Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Paris 2024 Olympics hockey: FIH outlines qualifying path for 12 teams

World hockey has revealed the qualification pathway for Paris 2024 across both genders, which will see only one quota place on offer from continental championships and eight-team Olympic qualifying tournaments to determine the rest.

Five teams will qualify automatically from continental competitions this year at African Hockey Road to Paris, Pan American Games, Asian Games 2023, EuroHockey Championship and the Oceania Cup.

Should France win EuroHockey 2023, the second placed nation will not subsequently qualify, but the quota place will be allocated to the FIH Hockey Olympic qualification tournaments.

Eight men and women nations will then compete at two FIH Hockey Olympic qualification tournaments, held in early 2024. This replaces the previous format where two-leg matches took place to determine places. Six teams will qualify, which will then make up the 12 teams for Paris 2024 across each gender.

The number of teams from each continent participating in these tournaments will be based on quotas determined according to the FIH world rankings Jan 31. There will be no African representative in the women’s event at Paris 2024.

Women’s Olympic Qualifiers

Africa: 0, Asia: 4, Europe: 8, Oceania: 1, Pan America: 3

Men’s Olympic Qualifiers

Africa: 1, Asia: 5, Europe: 7, Oceania: 1, Pan America: 2

The teams invited to participate in the qualifiers will be based on their performance at the Continental Championships.

The qualification process was first discussed in 2021 as the FIH mulled over whether to keep the play-off structure. Bidding process for hosting the 2024 tournaments will be released this month.

Twelve teams per gender will play at Paris 2024, with each squad consisting of 16 athletes.

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  1. So it would seem the extremely important battle for qualifying places for Paris will happen in January or February 2024.

    Two thoughts.

    1. That makes it hard to plan for fans of any nation that does not win their continental championship.

    2. Holding important outdoor hockey events in the traditional indoor hockey window (for the second year running) is disrespectful to indoor hockey and inevitably diminish playing and watching of the indoor game. For instance it sounds very likely that GB internationals will once again be unable to take part in the final of the English indoor domestic season in 2024. That in turn reduces the marketability of those finals.

  2. Yet again the clubs are let down. Even the best indoor squads, without their internationals, will suffer. Why ? Just another way clubs, the lifeline of hockey, are punished.


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