After a tumultuous year of global uncertainty, one thing has stayed consistent: The Offside Rule and Guardian Sport are back with the familiar annual staple of the Top 100 list. Rich Laverty reports on how the results were totted up for the 2020 standings, to be released in December.
The Top 100 Female Footballers of the Year is back for a fifth consecutive year, with The Offside Rule partnering with Guardian Sport for a third year in a row to reveal the 2020 list in a matter of weeks.
Created by and exclusive to The Offside between 2016 and 2018, the Top 100 is decided by a panel of judges made up of managers, coaches, former players, and women’s football writers from around the world.
Over the past five years, the panels have included current USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski, Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro, North Carolina Courage manager Paul Riley, and a whole host of former players, including legends such as Sun Wen, Anja Mittag, Aya Miyama, Lotta Schelin, and Annike Krahn.
Despite a year where on-the-pitch matters were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, both The Offside Rule and Guardian Sport have committed to publishing the list once again this year, in search of the fifth winner as voted by our judges.
After Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural vote in 2016, Lieke Martens was voted number one in 2017 off the back of the Netherlands’ Euro 2017 success, before Pernille Harder won in 2018. Most recently Sam Kerr finished top of the pile one year ago.
In what is set to be another close contest, the judges for 2020 are currently in the process of putting their votes together, which when combined will give the Top 100 for this year. The full list of judges will be released across both The Offside Rule and Guardian Sport on Monday 7th December.
The 100 itself will be released across four days immediately after the panel release: 30 a day for three days, before the final 10 are revealed on Friday 11th December.
Fans around the world will be able to follow the countdown on both websites, with The Offside Rule’s Twitter account as usual counting down one by one after each section has been revealed for the day.
Below is more information on how the process works and how the Top 100 is pieced together.
How the judges made their choices
• Our judges were sent a longlist of 427 footballers drawn from leagues on every continent. They were then asked one simple question: who have been the best female players in the world in 2020?
• We asked our judges to choose 40 names each, and to rank their selection in order from 1-40, No. 1 being their choice of the best female player in the world this year.
How the voting works
• The No. 1 choice of each judge is awarded 40pts, No. 2 given 39pts, down to 1pt for their No. 40 choice. All the votes are added together to give a raw score.
• To minimise the influence of outliers in the list, the highest score awarded to a player is then deducted to give a final score.
• A player needs to receive votes from at least three judges to qualify for the list.
• If players are level on points in the scoring, the number of individual votes cast is used as a tie-breaker.
• We are very grateful to our judges for taking part, and none have been paid for participating in this project.
• To allow our judges the freedom to express their opinions without fear or favour, individual voting records are anonymised.
Follow Rich on Twitter @RichJLaverty