Field Hockey Canada > Canadian field hockey teams progress towards 2016 Olympic qualification

The final prize in not in hand yet, but 2016 Olympic qualification is now clearly within reach for both Canada’s senior men’s and women’s field hockey teams.

After recent success in World League Round 2 – the men finished third in San Diego, California and the women took second in Dublin, Ireland – both teams have earned a spot in World League Round 3, also known as the World League Semi-Finals. 

The Men’s National Team will be competing in the World League Semi-Finals in Buenos Aires, Argentina from June 3-14, while the women do battle in Valencia, Spain from June 10-21. Each tournament consists of ten teams.

The World-League Semi-Finals serve as a direct route to qualification for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The top three teams from each tournament earn their tickets to Rio.

“These opportunities rarely come around to play in such quality environments for such big stakes,” says Anthony Farry, head coach of the Canadian Men’s National Team. “I think over the next few weeks and months we’re going to see exactly where we’re positioned in world hockey.”

The other World League Semi-Finals will be held from June 20-July 5 in Antwerp, Belgium where another ten men’s teams and ten women’s teams will be vying for three more spots Olympic spots respectively.

A total of six men’s teams and six women’s teams will have qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games after the completion all four World League Semi-Finals tournaments, with the Canadian men and women hoping to finish among those top twelve.

After their recent top-two finish at World League 2, the current group of player that makes up Women’s National Team is at an all-time high.

“A lot of things came to a head at the right time; player form, player confidence, player experience,” says Women’s National Team head coach Ian Rutledge.

“That’s the beauty now, we know what we can achieve. We just need to make sure we cement it to memory and look to reproduce it the next time we play.”

For those that do not finish in the top three at their respective World League Semi-Finals, there is another pathway to the Olympic Games through the continental qualifiers.

For Canada, which is a part of the Pan American Hockey Federation, the continental qualifier is the 2015 Pan American Games, which will be held in Toronto, Ontario from July 10-26. 

If either of Canada’s National Teams has not yet qualified for the Olympics by the time the Pan-Am Games roll around, the task will be simple yet daunting: win gold on home soil in Toronto and not only earn the National spotlight, but a chance at international glory by booking a ticket to Rio.