Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beginner's Guide to World Hockey League



Moving away from the traditional way of qualifying for the World Cup and hosting tournament for  only the top 15-20 teams of the world Federation of International Hockey has come out with a unique tournament known as World Hockey League. With this tournament FIH is giving chance to every hockey playing nation in the world a chance to qualify for the World Cup and same format will be used for Olympics qualification.

World Hockey League by FIH

What is World Hockey League?

A competition by FIH which provides an opportunity to every hockey playing nation to qualify for the World Cup. The tournament is divided in four rounds first of which was played in August 2012. The Hockey World League is split up into four rounds that last over a two-year cycle. For one cycle, the World League will serve as the qualifier for the World Cup and in the next cycle it is the qualifier for the Olympics.

Round 1
Round 1 is open to all the teams ranked 17+ as per the FIH rankings. Invitation is sent to all the teams ranked above below 17 to participate in the round 1 of the tournament and qualify for the Round 2. 

Round 2
Round two is open for teams ranked 9 to 16 in FIH rankings along with hosts and qualifiers from Round 1. The winners of Round 2 will go to Round 3. This round includes 24 teams.

Round 3
Round 3 also known as the semi-final stage of the tournaments includes the teams ranked 1 to 8 along with host countries, and the qualifiers from Round 2. This round includes 16 teams.

Round 4
The final round of the tournament includes the semi-finalists and the host countries which includes 8 teams.

Top six countries of Round 3 will automatically qualify for the World Cup along with the host nation of the tournament and the 5 continental champions. Out of 12 places for the World Cup, 6 places from World Hockey League.

How will teams now qualify for the World Cup?
The following teams will now qualify for the Olympics and World Cup:
1.The host nation
2.The five Continental Champions
3.The six highest-placed nations in Round 3 of the Hockey World League

Note:  When a qualified team is either a host or a Continental Champion, the seven highest placed nations in Round 3 will be qualified. In case of a tie at any level, the FIH World Ranking will be the determining factor.

Visual format of World Hockey League, click to enlarge
It’s not just the qualification for the World Cup up for grabs hockey playing nations of the world get a chance to they earn FIH World Ranking points as well us  to gain valuable international playing experience against other national teams.

Let’s get on the board and join the hockey nations of the world as they stake their claim to qualify for the World Cup.

Round two of the World Hockey League begins in New Delhi from February 18th.

(Photo courtesy: Federation of International Hockey)


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