The FIH, field hockey’s world governing body, has unveiled the qualification system for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014, which for the first time includes qualification through the new Hockey World League.
Some 12 men's teams and 12 women's teams will take part in the quadrennial World Cup in The Hague in the Netherlands between June 2 and 15, 2014.
As in previous years, the host nation automatically qualifies along with the five continental champions, but six teams will now qualify through the Hockey World League, a new four-round, two-year competition which also serves as a qualifying competition for the Olympic Games.
The FIH said: "The qualification system reflects the importance of the Hockey World League as at least six teams from each gender will qualify from the semi-final. Previously, three teams qualified under a continental quota system and an additional three teams made the cut from qualifying tournaments.
"The new qualification system puts an emphasis on creating a qualification process that is truly global and involves as many teams as possible. Essentially, any team that enters the Hockey World League has a chance to get to the top hockey tournaments, whether it is the World Cup or the Olympic Games."
The final round of the men’s series in the new competition is due to be played in February 2014 in India, and the final round of the women’s series in Argentina in December 2013.