The 16 teams are divided into two groups for the Preliminary Round played in a single round robin.
The top-four ranked teams of each group advance to the quarter-finals that will be played cross-over. The first-place team in each preliminary-round group plays the fourth-place team of the other group, while the second-place team plays the third-place team of the other group. 1A-4B, 2A-3B, 1B-4A, 2B-3A. The venues and time slots of the games will officially be determined following the conclusion of the preliminary round.
In the semi-finals the best-ranked team - criteria: 1) placement in the group, 2) points in the preliminary round, 3) goal difference in the preliminary round, 4) goals scored in the preliminary round, 5) seeding coming into the tournament - will play against the lowest-ranked semi-finalist. The 2nd-best ranked semi-finalist will play the 3rd-best ranked semi-finalist. Both semi-final games will be played in Tampere. The host if qualified, or otherwise the best-ranked semi-finalist according to beforementioned criteria, shall play the early game. The time slots will officially be determined after the quarter-final games.
The winning teams of the semi-final games advance to the gold medal game while the semi-final losing teams play for bronze.