International Ice Hockey Federation

Information

Tournament Format

 

The teams play a single round-robin series. Each teams plays each opponent once. The first two winning teams of the event will be promoted to the Top Division. The last-ranked team will be relegated to Division I Group B.

 

Three Point System

For all games points shall be awarded as follows:

  • 3 points for the winning team at the conclusion of regulation time
  • 1 point for both teams at the conclusion of regulation time if the game is tied
  • An additional point earned for the team winning the game in a 5-minute overtime period, or the Penalty-Shot Shootout Procedure if the teams are still tied following conclusion of the overtime period
  • 0 points for the team losing the game in regulation time

Overtime Operations

If a game is tied at the end of regulation time, a five-minute overtime period shall be played. The teams will not change ends for the overtime period. The game will end when the five minutes has expired or when a goal is scored; the scoring team will be declared the winner. If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Penalty-Shot Shootout Procedure will apply. All overtime periods of any IIHF game shall be played with each team at the numerical strength of three (3) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper for games of the preliminary round.

Penalty-Shot Shootout Procedure

If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Penalty-Shot Shootout (PSS) procedure will apply. The following procedure will be utilized:

  • Five different shooters from each team will take alternate shots, until a decisive goal is scored.
  • If the game is still tied after five shots by each team, the PSS will continue with a tie-break shoot out by one player of each team, with a reversed shooting order. The same or new players can take the tie-break shots.
  • The same player can also be used for each shot by a team in the tie-break shoot-out.
  • Only the decisive goal will count in the result of the game.
  • Shots will be taken at both ends of the ice. The area of the ice to be used will be dry scraped.
  • A coin toss will determine which team takes the first shot, with the winner of the toss having the choice whether his team will shoot first or second.
  • Any player whose penalty was not over when overtime ended cannot take the shots and must stay in the penalty box or in the dressing room.
  • The goalkeepers will defend the same goal, as in the overtime period. The goalkeepers from each team may be changed after each shot.
  • The players of both teams will take the shots alternately until a decisive goal is scored.
  • The decisive goal will be credited to the player who scored and to the goalkeeper concerned.

Tie breaking formula

The tie-breaking system for two teams with the same number of points in a standing will be the game between the two teams, the winner of the game taking precedence. 

Due to the fact that the three-point system does not allow a game to end in a tie, then the following tie breaking procedure is applicable when three or more teams are tied in points in a Championship standing.

Should three or more teams be tied on points, then a tie breaking formula will be applied as follows, creating a sub-group amongst the tied teams. This process will continue until only two or none of the teams remain tied. In the case of two tied teams remaining, the game between the two would then be the determining tie-breaker as the game could not end as a tie. In the case of none of the teams being tied, the criteria specified in the respective step applies.

Step 1:
Taking into consideration the games between each of the tied teams, a sub-group is created applying the points awarded in the direct games amongst the tied teams from which the teams are then ranked accordingly.

Step 2:
Should three or more teams still remain tied in points then the better goal difference in the direct games amongst the tied teams will be decisive. 

Step 3:
Should three or more teams still remain tied in points and goal difference then the highest number of goals scored by these teams in their direct games will be decisive

Step 4:
Should three or more teams still remain tied in points, goal difference and goals scored then the results between each of the three teams and the closest best-ranked team outside the sub-group will be applied. In this case the tied team with the best result (1. points, 2. goal difference, 3. more goals scored) against the closest best ranked-team will take precedence

Step 5:
Should the teams still remain tied, then the results between each of the three teams and the next highest best-ranked team outside the sub-group will be applied.

Step 6:
Should the teams still remain tied after these five steps have been exercised then Sport considerations will be applied and the teams will be ranked by their positions coming into the Championship (seeding).

More information

Click here to download the IIHF’s Rule Book and Sport Regulations.

Eligibility

 

To play in the IIHF World Championship, the Olympic ice hockey tournament and the qualifications to these competitions, players must fulfill the following qualification requirements:

 

- Each player must be under the jurisdiction of an IIHF member national association

- Each player must be a citizen of the country he represents. 


Acquiring a new national eligibility (The ‘two-year’ case)

When a player has changed his citizenship or has acquired another citizenship and wants to participate for the first time in an IIHF competition representing his new country he must:

- Prove that he has participated for at least two consecutive hockey seasons and 16 consecutive months (480 days) in the national competitions of his new country after his 10th birthday during which period he has neither transferred to another country nor played ice hockey within any other country.

- Have an international transfer card (ITC) that shows the transfer to the national competition of his new country and which was approved and dated at least 16 months (480 days) prior to his proposed participation.

 

Change of national eligibility (The ‘four-year’ case)

A player, who has previously participated in IIHF competition, can switch national eligibility (but only once in a player's life) if:

- He is a citizen of the new country of his choice.

- He has participated for at least four consecutive years (1460 days) in the national competitions of his new country, during which period he has neither transferred to another country nor played ice hockey within any other country and has not played for his previous country in an IIHF competition during this four year period.

- He has an international transfer card (ITC) that shows the transfer to the national competition of his new country and which was approved and dated at least four years before the start of the IIHF competition in which he wishes to participate.