this opportunity and consolidate the top position.
“We were also expecting that Malawi would drop, on the rankings. Well, the assessors from International Netball Federation were there. They must have followed the criteria to rate Malawi at that position,” she said.
Chinunda said the Queens should take opportunity to maintain the position.
“What we need is to play more friendly games and frequently, if funds are there. That is the only way to make sure we don’t give up the positions to South Africa,” she said.
The Nam president said they would use the Fast5 World Netball Series in New Zealand to consolidate the position.
“We will also play some test matches against Australia on the way to New Zealand. These will also help our team to improve,” she said.
Also ranked highly is fast improving Tanzania despite not participating in the Africa Netball Championship.
Tanzania is third in Africa and 16th in the world above Botswana (18), Zambia (20) and Zimbabwe, and Namibia (26) who also participated at the Africa Championship.
Uganda, who also participated in the championship, are yet to be ranked since they have not reached the minimum number of eight games to be played in order to get the rating.
“It is not meaningful for a team to claim a world ranking if they have played a small number of matches. As soon as a team has played eight International test matches over the rating period then they will have earned an official world ranking.
“If a team has played fewer than eight matches, they will still have a rating, but without a corresponding ranking. To have a ranking the team must have played at least 2 games against a rated team,” INF website states.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :