The International Ice Hockey Federation or IIHF is based in Zurich, Switzerland. It was founded in 1908. IIHF started the Ice Hockey World Championship as a yearly men’s tournament for international ice hockey players. At present, it is the highest profiled game in this category. Besides managing the annual ice hockey tournament, the IIHF is also responsible for world rankings.
The first globally recognised Ice Hockey World Championship took place in 1920 during the Summer Olympics. Prior to it, only the European Championships happened, which were started in 1910. From 1920 to 1968, the winner of the Olympic ice hockey tournament was considered as the World Champion in the field.
In May 2015, it was announced that Slovakia would host the next IIHF World Championship which was held this year. The tournament took place from 10th May to 26th May. It is the second time Slovakia has hosted the championship. The arenas where the ice hockey games occurred were:
• Bratislava’s Ondrej Nepela Arena
• Kosice’s Steel Arena
The current format of ice hockey comprises of 16 teams. They are divided into two groups for the first round. The seeding of the preliminary round is done based on world rankings. The second or playoff round includes the 8 winners of the preliminary round. The winner of the playoffs is given the World Championship.
For the 2019 championship that took place in Slovakia, 14 teams automatically qualified for the first round because they ranked as the top 14 in the previous year’s tournament. The last two positions were taken by Great Britain and Italy. Both teams won promotion during the Division 1 IIHF World Championships in 2018.