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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Olympic Qualifying Format, Schedule Revealed

The format and schedule for the 2016 Olympics has been revealed. Insidethgames.biz reports that during the Hong Kong Sevens IRB head of competition and performance Mark Egan explained that qualifying will take place over three stages. Stage one includes the top four teams on the 2014-15 IRB Sevens Series. Stage two sees each of the six IRB region's hosting their own qualifying tournaments sometime between June and September 2015. Lastly, there will be a repechage tournament during the 2016 Hong Kong Sevens to determine the final places. This format applies to only the men's tournament.

Some issues still need to be worked out, such as whether Brazil will automatically qualify as host, and how qualification for the Great Britain team will work. This format also favors nations that don't live in the strongest regions. For example, Argentina should have no difficulty coming out of South American while Kenya will be the favorites from Africa if South Africa finish in the top four on the Series. The region that could potentially be hurt the most is Oceania. If only two of the nations finish in the top four on the Series then one of New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, or Samoa will have to go through the repechage.

For the U.S. this format potentially makes things a bit easier as they only have to contend with Canada and do not have to worry about Argentina. Canada has had the upper hand in the meetings between the two teams over the last year plus but the results have been close. Sevens is a tight game and in a final match anything can happen.

What do you think of the format? Can the U.S. qualify?


  1. I believe the US will do what ever it takes and make it happen. They will qualify no doubt... Beyond that I can't say with much confidence.

  2. Can they qualify? Yes, anything can happen in 7's. Will they? Massive improvement is needed unless the USA wants to count on Canada getting another red card a minute into the match. It was just a few years ago that Canada was in our rearview mirror and how the tides have turned. The troubling part of it all is that Canada slipped by us after the team began residency at the OTC. At a time when the squad has full time training and resources, we have fallen behind our biggest competitor.

    I liked the idea of having Argentina and Canada in a North/South American qualifier. That way, two spots were up for grabs at the same tournament instead of just one. Thus giving us better chance to qualify. Plus, right now I'd rate Canada higher than Argentina.