The preliminary round will be played in 4 groups (A-D) with 4 teams each. The groups A and B form the Top Division, the groups C and D form Division I.
Playoffs starting with the quarter-finals and placement games will be played both in the Top Division and in Division I.
The last-placed team of the Top Division (loser of the 7th-place game) will be relegated to Division I for 2013. The gold medal winner from Division I will be promoted to the Top Division in 2013. The two last-ranked teams of Division I will be relegated to the qualification events.
Note: No relegation game will be played if it involves Germany. Germany is set in the Top Division of the 2013 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship in Dresden as the host nation, and the opponent in the relegation game (7th-place game) will be relegated to Division I automatically.
The ranking of the groups is based according to the result of the last World Championship performance of the respective countries in the IIHF InLine Hockey Program and the qualification rounds.
The Top Division will be played in the main arena, the Division I games usually in the small arena (except final day).
Both rinks will have "AXXESS ICE COURT" floors, the official IIHF Championship Floor.
All games in the preliminary round and in the playoffs will be played with 5-minute sudden-death overtime and a penalty shootout in case of a tie. The final games will be played with a 12-minute sudden-death overtime, followed by a penalty shootout competition in case of a tie.
Teams will be awarded points on the following system:
- Win after regular time = 3 points
- Win after overtime or shootout = 2 points
- Loss after overtime or shootout = 1 point
- Loss after regular time = 0 points
Group A: Czech Republic (1), Sweden (4), Finland (5), Great Britain (8).
Group B: USA (2), Canada (3), Slovenia (6), Germany (7).
Group C: Slovakia (9), Australia (12), Croatia (13), Bulgaria (16).
Group D: Hungary (10), Austria (11), Japan (14), New Zealand (15).