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By Around The Rings

The Sapporo Asian Winter Games Organizing Committee (SAWGOC) today announced details of the ice hockey tournament for the Olympic Council of Asia’s 8th Asian Winter Games next month.

A total of 20 men’s teams will play in three separate divisions: Top Division (4 teams), Division I (6 teams) and Division II (10 teams).
All six of the women’s teams will play in the same tournament.

The grouping of each tournament is based on positions in the 2016 IIHF men’s and women’s world rankings, or in the 2016 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia ranking.

The tournament formats are as follows:

・ Men’s Top Division: A single round robin by four teams

・ Men’s Division I: A single round robin by six teams.

・ Men’s Division II: After a Preliminary Round in Group A and Group B (5 teams in each group), the two group runners-up will play off for third place. The winners of the two preliminary round groups will play in the final for the overall top position in Division II. The 5th to 10th places in the final ranking will be determined based on results in the Preliminary Round in accordance with the IIHF Sport Regulations.

・ Women’s Tournament: A single round robin by six teams.

Based on the above-mentioned formats, the pairings of the games in the respective tournaments have been finalised in accordance with the IIHF Sport Regulations.

Men’s Top Division (4 teams, at Tsukisamu Gymnasium): Kazakhstan, Japan, Korea, China.

Men’s Division 1 (6 teams, at Mikaho Gymnasium): Hong Kong-China, United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Singapore.

Men’s Division II (10 teams, at Hoshioki Ice Skating Rink): Group A – Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, *Independent Olympic Athletes, Philippines, Bahrain. Group B – Malaysia, Macau-China, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Iran.

*The Independent Olympic Athletes will be representing Kuwait Olympic Committee, which is suspended by the International Olympic Committee.

Women’s Tournament (6 teams, at Tsukisamu Gymnasium): Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Korea, Hong Kong-China, Thailand.

The ice hockey tournament will begin on February 18 – one day before the Opening Ceremony of the 8th Asian Winter Games at Sapporo Dome.

There will be free admission for all games in Men’s Division II.

The OCA’s 8th Asian Winter Games will run from February 19-26 at Sapporo, with the speed skating at Obihiro. There will be five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events.

Ice Hockey Schedule Here