For the 2018 Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament the top-5 nations of the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Ranking will be automatically qualified and seeded according to the ranking. The two qualifiers will be determined in the three stages of the Olympic Qualification during the 2016/2017 season according to the schematic below.
Olympic Winter Games, Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament (9-25 February 2018)
Group A: USA (1), Canada (2), Finland (3), Russia (4)
Group B: Sweden (5), Switzerland (6), Japan (7), Korea (8)
Final Olympic Qualification (9-12 February 2017)
Group C: Switzerland (6), Czech Republic (9), Denmark (10), Norway (13). In Arosa, Switzerland.
Group D: Japan (7), Germany (8), Austria (11), France (12). In Tomakomai, Japan.
Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round 3 (December 2016)
Group E: France (12), Latvia (15), China (16), Italy (20). In Cergy-Pontoise, France. 15-18 Dec.
Group F: Norway (13), Slovakia (14), Hungary (17), Kazakhstan (18). In Stavanger, Norway. 16-18 Dec.
Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round 2 (November 2016)
Group G: Kazakhstan (18), Great Britain (21), Poland (22), Mexico (26). In Astana, Kazakhstan. 3-6 Nov.
Group H: Netherlands (19), Italy (20), Slovenia (23), Spain (24). In San Sebastian, Spain. 4-6 Nov.
Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round 1 (7-9 October 2016)
Group J: Turkey (25), Mexico (26), Hong Kong (27). In Mexico City, Mexico.
Note: The qualifiers for the Olympics and the various qualification tournaments are entered in the order according to their position in the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Ranking. The numbers in brackets are seeding positions for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the Qualification.
The teams play a single round-robin tournament. The tournament winner will be qualified for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games Women's Ice Hockey Tournament.
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
If a game is tied at the end of regulation time, a five-minute overtime period shall be played. 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 three (3) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper for games of the preliminary round.
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:
- Three different shooters from each team will take alternate shots, until a decisive goal is scored.
- If the game is still tied after three shots by each team, the GWS will continue with a tie-break shoot out by one player of each team, with a reversed shooting order. The same or new players can take the tie-break shots.
- The same player can also be used for each shot by a team in the tie-break shoot-out.
- Only the decisive goal will count in the result of the game.
- Shots will be taken at both ends of the ice. The area of the ice to be used will be dry scraped.
- A coin toss will determine which team takes the first shot, with the winner of the toss having the choice whether his team will shoot first or second.
- Any player whose penalty was not over when overtime ended cannot take the shots and must stay in the penalty box or in the dressing room.
- Once named, players may only be replaced in the event of injury or penalty.
- The substitute stand-by player is placed last in the shooting order.
- The goalkeepers will defend the same goal, as determined by the Referee. The goalkeepers from each team may be changed after each shot.
- The players of both teams will take the shots alternately until a decisive goal is scored.
- The decisive goal will be credited to the player who scored and to the goalkeeper concerned.
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).
Final Ranking / World Ranking
The gold medal game and bronze medal game will determine the final ranking for the top-4 teams. The eliminated teams from the preliminary round plus the losing teams of the quarter-finals will be ranked following their positions in the groups preceding the quarter-final round.
The final ranking will follow the following procedure:
1. Higher position in the group,
2. Higher number of points,
3. Better goal difference,
4. Higher number of goals scored for,
5. Better seeding number
The IIHF World Ranking will be produced after the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. It is based on the rankings of the four most recent IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships and of the last Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament (including qualification tournaments).
Click here for more information on the IIHF World Ranking system.
Click here to download the IIHF’s Rule Book and Sport Regulations.
- The teams submit the names of the participating players at the first Championship Directorate.
- The maximum number of players allowed on a Team Registration Form is 18 skaters and 3 goalies. The minimum is 15 skaters and 2 goalies.
- At the first Directorate meeting, the teams must name at least the minimum number of 15 skaters and 2 goalkeepers. The players entered must be present at the championship venue by the time of the Directorate meeting.
- The remaining players up to the allowed maximum of 18 + 3 must be submitted for players' control two hours before any of the following championship games. Players can be added throughout the tournament until the roster is full.
- During a game, a team may enter (dress) 18 skaters and 2 goalkeepers on the Official Game Sheet, with the emergency goalkeeper standing by if a goalie entered to the Official Game Sheet is unable to play.
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 or she represents.
Acquiring a new national eligibility (The ‘one-year’ case)
When a female player has changed her citizenship or has acquired another citizenship and wants to participate for the first time in an IIHF competition representing her new country she must:
- Prove that she has participated on a consistent basis for at least one hockey season and have been member of the new national association for at least 12 consecutive months during that period during which she 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 her new country and which was approved and dated at least one year before the start of the IIHF competition in which she wishes to participate.
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:
- She is a citizen of the new country of her choice.
- She has participated for at least four consecutive years (1460 days) in the national competitions of her new country, during which period she has neither transferred to another country nor played ice hockey within any other country and has not played for her previous country in an IIHF competition during this four-year period.
- She has an international transfer card (ITC) that shows the transfer to the national competition of her new country and which was approved and dated at least four years before the start of the IIHF competition in which she wishes to participate.