It's widely known that BalloonPong likes discussing ranking systems. After either the World Air Games or FAI World Championships the World Rankings for Hot Air Balloons are updated. The latest publication came in the CIA Autumn 2010 Newsletter. According to the FAI the ranking system was first established in 2000 with the goal of placing the top pilots in the world at the top of the ranking list. The list includes finishes from the World Air Games, World Championships, and to a small effect a competitor's 'National Ranking position'. We're not really sure what all is included in the World Ranking System regarding a competitors National Ranking, but are sure it varies depending on the member nation.
The FAI is quick to note that the ranking system is not to be used for invitational purposes but rather to compare performance among the top pilots in the world. You'll note that the system heavily favors top finishes either of the top World competitions, which clearly makes it tough for good balloonists, who might not have qualified to compete at on the World level to be listed.
For the first time, American Johnny Petrehn is atop the World Rankings with a perfect 1,000 point average. Germany's Uwe Schneider slid back to second, and Frenchman Francois Messines still holds on to the third spot. New to the top ten in this update are American Joe Heartstill, Russia's Alexey Medvedsky, and Switzerland's Stefan Zeberli.