Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Czech Republic will host 2012 U18 men's and women's championships

It has long been known that the IIHF Women's U18 World Championship will be played in the Czech Republic in early January 2012. On Wednesday, Czech website announced that the men's edition of the tournament will be held in the same country, subject to rubber-stamp approval from the IIHF Congress.

"Information was sent to us from the IIHF, stating that we will host the tournament," said Czech Ice Hockey Association (ČSLH) Gereral Secretary Martin Urban. "Officially, it still must be confirmed by Congress." The ČSLH website is also announcing they will host the tournament, which suggests the information is true.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Switzerland, but rumblings began during the 2011 tournament in Germany that the Swiss may relinquish their right to host, citing a lack of suitable venues that were willing to host. The Czech Republic and Denmark stepped to the forefront as possible replacements, and now it seems that the Czechs will, indeed, host both the women's and men's U18 events.

Hosts for both tournaments have not been announced, but there are many possible candidates.

Among last season's top women's teams were Pardubice, Slavia Praha, Karvina, Kladno, and Plzeň. While Prague isnt likely to host, the others are all possibilities, as is Slaný, which hosted a 5-teams U18 womens tournament last December, prior to the World Championship in Sweden. Slaný is just 13 km north of Kladno, which could make them suitable candidates to co-host.

Hradec Králové hosted a U18 tournament in February 2011.
Photo: Stanislav Souček,
As for the men's event, Pardubice has hosted World U20 Championships in 2002 and 2008, and the area's passion for hockey makes them likely front-runners for this event as well. Nearby Hradec Králové hosted a five-team U18 tournament in February, making them ideal co-host candidates. Indeed, the Czech Republic is no stranger to hosting U18 hockey tournaments. The Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament is annually co-hosted in South Moravia, usually Břeclav, along with a Slovak city, usually Piešťany. Junior hockey is usually more popular in Moravia, as seen by the excitement in Znojmo over their national junior title. Znojmo's 5,500-seat Hostan Arena would seem to suit the needs of the tournament, although the departure of the Orli Znojmo professional team to the Austrian League might not earn them any points with the ČSLH. Brno's 7,200-seat Hala Rondo and the area's passionate fans is another option worth considering.

Of course, cities won't be chosen until after the IIHF formally approves the host nation. That won't happen until their next Congress meeting, August 22 to 24 in Istanbul, Turkey.

1 comment:

  1. Good Day

    I'm am going to be the Official Photographer for the Women's U18 in Zlin. Any chance I can send you some questions regarding the rink?

    If so please drop me an email at

    Phil (No surprise, Canadian)