Everything you need to know about hockey’s newest competition
The first tournament of the Hockey World League is in the books with six teams already qualified for Round 2 action. But with this new competition, comes many questions. Here, the FIH answers the Frequently Asked Questions about the new Hockey World League.
What is the format of the new Hockey World League?
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.
How do the various round of the Hockey World League work?
- Round 1 will be as local as possible to minimize travel costs to the smaller hockey countries. The number of Round 1 events will vary in each cycle depending on the number of national teams entered. The number of teams in each Round 1 event will also vary, which means that the number of teams qualified for Round 2 from each tournament will be different.
- Round 2 will be regional and generally cover more than one continent. There will be four Round 2 tournaments with six teams each. The format will be a single pool Round Robin.
- Round 3 - Semi-Final will be global. There will be two Round 3 tournaments with eight teams each. These tournaments will feature two pools of four teams and will have placement games following the Round Robin.
- Round 4 - Final will be one global tournament with the top eight teams with the same tournament format as in Round 3.
How were teams placed into the various rounds?
When the FIH asked for entries, teams ranked 1-8 in the FIH World ranking were given a bye to Round 3; teams ranked 9-16 were given a bye to Round 2. Host countries are also given a bye to the various rounds, but essentially will fit into the structure for the event they are hosting.
Who can play in the Hockey World League?
Any member national association with a national team may enter the Hockey World League. It is the first international hockey event to be all-inclusive for every country.
When will the Hockey World League be played?
FIH will seek to try and ensure tournaments, particularly Rounds 3 and 4, are played within FIH windows whenever possible (December – February and June – August). In general, the aim is to play as follows:
- Round 1 will be played in December /February and June/July
- Round 2 will be played between August/September and in December/January
- Round 3 will be played in February and/or June
- Continental Championships will be played after Round 3
- Round 4 will be played from September onwards
What is the benefit for teams playing in the Hockey World League?
National teams gain two important things from taking part in the World League. On the measurable side, they gain FIH World Ranking points. In addition, for many teams this will be a rare chance to gain valuable international playing experience against other national teams with minimal travel in the first two rounds.
How will teams now qualify for the World Cup and Olympics?
The following teams will now qualify for the Olympics and World Cup:
- The host nation (for Olympics the host must meet IOC minimum criteria)
- The five Continental Champions
- 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.