Bhubaneshwar has emerged as the hub of Indian hockey in recent years and HWL 2017 will be its second major international hockey tournament in three years. The venue will also host the FIH World Cup 2018 and so HWL provides a perfect opportunity for it to fine tune its preparation ahead of the marquee event next year.
Here’s everything that you should know about the Hockey World League Final 2017
The event was conceptualised to promote the game among non-hockey playing nations. The tournament was open to all the FIH members, comprising four rounds – Round 1 and 2 then two Semi-finals followed by the Finals. India has served as host for all the three editions of the Hockey World League Final since its inception. The current iteration of the event will probably be its third and final before FIH replaces it with another league next year which will then become a qualifier for Olympics and World Cup for both men’s and women’s category.
From December 1, 2017 to December 10, 2017
Kalinga Hockey Stadium is nestled inside the multi-purpose Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar which has facilities for hockey, athletics, football, hockey, tennis, swimming, basketball among others. It is also the home ground of current Hockey India League Champions Kalinga Lancers. It was also the host of the 2014 Men’s Champions Trophy. As per the official records, the stadium has the capacity of 5,000 spectators.
Mascot – Olly
Olly is the permanent mascot for all sports events held in Odisha. The mascot represents the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles who arrive at the Gahirmatha beach in Odisha every season making it the world’s biggest nesting zone of these animals.
What tournament holds for the participants
The winner of the HWL Final will have a direct entry into the final ever Men’s Champions Trophy next year. So far, three teams have a confirmed spot including Argentina, Netherlands (host) and Australia. The eight teams participating in this event have already secured their berths for next year’s world cup. So, the result won’t have any bearing on it. The teams will get a chance to get a feel of the atmosphere and give a chance to youngsters to prove their mettle before returning next year. For India, it will be a chance to test their young guns and prepare themselves for the upcoming challenges next year. Under the tutelage of Sjoerd Marijn who recently replaced Roelant Oltmans as the head coach, the team has begun well, winning the title at the 2017 Men’s Hockey Asia Cup in October.
The eight participating teams have been divided into two pools – A and B – four in each. Each team will play three matches in the round-robin phase from December 1st-December 5th. The teams then move into the crossover quarter-final stage where the respective Pool winners will face the fourth-placed team from the opposition pool. The second and third finishers from each pool also square-off in knockout quarter-final. The winners from this stage enter the semi-finals while the losing teams play in losing quarter-finalist matches for placement.
In effect, this means that a team can go on to win the tournament even if it loses all its round-robin matches and then goes on to win its next three (QF, SF and Final).
Pool A – Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands, and Spain
Pool B – Australia, Germany, India and England
2012-13: Netherlands took gold, New Zealand silver while England won bronze.
2014-15: Australia won gold, Belgium took silver title while India won bronze.
Source : timesofindia