IIHF cancels U18 Worlds
by Adam Steiss|13 MAR 2020
USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth was set to host the U18 World Championship. 

The IIHF Council has informed USA Hockey today of its decision to cancel the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.

The cancellation is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has caused major disruptions to sporting events around the world. The tournament was scheduled to take place from 16 to 26 April in Plymouth and Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

“The ability to hold the event is now beyond the control of the IIHF, USA Hockey, and the European teams that would need to travel to the United States for the event, and to camps prior to the event while the United States coronavirus related travel ban is in effect,” said IIHF President RenĂ© Fasel.

The IIHF Council has also confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division I Group A in Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia (13-19 April 2020) and the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division I Group A in Asiago, Italy (12-18 April 2020).

Currently, the travel ban effectively makes it illegal and/or impossible for six of the non-North American teams to travel to and participate in an event in the United States. As well, the IIHF has learned that authorities in the state of Michigan have recommended avoiding gatherings of more than 100 people.

“In considering these factors, together with the health and safety of players, coaches, officials, media and fans, the IIHF Council had no choice but to cancel the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship,” said Fasel.

USA Hockey announced that all those who have purchased tickets will receive a full refund and staff from USA Hockey Arena will be reaching out to facilitate those refunds this month.

The IIHF Council will have a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of the men’s senior IIHF World Championship tournaments scheduled to be played in April and May.

The IIHF and its organizing member national associations previously had to cancel several men’s, women’s and under-18 men’s tournaments of the World Championship program in March and early April due to the coronavirus situation, including the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship that was scheduled in Canada.