World Para Ice Hockey is looking for countries to host three of the sport’s major events in 2020. Bids are now being accepted to host the 2020 European Championships, Pan Pacific Championships and World Championships C-Pool. Interested organisers are invited to complete interest to bid forms by 8 March.
The 2020 World Para Ice Hockey European Championships will see up to 10 teams battle for regional glory. The last Europeans were held in 2016 in Ostersund, Sweden, where Russia* defeated Italy for the gold medal. Norway took down the Czech Republic for the bronze.
Next year’s Pan Pacific Championships will be the second in history and is expected to be bigger than the 2016 edition. The USA, Canada, South Korea and a Pan Pacific team – comprised of players from Japan and development players from USA and Canada – took part in the inaugural competition that was held in Buffalo, USA.
For 2020, reigning champions USA, Canada and South Korea are expected to return, along with two first-timers in China and Japan.
Another host is wanted to welcome nations at the third Worlds C-Pool, where Finland, Australia, one relegated team from the B-Pool, plus any new countries, are looking to participate.
China made an impressive international debut when they won the 2018 C-Pool held in Vierumaki, Finland.
Barbora Kohoutova, World Para Ice Hockey Manager said:
“We anticipate an exciting and busy year for our sport in 2020. With the European Championships to take place, plus the Pan Pacifics and Worlds C-Pool expanding, we are seeing nations hungry to compete and eager to develop in Para ice hockey.
“With the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games wrapped up, followed by the 2019 World Championships A-Pool and B-Pool, next year will be important for nations to challenge their regional counterparts. For some, it is a push for the Beijing 2022 Games, and for others, an opportunity to continue their growth toward high performance.
“We have seen changing times in our sport for the good. South Korea won an historic Paralympic bronze medal at their home Games. Newcomers China stunned at the C-Pool, and Australia put together their first team in such a short time thanks to a grant from the Agitos Foundation. These are just to name a few, and organisers have the opportunity to keep up this momentum in 2020.”