IIHF Overtime Rules Tweaked for 2019 Event

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Canada's forward Ryan O'Reilly (R) vies with France's goalie Ronan Quemener during the group B preliminary round game Canada versus France at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Saint Petersburg on May 16, 2016. / AFP / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The IIHF overtime rules will be changing for the upcoming World Championships this May in Slovakia. Hockey’s international organizing body announced the changes on Thursday morning.

IIHF Overtime Rules Undergo Makeover

Overtime periods will now be decided in a 3-on-3 format. Preliminary-round games will five minutes of the new format and then go to a shootout. Knockout-round games including the bronze medal game will have 10 minutes of 3-on-3 and will go to a shootout if still tied.

The gold medal game will have 20 minutes of 3-on-3 hockey. All overtime-games will have the sudden-death format. Officials will review the new format at the end of the tournament. Other tournaments could see the new format if it’s successful.

IIHF Competition and Coordination Committee Chairman Franz Reindl cited other reasons for the change. Here’s what he said in a statement on the governing body’s website.

“There are various reasons we can’t risk a long overtime game in the final. Arena facilities have to turn over quickly, often on the same night as the final, to accommodate new events coming in. There are also concerns from broadcasting and team management that have to be considered as well.”

What It Means for the Future

It’s understandable that the IIHF wants to have a definitive winner. Shootouts have produced great memories in international tournaments. Peter Forsbergs goal for Team Sweden in the 1994 gold medal game at the Albertville Olympics comes to mind.

However, there are fans that don’t want to see a skill competition decide a championship. A team can dominate a game but come away with nothing because of the shootout.

There will be some that want the traditional 5-on-5 format to decided knockout games, but it’s understandable why the IIHF wants test out this new system.

Canada’s forward Ryan O’Reilly (R) vies with France’s goalie Ronan Quemener during the group B preliminary round game Canada versus France at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Saint Petersburg on May 16, 2016. / AFP / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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