Today, LEN announced that it had adopted the new Water Polo Ranking System. The system provides data that will be used for seedings at draws of LEN championships’ and for the quota allocations in the club competitions, the European Federation said.
There will be six rankings: national teams (men and women), the lists of the countries according to the results of their clubs in LEN cups (men and women) and the rankings of the best men’s and women’s clubs.
Currently, the most interesting ranking is the rankings of the countries made by the results of their clubs in LEN competitions for men, because it will determine the list of the participating teams in the Champions League.
The competition formula of the Champions League will be changed from the following season. LEN hasn’t officially announced that, but the current wild card system, introduced ten years ago, will be discontinued.
Twelve clubs will have right to buy their place in the group stage, but the allocation of these berths will be done according to the Men’s Clubs Country ranking. Twelve national champions will have the right to participate without the qualifications.
The results achieved in the previous four years of LEN’s competitions for clubs are taken into consideration.
The Champions League winner gets 15,000 points, the Euro Cup winner earns 7,500 for the Clubs’ list and the Men’s Clubs Country ranking, and the Challenger Cup winner gets 2,000 points. All participating teams will earn points, including those playing in the qualifications.
The results achieved in the last two years account for 100% of the points and the results in the previous two years account for 50% of the points of the original value.
The current Men’s Clubs Country Ranking: 1. Italy 111.055 points, 2. Hungary 94.435, 3. Spain 69.387, 4. Croatia 57.952, 5. Greece 51.912, 6. Serbia 49.645, 7. Germany 48.885, 8. France 47.627, 9. Russia 24.020, 10. Montenegro 21.845, 11. Romania 13.857, 12. Georgia 10.237,5, 13. Netherlands 5.955, 14. Turkey 3.452,5, 15. Slovakia 1.060, 18. Poland 635, 19. Slovenia 600, 20. Malta 435, 21. Ukraine 435, 22. Israel 285, 23. Bosnia and Herzegovina 207,5
The results achieved in this season won’t significantly affect the standings of the top 12 countries, so we practically know the list of the countries whose champions can directly qualify for the Champions League and buy their places in the group stage. But, we underline an official announcement regarding this by LEN is still missing.
-Italy (Pro Recco or Brescia)
-Spain (Barceloneta or Sabadell)
-Croatia (Jadran Split)
-Serbia (Novi Beograd)
-Germany (Spandau 04 or Waspo 98 Hannover)
-Montenegro (Jadran Herceg Novi)
-Romania (Steaua Bucharest, Oradea, Dinamo Bucharest or Rapid Bucharest -the clubs in the semifinals of the playoffs)
-Georgia (Dinamo Tbilisi)
-Netherlands (GZC Donk)
*Russia is ranked 9th, but it’s probably that the Russian clubs won’t return to the LEN competitions due to sanctions, Because of that, the Dutch champion will probably has the right to play in the CHL without the qualifications
Four clubs will come to the Champions League from the qualifications.
I If the national champion withdraws from the Champions League or doesn’t meet the necessary conditions, the 2nd-placed team will be offered to play in the Champions League. If the second-placed club also refuses or can’t play in the Champions League, then the runner-up in the league of the 1st-placed country (Italy) will be offered a spot in the Champions League.
There will probably be other changes in the Champions League. In the Preliminary Stage, the clubs will be split into four groups of four teams (not in two of eight clubs). The top two teams from each group will qualify for the second phase (two groups of four teams). Still, these pieces of information have to be confirmed by LEN.
In the following articles, we’ll write more about the remaining five lists.