International Ice Hockey Federation

Information

Tournament Format

 

The 12 teams are seeded in three groups of four teams each and will play a round robin within their group including 18 games (three per team).

The teams and groups were seeded according to the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Ranking. The tournament includes the top-eight nations, three qualifiers and host Korea.

 

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament is operated according to the same format like in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

The Final Round includes 4 Qualification Playoff Games, 4 Quarter-Final Games, 2 Semi-Final Games, one Bronze Medal Game and one Gold Medal Game:

At the conclusion of the Preliminary Round all 12 teams will be ranked according to a special criterion. This ranking will be used for seeding the teams in the Qualification Playoff games and will used for calculating the Final Ranking at the conclusion of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games Men’s Tournament.

The following criteria will be used in the order presented to determine this ranking following completion of the Preliminary Round (1D – 12D):

  • Higher position in the group
  • Higher number of points
  • Better goal difference
  • Higher number of goals scored for 
  • Better 2017 IIHF World Ranking

 
After the Preliminary Round, 1D, 2D, 3D and 4D will receive a bye into the Quarter-Finals and will be named as the Home Team for their Quarter-Final pairing. The teams ranked 5-12 will play in the Qualification Playoff games called Group E with the following match-ups:

  • 5D – 12D (Winner will become E1)
  • 6D – 11D (Winner will become E2)
  • 7D – 10D (Winner will become E3)
  • 8D – 9D (Winner will become E4)

 
The four winning teams of the Qualification Playoff games will advance to the Quarter Final Round. The four losing teams of the Qualification Playoff games will be ranked 9 through 12 according to their ranking after the Preliminary Round.

The Quarter-Final Games will be played with the following match-ups (Group F ):

  • 1D – E4 (Winner will become F1)
  • 2D – E3 (Winner will become F2)
  • 3D – E2 (Winner will become F3)
  • 4D – E1 (Winner will become F4)

 
The four winning teams of the Quarter-Final games will advance to the Semi-Finals. The four losing teams of the Quarter Finals will be ranked 5 through 8 according to their ranking after the Preliminary Round.

The Semi-Final games will be played with the following match-ups. The home team will be the higher ranked team as determined at the completion of the Preliminary Round (Group D):

  • F1 – F4
  • F2 – F3

 
The two winning teams of the Semi-Finals will play for the Gold Medal while the two losing teams of the Semi-Finals will play for the Bronze Medal. The team with the higher Preliminary Round ranking will be the home team in each medal game.

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 Game Winning Shots 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 immediately after an intermission of three minutes. The teams will 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 Game Winning Shots Procedure will apply. All overtime periods of any IIHF game shall be played with each team at the numerical strength of four (4) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper.

Overtime procedure in Play-Off Games:

  • In case of a tie at the conclusion of regulation time in a Relegation Playoff, Placement Playoff, Quarter Final, Semi Final and Bronze Medal Game, there will be a 10-minute sudden-death overtime period played, following a three-minute intermission.
  • The teams will change ends for the overtime period.
  • The team, which scores a goal during this period is the winner.
  • In the Gold Medal game there will be a 20-minute sudden-death overtime period, following a 15-minute intermission during which the ice will be resurfaced.
  • The teams will change ends.
  • The team which scores a goal during this period is declared winner.
  • If no goal is scored during the sudden-death overtime, there will be Game Winning Shot (GWS) competition ("shootout") according to the Game Winning Shots Procedure.

Game Winning Shots Procedure

If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Game Winning Shots (GWS) procedure will apply. The following procedure will be utilized:

  • Shots will be taken at both ends of the ice surface. The 14-meter wide longitudinal centre section of the rink, between the Face-Off Spots in the neutral and end zones, will be dry-scraped by the ice-resurfacing machine prior to the Game Winning Shots during the time required to organize the program accordingly.

  • The procedure will begin with three different shooters from each team taking alternate shots. The players do not need to be named beforehand. Eligible to participate in the Game Winning Shots will be the four goalkeepers and all players from both teams listed on the official game sheet except as specified in article 3 below.

  • Any player whose penalty had not been completed when the overtime period ended is not eligible to be one of the players selected to take the shots and must remain in the penalty box or in the dressing room. Also players serving penalties imposed during the game winning shots must remain in the penalty box or in the dressing room until the end of the procedure.

  • The Referee will call the two captains to the Referee Crease and flip a coin to determine which team takes the first shot. The winner of the coin toss will have the choice whether his team will shoot first or second.

  • The goalkeepers shall defend the same goal as in the overtime period and may remain at their goal creases while the opposing team is taking a shot.

  • The goalkeepers from each team may be changed after each shot.

  • The shots will be taken in accordance with rule 509 of the IIHF Official Rule Book.

  • The players of both teams will take the shots alternately until a decisive goal is scored. The remaining shots will not be taken.

  • If the result is still tied after 3 shots by each team the procedure shall continue with a tie-break shoot-out by one player of each team, with the same or new players with the other team starting to take the tie-break shots. The same player can also be used for each shot by a team in the tie-break shoot-out. The game shall be finished as soon as a duel of two players brings the decisive result.

  • The Official Scorekeeper will record all shots taken, indicating the players, goalkeepers and goals scored.

