The defending champion was England , who defeated Canada in the final and thus became world champions for the second time. It was Canada's first appearance in a final. In the game for third place, Australia beat Egypt in return for their loss in the same game two years earlier. Germany took ninth place, Austria came 18th. Switzerland finished the tournament in 17th place.
The participating teams competed in eight groups. These were divided according to the results of the 1995 World Cup , with the 16 best teams being drawn into groups A, B, C and D. Only these 16 teams played for the title. The group runners-up and thirds in groups C and D reached the placement games for places 9 to 16, together with the group fourths of groups A and B and the group winners of groups E and F. Places 17 to 24 were won by group winners of groups G and H, the runners-up and thirds in groups E and F and the last group in groups C and D. The last placed teams in groups E and F and the second, third and fourth in groups G and H played for places 25 to 32. Within the group , the three best-placed teams in groups A and B as well as played in round robin mode the winners of groups C and D made it to the semi-finals. This was carried out in the knockout system . All places were played out.
All teams consisted of a minimum of three and a maximum of four players who had to be reported in the order of their skill level. Three individual games were played per encounter. A team won if its players could win two of the individual games. The order in which the individual games were played was independent of the order in which the players entered.