Next Worlds in Bratislava

Inline: Three continental qualification events next year


The arena in Bratislava during the 2011 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images

TAMPERE – The 16 participating nations of the 2015 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship, joined by New Zealand which aims at coming back, used the free day at the tournament to meet and discuss about the future.

As of 2016 three “continental“ qualification tournaments will be played in even years while the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship with its 16 teams is played in odd years.

Slovakia will be the next host with the proposed tournament dates from 24 June to 2 July 2017, and the proposed host for 2019 is Canada.

The 2017 Worlds will be played in the 9,766-seat Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava that was rebuilt for the 2011 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship (then called Orange Arena) and has three rinks under one roof and several hotels nearby to accommodate the teams.

The new qualification mode means that three teams from the 2015 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship Division I will be relegated to the qualification events in 2016 – the two teams who lose the placement games between the quarter-final losers on Friday and thus end up in seventh and eighth place of the Division I competition as well as the loser of the fifth-place game on Saturday.

Between the Top Division and the Division I competitions there will as usual be one promoted and one relegated team that will be determined on Saturday with the seventh-place game in the Top Division and with the gold medal game of the Division I.

The qualification tournaments during the upcoming season will be played in three regions, Africa / South America, Asia / Oceania, and Europe / North America. With that measure the travel costs for the participating teams can be lowered significantly.

Recent teams from Africa / South America who don’t play in Tampere include Brazil, Chile, Namibia and South Africa. Recent teams from Asia / Oceania who are not in Tampere include Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand. And recent teams that played in the European qualification include FYR Macedonia, Ireland, Israel, Serbia and Turkey.

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