In 2017 eight countries will be represented in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program at different levels with Kazakhstan, Korea, Japan, China, DPR Korea, Hong Kong, the United Arab Ermirates and Chinese Taipei.
The IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia gives Asian countries that are not in the World Championship program, or that play in the lowest division, a chance to compete. It shall also help develop hockey in Asia and help rank the Asian teams in view of the seeding for the Asian Winter Games.
The first edition of the event was held in 2008 with six teams in Hong Kong, followed by the eight-team event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2009. The year after a nine teams participated in the event in Chinese Taipei. 2012 marked the first ever event held in India, in the city of Dehradun.
In 2013 a record number of ten teams came to Bangkok in the first IIHF tournament ever held in Thailand and the same number of nations will participated in 2014. Oman joined the competition in 2015 and Qatar in 2016 to grow the number of active Asian nations to 18. In 2017 Turkmenistan and the Philippines will play for the first time.
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Tournaments in the 2016/2017 season:
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia
In Bangkok, Thailand, 17-23 March 2017
Participants: United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Thailand, Singapore, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia Division I
In Kuwait City, Kuwait, 22-30 April 2017
Participants: Macau, Qatar, India, Kuwait, Oman, Turkmenistan, Philippines
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's Challenge Cup of Asia
In Bangkok, Thailand, 7-15 March 2017
Participants: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand U18, Philippines
Asian Winter Games
The 8th Asian Winter Games will take place in Sapporo, Japan, with men's and women's ice hockey tournaments from 18 to 26 February 2017.
Men's Top Division: Kazakhstan, Japan, Korea, China
Men's Division I: Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Singapore
Men's Division II: Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Macau, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Philippines
Women's Tournament: Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand