Taken from WaterPoloWolrd.com
Draws Qualification Round 1
Group A – organiser to be announced
Group B – to be held in France
The qualification matches for the women’s competition of the 2014 European Water Polo Championships are facing another change. According to the latest LEN announcements the nine involved teams will now play two tournaments each in January and March 2014 to fill the four remaining Budapest berths. It will already be the third visible change of the playing system since last summer.
The original idea of single matches on a home and away to be used for the qualifiers of the 2012 European Championships had already been given up last summer. Due to the low number of entries, the newly introduced second-round play-offs of the second proposal with first-round byes for the top teams had been cancelled as well. For this reason, the LEN moved back to an old-style tournament event with two groups as qualification competition and presented a new draw which was held in December on the occasion of the Men’s Super Cup match in Savona, Italy.
This decision was surprising for the federations and also caused problems as the new-look tournaments had been planned to be held already in April 2013. Originally the four participants in the 2012 European Championships – Spain, Netherlands, Great Britian and Germany – had a bye in the first round, and this idea was still valid during the time of 2012 LEN Congress where the schedule arrangements of the new season had been fixed. So none of the involved federations had made plans and set up a budget for an important event in this year’s spring time.
The fourth and probably final version will now see another change of the playing system and the competition dates. Accoding to this draft, there will be two appearances each for each team. Qualification Round 1 will be held with two groups 16–19 January 2014 with matches at two different venues. After the end of the Qualification Round 1 tournaments the teams will be re-seeded in two new groups for Qualification Round 2 to be played 6-10 March 2014 with a serpentine system based upon the ranking of the tournament and the confirmed organisers.