Thursday, May 23, 2024

EuroHockey revamps to knock-out format from 2027

Future winners of the EuroHockey Championships will face just four matches in a new “every match matters” revamp.

Starting from EuroHockey 2027, the tournament will increase to 12 teams in the biggest change to the biennial event in two decades. For the last 10 editions, EuroHockey has been an eight-strong format across the men’s and women’s competitions.

“To go from eight to 12 is an opportunity for more teams to compete for the title while also bringing a responsibility to perform at this level,” said EuroHockey president Marcos Hofmann.

“We are taking our Every Match Matters mantra to the extreme with all games being played on a knock-out basis.”

The move, said a EuroHockey release on Thursday, will “also open further potential qualification avenues to events like the Olympic Games and the World Cup to a wider breadth of teams.”

How the 2027 EuroHockey will work

The sides ranked fifth to 12th will play a preliminary knock-out match with the winner going through to the last eight. The remaining quarter-final places will go to the winners of matches between the losers of that preliminary fixture and the top four ranked nations.

Quarter-final losers will play for ranking positions from fifth to eighth. The remaining sides will play for ninth to 12th. 

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The format may mean scaled down matches for the top sides, but also more rest.

The qualification process

The increase from eight to 12 nations has a significant knock-on effect to the qualification process with extra significance added to events this summer and in the next two years.

The 2027 edition of the EuroHockey Championships will comprise, per gender, of all eight teams from 2025 EuroHockey Championships, the winner and runner-up from 2025 EuroHockey Championship II (2 nations) and the same with the 2026 EuroHockey Championship Qualifier tournaments.

Currently, six men’s and six women’s nations have pre-qualified for the 2025 EuroHockey Championships in Mönchengladbach based on their performances in 2023.

The last two places for that event will be determined at the EuroHockey Championship Qualifier tournaments from Aug 22 to 25.

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