IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship
|Current season, competition or edition:
2014 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship
|No. of teams||8 in the Top Division
8 in Division I
|Most recent champion(s)||United States|
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (February 2014)|
The IIHF In-Line Hockey World Championship is one of the youngest IIHF events, but one that has largely grown in importance since its inception in 1996. In-Line Hockey as a sport has grown rapidly since 1996 and now more nations than ever are fielding teams and the World Championship is becoming increasingly more competitive.
During the first three years of the IIHF In-Line Hockey World Championship, North American teams dominated the field. The United States and Canada finished in first and second place at each of the first three championships, in which the United States played host to each year.
In 1998, the format of the tournament changed and so, for the first time, did the gold medalist. The tournament was expanded to include two groups, one with the top eight teams in Anaheim, California and the other group, with the next eight nations, hosted in Bratislava, Slovakia. This was one of the earliest signs of In-Line Hockey’s growing popularity around the globe. Canada upset the two-time world champion and hosts, Team USA, for the gold medal.
The 2000 World Championship was the first true shift in the standings to Europe’s advantage. Finland finally upgraded its bronze medal and went home with the gold after defeating the hosts, the Czech Republic, in the final game. Team USA closed out the medal winners with a bronze medal. The 2000 World Championship also featured New Zealand and Chile in the world championship mix for the first time. Overall, the 2000 tournament had teams from four continents (North America, South America, Europe and Australia) represented.
In 2001, Finland won the gold medal for the second straight year, edging out the host again, this time, Team USA. The Czech Republic took home a medal for the second straight year, earning the bronze medal and again four continents were represented.
In 2002, Sweden emerged from out of nowhere to win its first-ever medal, which proved to be gold. The highest the Swede’s had ever finished in the A Group previously was fifth and it was just Sweden’s third season in the top Group. That year, Germany gave the fans in Nurnberg something to cheer about, earning its first-ever medal at the In-Line Hockey World Championship, a bronze medal effort.
In 2003, it was Finland squeaking past Sweden in the final game, while Team USA returned to the podium, claiming the bronze medal.
In 2010, USA won its fifth championship, first since 2006.
In 2012, Canada won its first championship since 1998.
The modern format for the World Championships features 16 teams: 8 teams in the Top Division and 8 teams in Division I. If more than 16 teams wish to participate then qualification tournaments are held.
In the Preliminary round the 16 teams are split into 4 groups (Groups A through D) with Groups A and B forming the Top Division, and the Groups C and D forming Division I. The teams play each other in a round robin format, and then all teams proceed to the quarterfinals. Single game elimination rounds are played to establish 1st through 8th place.
The IIHF consists of 2 tournaments. The Top Division tournament is the main one and below that is the Division I tournament. At the end of the tournament the best seven teams of the Top Division and the winner of Division I will be qualified for the next year's IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship Top Division. The last-placed team of the Top Division will be relegated to the next year's IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship Division I. Additionally, 7th and 8th place in Division I must qualify for the following year's tournament with one spot open to European qualifiers, and one spot open to the rest of the world.
The ranking of the groups is based according to the result of the last World Championships performance of the respective countries in the IIHF InLine Hockey Program and the qualification rounds.
All games in the preliminary round and in the playoffs will be played with 5-minute sudden-death overtime and a penalty shootout in case of a tie. The final games will be played with a 12- minute sudden-death overtime, followed by a penalty shootout competition in case of a tie.
As of 2015, the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championships are split up into two different divisions along with a European Qualification tournament and a Rest of the World Qualification tournament. For a full list of IIHF members, see List of members of the International Ice Hockey Federation.
The Top Division comprises the top eight inline hockey nations in the world. The 2015 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship is scheduled to be held between 5 July and 11 July 2015 in Tampere, Finland. An IIHF rule is that the host of the next tournament can not be relegated, which is in place to help make a tournament more successful.
(as of 2015)
|Czech Republic||Group A||1908||1996|
|United States||Group B||1920||1996|
Eight teams comprise Division I. They are broken into two groups.
(as of 2015)
|Great Britain||Group C||1908||2015|
- Teams that attempted to qualify for 2015
- Teams not attempting to participate in 2015