GSN to track 4 new sports from January 2019

A leaping Fistball player for the German national team

Here at Greatest Sporting Nation (GSN) Towers we receive a lot of emails suggesting new sports for inclusion in our calculations.  It’s great for us to receive these emails - partly because we love hearing from our readers and partly because it helps us to ensure that our rankings are as comprehensive and accurate as possible.   

However, we are also very careful about including new sports, in other words classifying them as Qualifying Sports (to use our jargon.) One key reason for this is that we believe consistency is important. If you see your country rising up the rankings year on year, you want to know it’s because your country is doing well rather than because the rules have changed.
The crucial second reason for our caution is that we want the rankings to be reflective of global sporting activity - and not disproportionately focussed on any one area or region of the world.
To put all this in context, here’s a list of the new sports that have been proposed over the last year or so: indoor / box lacrosse; floorball; ski orienteering; tumbling; double mini trampoline; fistball; artistic cycling; cycle ball and nine-pin bowling.
We put a lot of time into researching all these sports and concluded that a number of them had a good argument for inclusion given our existing rules. However, as we researched the sports more deeply, we realised that many of them were very Europe-centric. Nothing wrong with that per se – but not ideal if you want to create a truly representative global ranking.
We therefore introduced a new rule: not only must there be at least ten countries at the sport in question’s world championship (or equivalent) for it to become a Qualifying Sport. At least three continents* must also be represented (incidentally, the Olympics adopts a similar approach stipulating that new sports should be widely played on at least three - for women - or four - for men- continents).
By the time we’d applied this new rule, plus all the existing rules, we had four new Qualifying Sports:
-          Fistball
-          Floorball
-          Double Mini Trampoline
-          Tumbling
A big welcome to those 4 sports - from 1st January 2019 they’ll be part of GSN!
If you’d like to see the full set of rules about Qualifying Sports then please consult section 5 of How It Works. And if you disagree with our methodology, or would like to propose any new sports, then please get in touch via our contact form.
* There are six continents in total: North America; South America; Africa; Europe; Asia; Oceania.