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Why are the "World Championships" held during the playoffs?

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01-11-2012, 09:57 PM
  #1
StoneColdFlower*
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Why are the "World Championships" held during the playoffs?

I've never for the life of me understood this. It's as though the IIHF waits for all the lesser leagues to finish but doesn't wait for the NHL. Shouldn't a world championship consist of the best players rather than the best players whose teams failed in the NHL? On top of that, wouldn't a lot more people in North America care if the tournament were not competing with the Stanley Cup playoffs? I mean, surely the IIHF cares about money and notoriety and would want the tournament held when it gets the highest viewership. Is there a legitimate reason for this, or is some Swiss bureaucrat involved in some power struggle ****fest with the NHL?

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01-11-2012, 10:02 PM
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I'm asking here only because nobody I know seems to know the answer, so I figured this would be the best place to find out.

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01-12-2012, 01:57 AM
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Because the NHL playoffs last until mid-June.

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01-12-2012, 03:30 AM
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stv11
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Most leagues end their season in early April, so it makes sense to hold the tournament in early May to allow for a three or four weeks training camp, then some time off before starting off ice conditionning for the next season in late May/early June.

If it was held later, players would go on vacation right at the end of their club season and return out of shape for the tournament, and be late in their conditionning for the next season.

Beside, holding the tournament when people are more concerned about their summer vacation than about hockey would kill fan interest.

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01-12-2012, 03:31 AM
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BobDobolina
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So what's your solution? Play in late June/July after some guys have just played 2 months of grueling playoff hockey and some guys haven't played a game in months.

They are played the way they are because it just makes the most sense.

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01-12-2012, 04:16 AM
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zorz
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NHL season is just too long. They can't let the rest of the players just train for 3 months or so. The WHC is very important event mainly for smaller hockey countries and many NHL'ers who would be finished later wouldn't be interested to play anyway. And btw., who wants to watch hockey in summer? Maybe some people do, but not me.

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01-12-2012, 02:21 PM
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Uncle Rotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sid View Post
I've never for the life of me understood this. It's as though the IIHF waits for all the lesser leagues to finish but doesn't wait for the NHL. Shouldn't a world championship consist of the best players rather than the best players whose teams failed in the NHL? On top of that, wouldn't a lot more people in North America care if the tournament were not competing with the Stanley Cup playoffs? I mean, surely the IIHF cares about money and notoriety and would want the tournament held when it gets the highest viewership. Is there a legitimate reason for this, or is some Swiss bureaucrat involved in some power struggle ****fest with the NHL?
When NHL players started appearing in 1977, the IIHF moved it from April to May. My question is: is there any other team sport that holds a World Championship every year?

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01-12-2012, 02:25 PM
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zorz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Rotter View Post
When NHL players started appearing in 1977, the IIHF moved it from April to May. My question is: is there any other team sport that holds a World Championship every year?
It's not like other sports don't have international events every year. It's just not named world championship. In other sports the system is usually different so when you are not playing WC, you're playing qualifications for it or some other tournament.

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01-12-2012, 02:58 PM
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o, most sports donīt hold a WC every year, but as zorz says they usually have a qualification the other years. Or if itīs not a qualification, they have continental championships. However hockey is not a big sport globally and the competition for the top 20 teams is so small that there is no point in having a qualification that would have teams of all levels playing in it, not even mentioning the fact that the gap between all the teams is so huge that in 99% it would make no sense to even play those games as the result would be absolutely clear. The current system where the teams play against team of similar levels to theirs in order to promote makes much more sense and the whole lower divisions system is the reason why thereīs a WC every year. Hockey also canīt really have the continental championships every other year, because unlike in other sports where you actually get continental championships on all continents, only a European championships in hockey would make any sense, that is unless you fancy some kind of US-Canada series or something.

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01-13-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Rotter View Post
When NHL players started appearing in 1977, the IIHF moved it from April to May. My question is: is there any other team sport that holds a World Championship every year?
Yes, baseball does. It will change, I think last year's Baseball World Cup was the last as the IBAF's World Championship. The World Baseball Classic has been deemed the new World Championship by the IBAF and is on a four year cycle, but this year will be the first year without a true World Championship in baseball.

