FAI World Hot Air Balloon Ranking List

This page provides details about how the FAI World Hot Air Balloon Rankings are calculated and how they should be used.

Date Updated: 20 January 2022

General Information

The purpose of the Balloon World Ranking List is to provide balloonists, the public and the media a view into how different pilots around the world compare to each other.

These rankings should only be used for information purposes only and should not be used for event selection purposes.

How is the FAI World Hot Air Balloon Ranking List Calculated?
Generally, the WRL lists pilots with FAI-Licenses that participated at recent World Championships or World Air Games. Additionally, all competing pilots of a NAC can also be listed in the WRL, if the National Aero club provides current ranking data of those pilots (referred to as NAC-only pilots, explained further down).

Only the five most recent CAT-1 events (World Championships and World Air Games) are considered in the calculation. Older events in that list of five are considered of less influence (and are weighted down, in other terms: dilution by ageing), the most recent events are more relevant to mirror the current level of pilots and therefore count higher (are calculated with a higher weight).

Current gets a weight/factor 100%, last but one gets 90% and so on, leaving a factor of 60% for the oldest of the five events considered.

By the consistency factor – that weighs more results higher than a single result. For the calculation of the WRL the three best results of a pilot are taken. If a pilot only participated two out of the five events considered, she gets a consistency scale of 85%, if a pilot only scored in one event, he will get a factor of 70%. Thus a single-shot “surprise” champion will not lead the WRL right away.

All competing pilots of a National Aero Club (NAC) can also be listed in the WRL, if the National Aero Club provides current ranking data of those pilots (referred to as NAC-only pilots).

Each delegate is responsible for keeping that data current.

A NAC's performance is calculated for each event of the big five considered in the WRL. It is basically the average performance of all pilots of this NAC within one event.

The ageing of that event is applied as described above, and a weighted average (over those five big events) for each nation/NAC is calculated, the NAC-average.

The NAC-average combined with their relative performance within their NAC ranking scaled by 50% gives their entry point (or performance number) within the WRL.

The above method caters primarily to include all competing pilots of a NAC in the WRL. By design it ranks those pilots at lower ranks – usually ranks 100+ to avoid distortion in the ranks by pilots that did not compare / compete against a lot of other pilots (of other nations).

A pilot's result from the NAC list is only used if this pilot has no Worlds or WAG results. In other words, as soon as a pilot has gained a result in Worlds or WAG, only these points will be taken into consideration.

The FAI World Hot Air Balloon Ranking List will be calculated and published approximately every 3 months (beginning in April 2022).

The WRL will also be updated and published (by the CIA nominated World Ranking List Keepers) within a few weeks after one of the big five events has occurred.

National Rankings can be updated any time by the NAC Delegates (e.g. after a National Championships has occurred) and these updates will be included in the following calculation and publication of the WRL.

Pilot Information

To update your Pilot Profile, log into WatchMeFly and visit your pofile page (either via the WRL, any event's results or on the right hand menu on the homepage). You can edit your Pilot Photo, your biography and add/edit any social media links.

If you wish to update the spelling of your name or your nationality, please contact the WatchMeFly team using the Contact Us form or email info@watchmefly.net.

NAC Information

To update the national rankings, each Delegate will have received special login credentials to WatchMeFly that enable her or him to enter or upload their current national ranking.

If you have any questions or feel you should have access, please email the WRL maintenance team at cia-wrl@fai.org.