Hockey at Winter Youth Games

I came across a interesting article this past week as I was researching for my own up coming article.

The Winter Youth Games being held in Innsbruck, Austria on January 2012 at the Tyrolean Ice Arena will be the center stage for the hockey tournament for both males and females born of the 1996 age group. What I found very interesting is the various players of the teams will be competing in a series of Skill Challenge broken up into six tests. About 30 players will be able to show ‘their best stuff’ through these drills, should be fun to watch!

Check the article out and prepare for the future hockey greats displaying their best talent.

ZURICH – When the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games open in Innsbruck, Austria, in 70 days, competitions new to the Olympics will be introduced. For ice hockey it’s the Skills Challenge with six tests.

On 13th January 2012, Innsbruck’s Tyrolean Ice Arena will be the stage of the first round of ice hockey tournament play. A five-team tournament with national teams from Canada, Finland, USA, Russia and Austria consisting of male players born in 1996 will start on that day.

On the same day, the women’s ice hockey tournament with female players born in 1994 from Sweden, Slovakia, Germany, Kazakhstan and Austria opens. But there will be more hockey than these two five-team tournaments.

As many new competitions will be introduced in the various sports staged at the Youth Olympics, ice hockey boys and girls, who don’t participate in the tournaments, will compete in an individual Skills Challenge, which will consist of series of six tests.

The 30 participants were selected through national qualification events followed by a global qualification competition held in July during the IIHF Hockey Development Camp in Vierumäki, Finland.

At the Skills Challenge players can show their individual technical abilities in six fundamentals that are essential in hockey and will test their abilities in skating, shooting, passing and puck-control.

The players in the Skills Challenge join in from countries other than the ones that send teams for the tournaments, plus players from the host country, Austria. This means that female and male hockey players from nations such as China, Great Britain or New Zealand will be part of the Youth Olympics’ Skills Challenge after succeeding in the global qualification event last summer.

The young athletes will participate in a knock-out, head-to-head qualification phase on 16th January and the best eight male and the best eight female players advance to the Grand Final where they battle for points and the medals on 19th January.

The IIHF has published the list of participants as well as information, illustrations and videos about the six skills tests.

The tournaments for male and female players will open on 13th January with a single round robin followed by semi-finals, bronze medal games and the gold medal games on 22nd January.

Click here or general information about the Winter Youth Olympic Games and the ice hockey events in Innsbruck.

By Warren Nye,
Photo by innsbruck2012
November 12th, 2011