Pardubice ready for 2014

Inline: Looking forward to final round, and upcoming years

05.06.2013
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The Czechs won the 2011 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship on home soil in Pardubice. Next year they will bring the event back to the city. Photo: Ivana Hoskova

DRESDEN – On the off day at the 2013 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship the teams came together to discuss about future tournaments and the qualification. The world’s best inline hockey players will go to Pardubice, Czech Republic, next year.

At the meeting the results of the preliminary round and the game assignments of the final round were confirmed and the organizer informed about the flood situation in the region. The arena was built some years ago in a fortunate location on a hill and hasn’t been affected although the parking lot situated below cannot be used for the tournament.

The meeting was opened by Bob Nicholson, IIHF Vice President and Chairman of the Competition & Inline Committee and of the Development & Coaching Committee.

“I’ve been very impressed with the calibre of play,” Nicholson said and underlined the importance of having these two committees working closely together for inline hockey also with other committees that touch the sport.

Nicholson also announced the qualification format for the upcoming season to replace the two teams relegated from the lower division in Dresden.

“We’re looking at two qualifications for next season, one in July or August in Europe, and one in November in the southern hemisphere,” Nicholson said. “We would like to get more countries involved but we want to make sure that it’s competitive.”

Hannes Ederer, the IIHF’s Deputy General Secretary and Event Director, also initiated discussions within the inline hockey family about the optimal structure for the future especially for lower-ranked teams or nations competing in qualification tournaments.

“We want to find a system that fits your needs and to get as much as possible out of the resources,” Ederer said to the participants.

Next year the top-16 inline hockey nations will travel to the Czech Republic. The 2014 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship will be staged in Pardubice from 15-21 June 2014 where it was successfully hosted in 2011.

Pardubice, a city of 90,000 people located 120 kilometres east of Prague, proved that it’s a hockey city also for inline hockey when thousands of fans came to the CEZ Arena. Pardubice is a six-time national champion in Czech and Czechoslovak ice hockey history.

The main arena has a capacity for 10,190 spectators and a second arena for the lower division is included in the complex that has 20 changing rooms.

The Czech Republic won its only inline hockey world title when it hosted the event in Pardubice in 2011.

Finland applied to host the 2015 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship in Tampere and Canada wants to host the event in 2016.

MARTIN MERK

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