The 16 teams are divided into four groups in the Preliminary Round.
Group A (Quebec):
Group B (Halifax):
Group C (Halifax):
Group D (Quebec):
- After a single round-robin series in each group, the top three teams from each group advance to the Qualification Round while the fourth-placed team in each group moves to the Relegation Round.
- The Qualification Round consists of two groups (E=A+D and F=B+C) with six teams each, playing a single round robin. The teams carry the points from the Preliminary Round with the teams that they played and advance with. Teams, which have played in the Preliminary Round, do not meet again in the Qualification Round.
Group E (Quebec):
Group F (Halifax):
- NEW! In the Quarterfinals, the first-place team in each Qualification Round group plays the fourth-place team from the same group, while the second-place team plays the third-place team in the same Qualification Round group. 1E-4E, 2E-3E, 1F-4F, 2F-3F. The winning teams advance to the semi-finals.
- Semi-final pairings: Winner 1E-4E vs Winner 2F-3F, Winner 1F-4F vs Winner 2E-3E.
- The winning teams of the semi-final games advance to the gold medal game while the semi-final losing teams play for Bronze.
Relegation series 1 (Quebec):
Relegation series 2 (Halifax):
- NEW! Each last-placed team from the Preliminary Round groups will go to the Relegation Round. The two last-place teams in Quebec City will play a best-of-three series, while the two last-place teams in Halifax will do the same. The loser of each best-of-three series is relegated to Division I, while the winners will return to the 2009 World Championship in Switzerland.
- Austria and Hungary are promoted to the 2009 World Championship as the Division I winners.
- If two teams are tied on equality of points in the standings after completion of the round-robin, the following tie breaking criteria applies:
1. Head-to-head (mutual) games between the teams concerned.
2. Overall goal differential.
3. Higher number of goals scored for.
4. Game Winning Shot competition between the teams concerned.
- If three or more teams have the same number of points in the group after completion of the round-robin, then their ranking is determined by the higher number of points in a special standing composed just from the results of their head-to-head (mutual) games. If the number of points is equal between the teams in this special standing just from the results of their head-to-head (mutual) games, then the following tie breaking criteria applies (with no secondary return to the head-to-head results):
1. Goal differential in the standing between the teams involved.
2. Higher number of goals scored between the teams involved.
3. Goal differential from all games played in the group.
4. Higher number of goals scored from all games played in the group.
5. Shootout between the teams which are still equal.
- Note: If two teams are equal in the above tie-breaking criteria at the end of their last game in the group and their standing cannot be influenced by games to follow, this game will be prolonged for an overtime period, to decide the positions of the two teams.
- In case of a tie at the end of regulation in a quarterfinal, semi-final and bronze medal game, there will be a 10-minute, sudden-death overtime period, following a three-minute intermission. The teams will defend the same goals as in the third period. The team, which scores first is the winner.
- In the gold medal game there will be a 20-minute sudden-death overtime, following a full intermission during which the ice will be resurfaced. The teams will change ends. The team which scores first is the winner.
- All sudden death overtime periods are played four skaters on four.
- If no goal is scored during the sudden-death overtime, there will be game winning shot (GWS) competition ’shootout’. Each team must select three shooters to compete in the GWS. If the score is still tied after the teams have had three attempts each, the teams continue to shoot in pairings until the shooter of one team misses and the shooter of the other team scores. See Game Winning Shots Procedure.
If no goal is scored in overtime then the Game Winning Shots procedure will apply. The following procedure will be utilised:
- Three different shooters from each team will take alternate shots, until a decisive goal is scored.
- If the game is still tied after three shots by each team, the GWS will continue with a tie-break shoot out by one player of each team, with a reversed shooting order. The same or new players can take the tie-break shots.
The same player can also be used for each shot by a team in the tie-break. Only the decisive goal will count in the result of the game.
Note: This GWS procedure applies for all games.
Teams winning in regulation are awarded three points, the loser none.
Where there is a tied score in the Preliminary and Qualification Rounds, teams are given one point each. A five-minute overtime will follow and, if the score is still tied after overtime, Game Winning Shots will be used. The team winning in overtime or shoot-out is awarded the extra point for a total of two points.
The IIHF and its Rule Committee published the latest version of the official IIHF Rulebook, valid through the 2010 season. Below you can find the complete book in a PDF format.
Table of Contents
Annexes & Signals