Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Qualifying Rules: Curling and Hockey

Part of a series looking at just how hard it is to get to the Olympics; see previous posts on biathlon and cross country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined, speed skating, short track, snowboarding, figure skating and freestyle skiing.

Now let's turn to two completely team-based sports in which my own country seems to expect to win all the time: curling and hockey.

In curling, a total of 10 teams qualify for each of the men's and women's competitions. One of these is Italy, as the host nation. The remaining nine countries are determined by the results from the World Curling Championships since the last Olympics.

In hockey, there are eight teams on the women's side and 12 on the men's side. In both cases, Italy qualifies automatically as the host nation. Most of the countries are determined by the IIHF world tables as of the 2004 championships -- the best eight men's teams and the best four women's teams qualify. The remaining three spots on each side are determined by whoever wins Olympic qualification tournaments -- the page doesn't say, but are these regional or continental qualifiers?

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  • At 10:46 AM, February 19, 2006 , Blogger Phlegmbert said...

    The page doesn't say a text that would keep the various parties happy and still be comprehensible in three languages to people who weren't some kind of attorney specializing in international hockey regulations couldn't be agreed upon. However we did add an IIHF summary for anyone who cares to open this particular Pandora's box.

    The gist of it is this:-

    For the men's competition, qualifying tournaments are neither regional nor continental, but based on IIHF rankings. The first 12 teams ranked 18+ who wanted to take part went into 3 4-way pre-qualifying tournaments, the 3 winners of which went into 3 4-way qualifying tournaments along with the teams ranked 9 to 17. The winners of those tournaments got to go to the Olympics along with the top 8 and Italy.
    The 3 qualifying spots for the women's tournament were substantially the same except that there was no pre-qualifying phase and one group only had 3 teams (presumably because all other IIHF ranked teams chose not to enter).
    In both cases which team found itself in which group was based on a seeding system derived from IIHF rankings.

  • At 8:15 PM, February 20, 2006 , Blogger noizy said...

    I'm pretty sure New Zealand have finished DFL in the curling. The finals haven't been played yet, but the kiwis lost 9 from 9 in the prelim stages.


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