How would one rank teams in different divisions when there is little inter-division play?

Basic ELO wouldn't work because if the lowest team in the top division beats the highest team in the lowest division there will be a huge delta for the top division team, even though they might not be that good. Also, the top teams in each division could have similar ELO ratings even though they are vastly different levels.

Also of note is that sometimes teams move up or down divisions through the season, so a team is not fixed to a division necessarily.

I'm thinking maybe some sort of strength-of-schedule, but that is also problematic with top teams in the different divisions.

Any ideas as to how best achieve this ranking?

  • Someone close voted your question as too broad. Although I don't completely agree with that vote, maybe it would be better if you added some context to your question, maybe an example. Is there a specific competition/sport you are interested in? You can still leave your question to be general, but adding some context would definitely help. – gdrt Aug 27 '17 at 11:42
  • I feel like this question is a little bit too broad because I feel like the answer probably depends somewhat on the sport the question is being applied to. Can you tell us which sport you are referring to? – jamauss Aug 27 '17 at 19:37
  • The sport in question is rec league ice hockey, but I feel this can apply to most sports. – Sarke Aug 27 '17 at 20:28
  • For example, how would one rank the MLB teams in one ranking given a few AL vs NL games? It's the same problem. – Sarke Aug 27 '17 at 20:32
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    I voted to close because your description of the interdivisional play is so vague that no answer could possibly cover all situations accurately. Make the league structure explicit. – Nij Aug 29 '17 at 19:39

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