The FIH Hockey Series provides unrelenting drama and excitement driven by the opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games or Hockey World Cup.
Open to all countries not in the Hockey Pro League, the Hockey Series gives developing hockey-playing nations the opportunity to test themselves against some of the world’s best, with dreams of reaching hockey’s flagship events. For it is here, in the Hockey Series, that history will be made and future stars born.
The Hockey Series is composed of two rounds, played over two years preceding either an Olympic Games or Hockey World Cup. The competitions and subsequent qualification processes are exactly the same for both the men’s and women’s competitions in line with hockey’s ‘Equally Amazing’ ethos.
Events at this level will be continentally based. The number of competitions spread throughout the world will be determined by the number of entries.
From all teams competing in this round, a minimum of 15 teams will qualify for one of three separate FIH Series Finals.
Each of the FIH Series Finals will have eight teams playing in them and will take place throughout the world, with berths into the Olympic Qualification Events up for grabs.
What is at stake during the Hockey Series?
Teams competing in the Hockey Series will not only have the chance to gain valuable ranking points, but also to qualify for the Olympic Qualification Events, and in future for Hockey World Cup Qualification Events. The two best teams in each of the three FIH Series Finals are guaranteed a berth in the Qualification Events.
Who will compete in the Hockey Series Open and how do nations qualify for the FIH Series Finals?
All nations affiliated to FIH and not playing in the Hockey Pro League are eligible to enter the Hockey Series Open. In 2018, more than 75 teams are expected to compete.
However, the nine highest placed nations in the FIH Hero World Ranking as of 9 June 2017, that are not playing in the Hockey Pro League will be exempt from the Hockey Series Open and will qualify directly for the FIH Series Finals.
In 2019, three FIH Series Finals will take place, each with eight teams competing.
The FIH Series Finals will include at least five qualifiers from the Hockey Series Open but contain no more than three of the teams that qualified directly for the Finals based on World Ranking.
When will the Hockey Series take place?
For the 2018/2019 cycle, events will take place during the following periods:
- The Hockey Series Open is scheduled to take place between June and September 2018
- The FIH Series Finals will take place in May and June 2019
How do teams qualify for the Olympic Games?
The top two nations from each of the FIH Series Finals will be guaranteed berths in the new Olympic Qualification Events.
They will be joined by the top four nations from the Hockey Pro League and the two highest placed nations in the FIH Hero World Rankings (at the end of the 2019 Continental Championships) not already qualified via the FIH Series Finals or Pro League.
The 12 men’s and 12 women’s nations will compete for a total of six spots in the Olympic Games, with the winners joining hosts Japan and the five continental champions who automatically qualify for Tokyo 2020.
The six Olympic Qualification Events will each feature two nations playing two back-to-back matches, with nations drawn to play each other based on their rankings at the end of the 2019 Continental Championships.
The nation who scores the highest aggregate score over the two matches will qualify for the Olympics.
The Olympic Qualification Events are scheduled for October and November 2019 and the matches will be hosted by the higher ranked of the two competing nations.