Like the previous year's World Championship twelve teams participated, with defending champion United States and Canada advancing directly to the second round. The other ten teams split into three preliminary groups for the six remaining second round places. In the preliminary Group C, there was a stalemate among the three teams; all three earned two points with equal goal differentials. As a result, the organizing committee decided that all three teams in Group C should advance. With nine instead of eight teams in the second round, the format was changed from two groups of four teams to three groups of three teams. The group winners advanced directly to the semi-finals, while the fourth semifinal position was decided by an extra qualifying round for the second-place finishers. The second and third place teams in the extra qualifying round were awarded fifth and sixth positions, and the six teams not advancing to the semifinals or semifinal qualification round played a round-robin series for positions seven through twelve.
As the bottom finishers in their respective preliminary groups (group C qualified all its teams for the second round), Great Britain and Belgium played a qualification match to determine which of them joined the round robin; the loser (Belgium) finished the tournament in 12th place.