Trinidad and Tobago have completed the line-up for the Irish men’s World League group in San Diego following the completion of the latest round one tournament in Kingston, Jamaica.
The West Indian team, ranked 29th, emerged to join Ireland – world number 15 – as Austria (23), Canada (16), Chile (26), Italy (32), Russia (19) and USA (28) who had all reached this face in the past few months.
The top three from this tournament will qualify for round three of the World League, joining the 11 sides prequalified for that phase of the competition. That round consists of two tournaments of ten teams with the top four from each advancing to the World League final.
In terms of Olympic qualification, it is a bit of a moveable feast. The five continental champions will all make it to Rio de Janeiro with India having already secured their passage at last week’s Asian Games.
Host nation Brazil’s involvement is subject to an IOC agreement for the Olympics following them being unable to make it past round one of the World League, losing to Chile and bowing out at the hands of Mexico on penalties.
Depending on the outcome of the IOC’s decision, this leaves six or seven countries to qualify via the World League rankings, meaning a sixth place finish in round three is potentially enough to reach the Games.
On the women’s side, barring late changes, Darren Smith’s women’s team will battle it out with Chile (world number 20), Austria (26), Belarus (19), Canada (22), Czech Republic (35), Lithuania (34) and Ukraine (24) in Dublin next March.
The top two from that tournament are guaranteed to qualify for round three’s pair of tournaments which will take place in either Spain or Belgium. From there, the Olympic qualification breakdown follows the same format.
World League/Olympic qualification format
World League 2: There will be 3 x ‘World League 2’ tournaments of 8 teams. The format will be 2 pools of 4 with classification matches.
Men: The top 3 from each of the 3 tournaments will qualify for World League 3 those 9 teams will join 1-11 world ranked team to make up the 20 teams of World League 3.
Women: The top 2 from each of the 3 tournaments will qualify for World League 3 and will be joined by highest ranked team who placed 3rd from the 3 tournaments. These 7 teams will join 1-11 world ranked teams plus hosts Spain and Belgium to make up the 20 teams of World League 3.
World League 3: These are the semi-finals which will be global. There will be 2 x ‘World League 3’ tournaments of 10 teams. The format will be 2 pools of 5 with classification matches.
Men & Women: Semi-finalists from each of the World League 3 tournaments will compete in World League 4 to make up the 8 teams of World League 4.
World League 4: The finals. One tournament of 8 teams. The format will be 2 pools of 4 with classification matches
Olympic Qualification Through World League
· The Host (subject to IOC agreement for Olympic Games)
· The 5 Continental Champions
· Six/Seven from the Hockey World League (depending on Host also being Continental Champion)