The EHF Executive Board has decided to extend the number of participants in the EuroHockey Indoor Championships from 8 to 10 teams from 2024 onwards, following a proposal from the Competitions Committee Indoor.
EHF Vice president (responsible for Competitions) Walter Kapounek said “The Board discussed at length the proposal from the Competitions Committee Indoor and has made this decision based on the Committee’s proposal following its review of our Indoor competitions.
The proposal is to start with 10 teams in the Eurohockey Indoor Championship (men and women) to give more of our Member Associations the opportunity to challenge the European top indoor teams now that we have noted stronger hockey also being played in the second tier of our Indoor Championships.
The positive extra is that it will give more of our Member Associations the opportunity to secure funding as they play in the highest indoor competition in Europe.
It was agreed by the Board that we would trial this format over two cycles and re-evaluate at the end to assess the impact of this proposed format.”
This decision means the following:
- The EuroHockey Indoor Championship II and III will change to EuroHockey Indoor Championship II-A & II-B, each consisting of approx. 4-7 teams, depending on the number of entries. Pools II-A & II-B are filled using the ‘snake system’ and using the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Ranking in February 2022:
- Pool II-A are teams ranked: 11th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 26th.
- Pool II-B are teams ranked: 12th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 25th.
- If teams withdraw from Championship II-A and/or II-B after the pools have been announced, the EHF will, in its absolute discretion, decide if teams have to change pools.
- From 2024 onwards 2 teams will be relegated from the Indoor Championship and 1 team per Indoor Championship II-A and II-B is promoted. There is no relegation from II-A & II-B.
- The rationale behind the decision to go to an II-A & II-B format is if we have 10 teams in the Championship and 8 in Championship II, it’s unlikely that we would have sufficient teams for a meaningful Championship III event.
- From 2024 on, the EuroHockey Indoor Championship with 10 teams will be played over 4 instead of 3 days. The Indoor Championship II-A & II-B will be played over 3 days.
In 2022 the EuroHockey Indoor Championships are played as announced before.
To allow for a 10-team Indoor Championship in 2024, the promotion and relegation in 2022 will look like this:
- Numbers 7 and 8 of Championship (Men & Women) in Hamburg will not be relegated and will be ranked 9th and 10th on the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Ranking in February 2022.
- Numbers 1 and 2 of Championship II (Men in Paredes and Women in Ourense) will be promoted and will be ranked 7th and 8th on the EuroHockey Nations Indoor Ranking in February 2022.
- Numbers 7 and 8 of Championship II (Men in Paredes and Women in Ourense) will not be relegated as they will be playing in either the Championship II-A or II-B in 2024.
- All teams from the Championship III (Men in Nicosia and Women in Bratislava) will be playing in either the Championship II-A or II-B in 2024.
- NB: Within each pool teams are ranked according to the FIH Indoor World Ranking at the moment the match schedules are prepared.
Photograph: 2020 EuroHockey Indoor Championship Final (GER v AUT) EHF/ World Sport pics (c)