India get byes to 2nd round in FIH World League

The Indian men`s and women`s teams have been handed byes to the second round in the International Hockey Federation`s World League scheduled to start next year.

Last Updated: Feb 22, 2011, 16:00 PM IST

Lausanne (Switzerland): The Indian men`s and women`s teams have been handed byes to the second round in the International Hockey Federation`s World League scheduled to start next year.

The event will give every member of the FIH an opportunity to play for a place in the World Cup or the Olympic Games.

During the 2012-2013 period, the World League will qualify four teams directly into the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

"We are delighted to be moving ahead with the World League competition," said FIH Chief Executive Officer Kelly Fairweather said in a statement.

"We have long wanted to start an international competition that goes over multiple rounds and gives every nation a change to reach our elite events. With the World
League, we have just that," he added.

The FIH World League, previously called the World Series, will be played in four rounds.

The first two rounds will take place next year, while the third and fourth rounds will conclude the cycle in 2013. The event will include men and women`s teams.

Teams have until April 1 to confirm their participation in the FIH World League.

"The men`s and women`s teams ranked first through eighth in the FIH World Ranking will receive an automatic bye to Round Three.”

"Teams ranked in the next tier, 9th-16th will get an automatic ticket to Round Two. FIH World Ranking points will be awarded at each level. The details of the points will be announced at a later date." the FIH said.
Based on this, India have got byes to the second round in both and men`s and women`s section.

The number of first round tournaments will depend on the entries received by the FIH.

"It has long been the ambition of the FIH to give every country a chance to make it to the highest possible level," said Fairweather.

"The World League gives the smaller nations valuable international experience, while allowing them to have the chance to play the role of David against some of the Goliath countries," he added.

It is expected that the first round of competition will be kept local to keep travel costs to a minimum. The FIH will be working closely with the five continental federations to organise these tournaments.

The teams making it to the second round will join the 9th-16th ranked nations in a more regional event that may include teams from varying continents.

At the end of Round Two, eight teams will move into the third round to join the top-eight teams that are automatically qualified. The third round will then be played in two groups of eight.

Finally in 2013, the champion will be crowned in a final round.

"The number of teams qualified will be determined by if the host made it through the qualification process," the FIH said.

While the host nations for the first two rounds have yet to be determined, those for Rounds Three and Four were already decided by the FIH Executive Board.

India will host the fourth round of the men`s event in 2013.
The teams that have received byes through the Rounds Two or Three based on FIH rankings:

Men`s teams ranked 1-8 (bye to Round 3): Australia, Germany, Netherlands, England, Spain, Korea, New Zealand and Pakistan

Men`s teams ranked 9-16 (bye to Round 2): India, Canada, Argentina, South Africa, Belgium, China, Malaysia and Japan

Women`s teams ranked 1?8 (bye to Round 3): Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, China, England, Australia, New Zealand and Korea

Women`s teams ranked 9-16 (bye to Round 2): Japan, Spain, India, South Africa, USA, Azerbaijan, Ireland and Chile.
PTI