The International Ice Hockey Federation has announced the schedule for the 2016 IIHF Inline Hockey Qualification Europe that will take place in Austria.
This year three regional qualification events are scheduled to determine the qualifiers for the 2017 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship that will take place in Bratislava, Slovakia, 24 June to 2 July 2017.
With Brazil and New Zealand already known as first two qualifiers, the third will be determined at the European tournament that will take place in Steindorf, Austria, in three weeks, from 22 to 25 June 2016.
After Ireland has pulled out from the event, the tournament will be organized with eight teams split into two groups:
Group A: Austria (1), Bulgaria (4), FYR Macedonia (5), Serbia (8)
Group B: Latvia (2), Belgium (3), Israel (6), Turkey (7)
After a round-robin group stage, the classification games will be played on the last day including the final between the group winners that will determine the team to qualify for Bratislava.
Thanks to the new format of the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship with the main event and the regional qualification tournaments alternating each year, the number of nations entered in the program could be extended to a record 28 countries involved. Click here for the schedule.