The European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) announces that 24 countries will participate in the 2016 European Lacrosse Championships (EC16), which will be held July 28-August 6th in Budapest, Hungary.
The field includes the international debut of Slovenia and host Hungary, as well as the first European Championship for Poland and Russia. Austria, Denmark and Latvia have also re-joined the Euros after non-appearances in 2012.
A public live draw will be held on Sunday, January 10th at 5:30 PM local time (CET) in conjunction with the Budapest New Years Cup tournament. The draw will be live streamed.
The ELF membership has voted for a balanced pool format, with teams drawn into four pools of six teams each. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the eight-team Championship Bracket.
The top four finishers from EC12 -- England, Ireland, Sweden and Netherlands -- will be hard-seeded into pools A through D, respectively. The remaining teams will be placed into pots for random selection as follows:
POT 1: Germany, Scotland, Finland, Israel
POT 2: Czech Republic, Wales, Switzerland, Slovakia
POT 3: Italy, Norway, Belgium, France
POT 4: Spain, Latvia, Poland, Austria
POT 5: Russia, Denmark, Slovenia, Hungary
The seedings for pots have been determined by order of finish at EC12 as the primary criteria. Each pool will feature one team from each pot, to achieve randomly selected pools of relative equal strength.
With 24 participating nations, EC16 marks the largest European Championship ever, as 96 total matches will be played over the 10-day event. A festival featuring developing lacrosse nations as well as club teams from across the world, as well as a women's tournament, will also be held.