The Pools for the men’s Rabo Hockey Junior World Cup in Rotterdam, Netherlands, have been announced.
The Pool allocations were made following the Men’s Junior Pan American Championship in Cuba, the fifth and final continental qualifying event for the tournament.
Europe has the most number of participants with six, while Asia has four representatives and Pan America three. Africa will be represented by South Africa and Egypt, while Australia is the lone team from Oceania.
The 16-team tournament will be played between 29 June and 10 July this year, with the rankings used to decide the composition of the Pools based on a combination of the results of the various Continental Federation qualifying tournaments and the known respective strengths of the various federations and national associations.
Based on their performances at the European qualifying tournament, Spain and Germany have been ranked one and two and are the top seeds in their respective Pools. Oceania champion Australia is ranked third and the number one seed in Pool C, while defending champion India is ranked fourth in a potentially tough Pool D that also includes host Netherlands.
The most competitive of the Pools appears to include Germany, Argentina (Pan America champions), South Africa (African champions) and Malaysia (fourth in the Asian qualifying tournament).
The four pools, with the ranking of each nation, are:
South Africa (10)
Each team will play every other team in its Pool once (three matches), before the top three progress to the next phase. The fourth-placed teams in each Pool will play off for 13th-16th position.
At this stage, the four Pools will combine to form two Groups of six. Teams will take forward the points earned against the other qualified teams from their Pool and then play the remaining teams not from their original Pool to complete five preliminary round matches.
The top two teams in each six-team Group at the end of this phase of the competition will progress to the semi-finals. The winners of the semi finals will contest the final.
The Rabo Hockey Junior World Cup will be the eighth staging of the event, with the last edition in 2001 won by India in Hobart, Australia. Germany has dominated with four titles in the 26-year history of the event, with Pakistan and Australia the other teams to have won the coveted Junior World Cup crown.
The match schedule for the Rabo Hockey Junior World Cup will be announced shortly.
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