World Para Ice Hockey has launched a call for hosts for the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Paralympic Winter Games Qualification Tournament, one of the most important competitions in the lead-up to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The participation of Czech Republic, Japan and Slovakia is already confirmed following their medal wins from the 2016 World Championships B-Pool.
The final teams will be decided at the 2017 World Championships A-Pool, being held in Gangneung, South Korea, from 11-20 April. The top five finishers from that competition will advance directly to the Winter Paralympics, whilst the bottom two finishers will play at the Qualification Tournament.
The competition is also crucial for the hosts of PyeongChang 2018. South Korea has a guaranteed slot, but they will aim to show their strength at the 2017 World Championships A-Pool by aiming for a top five finish. If they fail to reach the top five, their ranking for the Paralympic Winter Games will be determined from their performance at the Qualification Tournament.
Barbora Kohoutova, Interim World Para Ice Hockey Manager, said: “After the World Championships the Qualification Tournament is the most important event for teams as they try to secure a place at the Games.
“Para ice hockey experienced a watershed moment at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, attracting global media interest backed up by successful editions of the A-Pool, B-Pool and C-Pool World Championships in the intervening years.
“It is therefore a chance to host a high profile event which we expect to attract lots of attention.”
The Qualification Tournament must take place before 20 November 2017.
The deadline for bids to host is 27 April, 2017.
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The 2017 World Championships A-Pool will feature defending champions the USA, silver medallists Canada, Norway, Italy, Germany, South Korea and Sweden.
Held in the Gangneung Hockey Centre, it will also act as the Test Event for PyeongChang 2018.