In theory one could argue that the soccer World Cup is a 4 year long tournament. So technically FIFA is holding part of their World championship yearly. The Finals are held every fourth year, but FIFA considers the regional tournaments part of the World Cup not separate tournaments.

The thing I do wonder is why in Olympic years they still hold the World Championships? Why does the IIHF not consider the Olympics to be the World Championship? You just ensure that the Olympic format mirrors the Worlds, so you expand the Olympics by 4 teams. It would also mean that the previous year's Worlds becomes crucial, as promotion/relegation would mean an Olympic berth. You could also easily have a one game playoff between the bottom two to determine relegation. I think you'd see less begging off of NHL players in the tournament the year prior to the Olympics, if they knew that relegation means no Olympics.

As the Czechs and Americans have shown at the WJCs over the years, their status as elite hockey nations does not automatically prevent them from playing in the relegation round. So I'd think many NHLers who want the Olympic experience would play at the Worlds the year before to ensure an Olympics.

Right now, it seems silly to hold a best on best tournament and award medals and ranking points for it and then hold a less than best on best tournament later that year and call it the World Championship. Thus, the winner of the lesser tournament is the World Champion and receives more ranking points.

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01-13-2012, 10:59 AM
  #11
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Assuming I understand what you are trying to do with tying the Olympics together with the Worlds, you would still hold the World Championship in an Olympic year however you are just cutting out the Elite Division correct?

If that is what you are going for, then I would be fine with that, the Elite Division European countries could just make the final EIHC tournament have a host location while the remaining countries play in their usual World Championships. You simply cant have off years when dealing with the lower ranked countries, their growing programs take the Worlds very serious, removing a year wouldnt do them any good.

Sorry if I did misunderstand.

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01-14-2012, 09:41 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenskaRiga View Post
Assuming I understand what you are trying to do with tying the Olympics together with the Worlds, you would still hold the World Championship in an Olympic year however you are just cutting out the Elite Division correct?

If that is what you are going for, then I would be fine with that, the Elite Division European countries could just make the final EIHC tournament have a host location while the remaining countries play in their usual World Championships. You simply cant have off years when dealing with the lower ranked countries, their growing programs take the Worlds very serious, removing a year wouldnt do them any good.

Sorry if I did misunderstand.
This. IIHF vice president Kalervo Kummola also said some years ago when he was asked during the Worlds about the necessity of the Worlds in Olympic years that their main sponsorship contracts bind them to have it every year (also added he personally wouldn't have them in Olympic years).

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01-14-2012, 10:35 AM
  #13
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They would lose a lot of attendance if they held it later. June is soccer season in Europe. I've heard a lot of Swedes who think it's nuts to have the WC in May even.

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01-14-2012, 03:11 PM
  #14
Hammer Time
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sid View Post
I've never for the life of me understood this. It's as though the IIHF waits for all the lesser leagues to finish but doesn't wait for the NHL. Shouldn't a world championship consist of the best players rather than the best players whose teams failed in the NHL? On top of that, wouldn't a lot more people in North America care if the tournament were not competing with the Stanley Cup playoffs? I mean, surely the IIHF cares about money and notoriety and would want the tournament held when it gets the highest viewership. Is there a legitimate reason for this, or is some Swiss bureaucrat involved in some power struggle ****fest with the NHL?
It's mainly for historical reasons. For many years, professionals were not allowed to participate in the World Championships. (However, due to a loophole in that rule, players from Eastern Bloc countries , even if the government was paying them, were allowed to participate, while NHL players were not.) So during those days, the NHL and IIHF decided to schedule their biggest tournaments during the same time of year, and there was no conflict because players eligible for one could never be eligible for the other.

The IIHF started allowing NHL players to participate at the WCs in 1977. However, by this time, both the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the WCs had been scheduled in April/May for a long time, and neither organization wanted to reschedule for a variety of reasons.

In the end, it comes down to money. The NHL makes loads of money precisely because its season is so long (more games, more tickets sold), so it's not to their benefit to cut short their season to allow its players to play in the WCs.

The IIHF also makes lots of money from the WCs. If they scheduled the WCs after the SC Playoffs (in late June), there would be much less interest simply due to the climate at that time of year. Also, many of the countries at the WCs (Latvia, Switzerland, etc.) have only a few (or no) NHL players, so their ticket sales aren't affected much by the playoffs happening at the same time.

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