Iihf World Hockey Championship Tickets
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IIHF World Hockey Championship
The Ice Hockey World Championship is an annual event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. These Championships were preceded by the European Championship which was held from 1910 to 1932. For the first time, these Championships were decided at the 1920 Summer Olympics. Also, the World Championship was decided at the Winter Olympics.
Early years and World War IIDuring the early days, the teams from Canada dominated the Championships . Between 1930 and 1939, Canadian teams won the tournament eight times.
This occurred despite the fact that Canada sent a different club team each year. However, because of the World War II, the Championships had to be cancelled from 1940-46.
Post World War II to 1970
Canadian teams continued to dominate the tournament in the early post-war era, but from 1954 onwards, the Championship became increasingly competitive, as the USSR joined in. Also the teams from Czechoslovakia and Sweden came into the competition with a lot of spirits.
1970 through the end of the Cold War
During this period the Soviet ice hockey team dominated, winning almost all the World Championships. In 1970, the IIHF allowed Canada to send nine professionals from the ranks of the NHL and its affiliated minor leagues.
Canada boycotted the World Championship for seven years as a result, during which the IIHF moved the championships out of the Olympics in 1972 and 1976 in an attempt to resolve the issue.
In 1976, a new president of the IIHF finally allowed professionals on all teams, and Canada returned to competition the following year.
By the early 1990s, with the breakup of the Soviet Union, who had dominated the Championship for three decades after Canada's dominance ended. Czechoslovakia, won in most of the years in which the Soviets did not, brought unprecedented uniformity to the international game for two reasons:
One, players in the former USSR and Czechoslovakia had the freedom to play in the NHL. Thus many European countries' best players were also competing in the NHL, and so were unable to send their best to the Championships.
Second, the breakup of the USSR and Czechoslovakia meant that the remaining core states, respectively Russia and the Czech Republic, had fewer talented players to draw from, even among those who were not playing in the NHL during the Championship.
In recent championships, the two nations of the former Czechoslovakia have played extremely well in international play, accounting for four straight championships between 1999-2002 - the first three by the Czech Republic and the latter by Slovakia.
(The Czech side also won the 1998 Winter Olympic gold medal in Nagano, Japan). Canada has recently returned to prominence with an international trophy, capturing the 2003, 2004, and 2007 World Championships as well as the 2002 Winter Olympic gold medal at Salt Lake City and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
The modern format for the World Championship features a minimum of 40 teams out of which 16 teams are in the main group, 12 teams in Division I and 12 teams in Division II. If there are more than 40 teams, the rest compete in Division III.
The main group features 16 teams. In the Preliminary round the 16 teams are split into 4 groups (Groups A through D) and the teams play each other in a round robin format. The top 3 teams in each division advance into the Qualifying round.
The Qualifying round is another round of group played with 2 groups of 6; the top three teams from group A and group D are placed together and the top three teams from group B and group C are placed together. In the Qualifying round teams maintain their results from the Preliminary round against other teams who have also advanced, and only play against teams which they have not previously played against.
The top four teams in each Qualifying round group advance into the knockout playoff stage. In the quarterfinals the first place team from one group plays the fourth place team from the other group, and the second place team from one group plays the third place team from the other group.
The winners advance to the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals advance to the Gold medal game, and the losers advance to the Bronze medal game.
The 73rd championship will be held between April 24 and May 10, 2009 in Zurich and Berne, Switzerland. The Championship comprises the top sixteen hockey nations in the world.