How does the Concacaf Club Ranking system work?
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How does the Concacaf Club Ranking system work?

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The Concacaf Club Ranking is a ranking system that evaluates the strength of professional football clubs based on their performance in official domestic and international historical matches and have been ranked based on their results since 2017. Its purpose is to reflect their sporting strength at any given time accurately.

The ranking is determined by considering matches from the following competitions:

  • Concacaf Champions League (CCL)
  • Concacaf Regional Cups (Leagues Cup, Central American Cup, and Caribbean Cup)
  • Domestic first-division professional leagues
  • Domestic Cups that qualify clubs for Concacaf club competitions
  • FIFA Club World Cup


The Concacaf Club Ranking is based on the Elo system, which involves updating the scores of both teams after each match with a zero-sum approach.

The updated ranking is based on the difference between the match's outcome and its expected outcome. The match's outcome is determined by whether the home team wins, there's a draw, or the away team wins. This outcome is only known after the match. Before the match, the expected outcome is calculated using the Concacaf Club Ranking scores of both teams and the home team's advantage.

One club may exceed expectations (over-performance) and increase its Concacaf Club Ranking score, while its opponent may underperform and decrease its Concacaf Club Ranking score by the same amount. The difference between actual and expected outcomes determines the number of points clubs earn or lose, with wins over stronger opponents resulting in greater increases. This self-correcting system ensures fairness.

Several factors influence the number of points awarded in a game, such as the competition weight factor determined by the competition. The home advantage factor is only applicable when the team plays in their home stadium rather than in other stadiums within their country. In knockout stages, the round result determines 50% of the score, while each match accounts for 25% until extra time, but before penalties. Additionally, after an international match, first-division clubs receive a league bonus that adjusts their scores by 10% of the points earned or lost by their domestic teams.


Mathematical explanation of the ranking score

Update score: old score + F*(Result – Expected Result)

F = competition weight factor, ranging from 10 (CCL) to 5 (Regional Cup) to 2.5 (domestic league/cup)

Result = 1 for a win, 0 for a draw, and -1 for a loss

Expected Result = score between 1 and -1, based upon ranking scores and venue, to incorporate home advantage

How does the League Ranking work?

This system operates similarly to the club ranking. Each league has its score, and when clubs from different leagues participate in international matches, the expectation is based on their respective league scores. They are competing against each other using their league scores.

It's important to note that only international matches contribute to this ranking, with the Concacaf Champions League (CCL) being twice as crucial as regional cup matches. 

Clubs in Non-professional leagues in Concacaf competitions

Non-professional clubs do not have their own ranking but represent their nation.

For example: if a club from Suriname plays in a Concacaf competition and ends with 1,007 points, a year later, when another club from Suriname plays in a Concacaf competition, it will start with 1,007 points.

Clubs promoting from second division to first division in professional leagues

The promoted club will take over the spot (and score) in the ranking of the relegated club.

Clubs relegated from first division to second division

Relegated clubs lose their spot (and score) in the ranking to the promoted club.

Domestic cups (US Open and Canadian Championship)

Same approach as of the non-professional leagues in Concacaf Competitions. One ranking score per domestic second division. 

FIFA Club World Cup

In the FIFA Club World Cup, teams representing Concacaf can earn a set number of points based on their performance. Making it to the semifinals will earn 5 points, reaching the final will earn an additional 10 points, and winning the competition will earn an additional 15 points. Winning the FIFA World Cup can earn a total of 30 points.

It's important to mention that no points will be deducted during the FIFA Club World Cup.