New OT format at Worlds
by Adam Steiss|06 DEC 2018
The last overtime goal in an IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship final: Ilya Kovalchuk scored Russia’s golden goal against Canada in Quebec City 2008.
photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images
The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will get a new overtime format, starting at the 2019 edition next May in Slovakia. 

3-on-3 will be the standard for overtime in future World Championships, with a 3-on-3 sudden death format being adopted for the gold medal game. 

The new overtime format is as follows:
  • Preliminary round games: 5-minute 3-on-3 + shootout
  • Quarter-finals/semi-finals/bronze medal game: 10-minute 3-on-3 + shootout
  • Gold Medal Game: 20-minute periods 3-on-3 sudden-death 
After receiving a mandate from the IIHF Council during the 2018 Semi-Annual Congress to examine and develop alternatives to the existing overtime format, the IIHF Competition and Coordination Committee presented a new proposal during the annual winter IIHF Council meeting held in Zurich on 4 December. 

Following Council modifications and pending formal approval from the participating teams, the new format will be confirmed during the first Directorate meeting prior to the start of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia.

The new format was proposed as a solution to for avoiding shootouts when deciding a gold medal game, while acknowledging other issues that prevent a 5-on-5 or 4-on-4 overtime sudden-death format. 

“There are various reasons we can’t risk a long overtime game in the final,” said IIHF Competition and Coordination Committee Chairman Franz Reindl. “Arena facilities have to turn over quickly, often on the same night as the final, to accommodate new events coming in. There are also concerns from broadcasting and team management that have to be considered as well.” 

“But with this new format we are able to address fan and team concerns about the existing shootout format in the final, which has been the major focus of our committee discussions over several seasons.” 

Following the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the Competition and Coordination Committee will conduct a review of the new format and determine whether it will be implemented in other top-division tournaments.