Youth Olympic Games
The Winter Youth Olympic Games were hosted for the first time ever in 2012 in Innsbruck and Seefeld, Austria followed by Lillehammer 2016 in Norway and then Lausanne 2020 in Switzerland.

At the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games ice hockey will be represented with two men’s and two women’s events. Male and female athletes born in 2008 and 2009 will be eligible to participate in the event that will be staged in Gangwon, Korea, 19 January - 1 February 2024. The venue will be the Gangneung Hockey Centre.

The tournaments

There are four events being contested at Gangwon 2024:
  • Men’s 3-on-3 Tournament
  • Women’s 3-on-3 Tournament
  • Men’s 6-team Tournament
  • Women’s 6-team Tournament

The 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games will consist of two phases. For ice hockey, the first phase will feature a new competition format, 3-on-3 cross-ice tournaments, while the second phase will have a more traditional, six-team tournament with five-on-five skaters in place. Both tournaments will feature male and female categories for players born 2008 and 2009.

In all four events, three points will be awarded for a win in regulation play, two for a win after a penalty shot shoot-out, and one for losing in a penalty shot shoot-out, with the top four teams (top two per group in the six-team tournaments) qualify for the semi-finals.

The 3-on-3 tournament

In each 3-on-3 tournament, the eight teams are in single groups and two matches will be played at the same time in each end-zone of the rink, with matches being played cross-ice. Players will play three periods of 16 minutes, with two-minute intervals.

These teams play a round-robin tournament followed by semi-finals and medal games. The players will be selected through national skills challenge competitions and the goaltenders will be selected on a youth ranking which is also used for the allocation of team quote for the 6-team tournaments.
12 national teams go for gold

There will be six teams each in the men’s and women’s tournaments. The 6-team tournaments will consist of two groups of three. After the preliminary round, the top two teams of both groups will compete in semi-finals before the medal games.

The six-team tournament will be played with standard rules with two modifications: at the last Youth Olympics Lausanne 2020, teams played three 15-minute periods (instead of 20 at more senior levels) with no overtime, and minor penalties last for 90 seconds rather than the usual two minutes. The six teams in each tournament are split into two groups of three.

Running Order & Youth Ranking

The Youth Ranking consists of the results of the 2022 and 2023 IIHF U18 Men’s and U18 Women’s Ice Hockey World Championships. Countries will be rewarded points based on their final rankings in these four tournaments. Click here for the Youth Ranking.

The highest-ranked country may then choose whether they wish to participate in the 6-team tournament and, if yes, choose either the male or female tournament. The process will continue until all available 10 team spots are filled.

Skills Challenge as 3-on-3 qualification

National Skills Challenges shall be operated by the National Olympic Committees and the National Ice Hockey Associations. The Skills Challenge consists of just one test in which the athletes compete against time. The best player from each country will automatically qualify to the 3-on-3 tournament while the remaining quota will be filled based on a global ranking. All of the Skills Challenge events must be filmed for verification of results. More detailed information about the operation of the Skills Challenges will be provided directly to the countries willing to take part.

More information: