The 17th Ice Hockey World Championships and 28th European Hockey Championships were held from 13 to 22 March 1950 in London, England. In a format similar to the 1949 championships, in the initial round, the nine teams participating were divided into three groups with three teams each. In the second round, the top two teams in each group advanced to the medal pool (for positions 1 through 6) with the remaining three teams advancing to the consolation pool for places 7 through 9. Canada won its 13th World Championship and Switzerland won its fourth European Championship. Both teams benefited from the absence of the defending champion, Czechoslovakia.
Officially, the defending champions Czechs did not arrive in London because two of their journalists did not receive their visas. However, based on lingering suspicions about the previous year's six disappearing players, and the defection of star Jaroslav Drobný, several players were arrested in Prague, while awaiting their delayed flight to the tournament. On 7 October 1950, the players appeared in court charged with espionage and were named, "state traitors." At issue was the claim that in 1948 several players on LTC Praha (comprising much of the national team) had discussed defection in Davos following the Spengler Cup. On that trip, Miroslav Slama and two other players did in fact defect, along with one of the heads of the delegation. All were convicted, with sentences ranging from eight months, to 15 years. Bohumil Modry, no longer a member of the national team, was the one to receive the fifteen-year sentence, as he was mysteriously cast as the "main figure" in the potential defection plan.