|Most recent season or competition:|
2017 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship
|No. of teams|| 8 in the Top Division|
8 in Division I
The IIHF Inline Hockey World Championships are an annual international men's inline hockey tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The first World Championship was held in 1996 in which eleven nations participated. In 2003, sixteen nations took part and were split into two divisions. The top eight teams played for the World Championship and the other eight played for the Division I title. The current format features the World Championship, Division I and three regional qualification tournaments. The World Championship and Division I tournament are played on odd years and the qualification tournaments are played on even years. The United States is the tournament's most dominant team, winning the World Championship six times. The 2017 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship was held between 25 June and 1 July 2017 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
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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 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 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 and in 2012, Canada won its first championship since 1998. In July 2015 it was announced that the World Championships would be changed from an annual tournament to a biennial tournament.The change means that three qualification tournaments will be held in the even years to earn promotion to Division I, starting in 2016, and the World Championships will be held in the odd years, starting in 2017. The qualification tournaments have been restructured into three regions to lower travel costs with the regions now being Africa/South America, Asia/Oceania, and Europe/North America. In January 2016 the IIHF announced that two of the qualification tournaments had been realigned with North America moving into the Africa/South America tournament to become Americas/Africa, leaving Europe to have its own qualification tournament.
The current 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 two 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 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship Top Division. The last-placed team of the Top Division will be relegated to the next IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship Division I. Additionally, the bottom three placed teams in Division I are relegated to the Qualification tournaments which are split into the three regions of Africa / South America, Asia / Oceania, and Europe / North America.The winners of the Qualification tournaments will gain promotion to the next Division I tournament.
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.
The current format of the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championships involves the Top Division and Division I playing on odd years and three regional qualification tournaments playing on even years. The regional qualification tournaments are currently Americas/Africa, Asia/Oceania and Europe.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 next World Championship is scheduled for 2019. 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.
Division I comprises eight teams which are broken into two groups.The next Division I tournament is scheduled for 2019.
|2018 Americas/Africa Qualifier|
|2018 Asia/Oceania Qualifier|
|2018 Europe Qualifier|
The IIHF currently run three regional qualification tournaments in the year prior to the World Championship. The winner of each tournament qualifies for a place in the Division I tournament. Following the end of the 2017 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship Division I competition Brazil, Hungary and New Zealand were relegated to their respective qualification tournaments.
|2000||2015 Rest of the World Qualification|
|1983||2015 Rest of the World Qualification|
|1996||2014 European Qualification|
|1924||1998 World Championship|
|1935||2000 World Championship|
|1999||2005 Division I|
|1952||1998 World Championship|
|1992||2012 Rest of the World Qualification|
|1908||1998 World Championship|