  • Only the decisive goal will count in the result of the game. It shall be credited to the player who scored and to the goalkeeper concerned.

  • If a team declines to participate in the game winning shots procedure the game will be declared as a loss for that team and the other team will be awarded 3 points for a win. If a player declines to take a shot it will be declared "no score" for his team.

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).

Note: If not all mutual games have been played yet in an ongoing tournament, the tied teams will be ranked in the standings according to the following criteria: 1. Lower number of games played, 2. Goal difference, 3. Goals scored, 4. Positions coming into the Championship.

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.

Past Medallists

Olympic Winter Games, Men's Ice Hockey

Year Gold Silver Bronze Venue
1920¹ Canada USA Czechoslovakia Antwerp
1924 Canada USA Great Britain Chamonix
1928 Canada Sweden Switzerland St. Moritz
1932 Canada USA Germany Lake Placid
1936 Great Britain Canada USA Garmisch-Partenk.
1948 Canada Czechoslovakia Switzerland St. Moritz
1952 Canada USA Sweden Oslo
1956 Soviet Union USA Canada Cortina d’Ampezzo
1960 USA Canada Soviet Union Squaw Valley
1964 Soviet Union Sweden Czechoslovakia Innsbruck
1968 Soviet Union Czechoslovakia Canada Grenoble
1972 Soviet Union USA Czechoslovakia Sapporo
1976 Soviet Union Czechoslovakia F.R. Germany Innsbruck
1980 USA Soviet Union Sweden Lake Placid
1984 Soviet Union Czechoslovakia Sweden Sarajevo
1988 Soviet Union Finland Sweden Calgary
1992 Russia Canada Czechoslovakia Albertville
1994 Sweden Canada Finland Lillehammer
1998 Czech Rep. Russia Finland Nagano
2002 Canada USA Russia Salt Lake City
2006 Sweden Finland Czech Republic Turin
2010 Canada USA Finland Vancouver
2014 Canada Sweden Finland Sochi

¹ The 1920 Olympic ice hockey tournament was a part of the summer Olympics in Antwerp.

More historical information is available in our 506-page IIHF Guide & Record Book which can be ordered as hardcopy or as a handy USB stick here.

 

Qualification

 
Pre-qualified according to the 2015 IIHF Men's World Ranking

1. Canada
2. Russia
3. Sweden
4. Finland
5. USA
6. Czech Republic
7. Switzerland
8. Slovakia

Qualified as host country

Korea

Qualifiers

Norway
Germany
Slovenia


Final Olympic Qualification, 1-4 September 2016:

Group D in Minsk, Belarus

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Slovenia 3 2 1 0 0 8  12-3
2. Belarus 3 2 0 1 0 7  12-8
3. Denmark 3 1 0 0 2 3  7-10
4. Poland 3 0 0 0 3 0  6-16

Slovenia is qualified for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.


Group E in Riga, Latvia

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Germany 3 3 0 0 0 9  14-2
2. Latvia 3 2 0 0 1 6  13-5
3. Austria 3 1 0 0 2 3  4-14
4. Japan 3 0 0 0 3 0  1-11

Germany is qualified for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.


Group F in Oslo, Norway

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Norway 3 2 0 1 0 7  9-6
2. France 3 1 1 0 1 5  7-4
3. Kazakhstan 3 1 1 0 1 5  8-9
4. Italy 3 0 0 1 2 1  4-9

Norway is qualified for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.


Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round 2, 11-14 February 2016:

Group G in Cortina, Italy

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Italy 3 3 0 0 0 9  18-4
2. Great Britain 3 2 0 0 1 6  14-13
3. Netherlands 3 1 0 0 2 3  14-13
4. Serbia 3 0 0 0 3 0  5-21

Italy advances to the Final Olympic Qualification.


Group H in Budapest, Hungary

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Poland 3 2 1 0 0 8  16-3
2. Hungary 3 2 0 1 0 7  11-2
3. Estonia 3 1 0 0 2 3  7-14
4. Lithuania 3 0 0 0 3 0  2-17

Poland advances to the Final Olympic Qualification.


Group J in Sapporo, Japan

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Japan 3 3 0 0 0 9  12-1
2. Ukraine 3 2 0 0 1 6  10-2
3. Croatia 3 1 0 0 2 3  4-10
4. Romania 3 0 0 0 3 0  1-14

Japan advances to the Final Olympic Qualification.


Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round 1, 5-8 November 2015:

Group K in Tallinn, Estonia

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Estonia 3 3 0 0 0 9  58-4
2. Mexico 3 2 0 0 1 6  16-15
3. Israel 3 1 0 0 2 3  6-26
4. Bulgaria 3 0 0 0 3 0  4-39

Estonia advances to the next round.


Group L in Valdemoro, Spain

    GP W OTW OTL L PTS Goals
1. Serbia 3 2 1 0 0 8  15-8
2. Spain 3 2 0 0 1 6  18-9
3. Iceland 3 1 0 1 1 4  18-13
4. China 3 0 0 0 3 0  5-26

Serbia advances to the next round.

 

Qualification Game (10 October 2015)

Game: Bulgaria (35) vs. Georgia (36) in Sofia, Bulgaria. Result: 9-1.