Hockey World Cup: For the first time, no classification matches

The FIH has done away with classification matches following the format adopted in the 2016 Rio Olympics; the ongoing World Cup has no relevance for sides finishing fourth and last in their respective pools.

Curtains down: The tournament will virtually be over for those occupying the third and fourth positions in the points table, and those who lose their crossover and quarterfinal matches.   -  Getty Images

For the first time in the Hockey World Cup, teams not qualifying for the knockout stage will board return flights much before the end of the showpiece event.

Since the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has done away with the classification matches following the format adopted at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the tournament, which will enter the knockout stage from Monday, has no relevance for sides finishing fourth and last in their respective pools. Similarly, teams losing their crossover and quarterfinal matches over the next four days will also prefer to fly back home.


Earlier, teams losing out in different stages of the World Cup had a reason to stay back in the event to play their classification matches with a hope to complete the assignment on a positive note by finishing as high as possible.

New regulations

As per new regulations, teams finishing fourth in their respective pools will be ranked between 13th and 16th. The teams will be ranked according to the number of points gained in pool matches. If two teams are tied on points, then ranking will be decided according to the number of matches won.

The FIH did away with the classification matches following the format adopted at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Photo: Getty Images


A further tie will take the sides to better goal difference and in case of equality on goal difference, the deadlock will be broken by taking into account ‘goals for.’ A tie here will be resolved on the basis of number of field goals scored. If teams are still equal, then they will share a ranking.

Teams losing the crossover matches will be ranked between ninth and 12th according to the position that they finish in their respective pools. Where two teams finish in the same position in their respective pools, the above-mentioned procedure will be followed till the ‘field goals’ criterion. Equality here will make the FIH take into consideration the teams’ combined performance in pool and crossover matches to finalise the rankings.

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Teams will have to share a place if the deadlock persists even after this.

Countries losing their quarterfinal matches will be slotted between fifth and eighth. Equality will be broken as per the procedure followed in deciding sides between ninth and 12th spots. If two teams are tied on ‘field goals’, they will be ranked on their combined performance in pool, crossover and quarterfinal matches. Any further equality will make the sides share a particular ranking.

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