The Ostrava para hockey championships are changing the event dates. The World Championships will take place only a month later

In connection with the development of the global coronavirus situation, the World Para Ice Hockey organization, in cooperation with the organizing committee of the Ostrava 2021 World Para Ice Hockey Championships, decided to postpone the championships from May to June. The tournament for the eight best para hockey teams in the world, which is also a qualification for the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, will take place in the Ostravar Arena from June 19 to June 26, 2021.

The organizers want to give the individual teams more time to prepare, which is significantly limited for para hockey players in many countries as of right now. At the same time, the organizers of the tournament hope that the conditions for travel and the teams’ arrival in the Czech Republic will be moderated, as well as the possibility of fans entering the arena. “We are glad that the tournament is returning to Ostrava after two years again. We want to provide a safe course of the championships to all players, as well as the organizing team and volunteers that is following all safety and health regulations, “said World Para Ice Hockey Manager Michelle Laflamme. Not only the teams but also the fans who repeatedly filled the Ostravar Arena two years ago during the para hockey championships are already looking forward to the upcoming tournament. But the organizers do not want to rush ticket sales just yet. “We are already registering great interest in ticket sales for the championships. We greatly thank all our fans for their support. At the moment, however, we will not be launching pre-sale tickets as we will wait for the further development of the coronavirus situation and the measures that we will have to comply with during the championships, “added the chairman of the organizing team, Jiří Šindler.

Michal Vapenka

Championships online and on TV sporting channels

The Ostrava 2019 championships was a record-breaking tournament not only due to the number of spectators in the stadium but also due to the television screens. Two years ago, the number of fans watching via television broadcasts exceeded two hundred thousand per broadcast. That is why the organizers of this year’s championships want to give para hockey spectators a quality tournament broadcast once again. “Of course, we are working on offering all matches of the Ostrava 2021 Para Ice Hockey World Championships to fans in the widest possible specter of domestic and foreign channels, including online broadcasts,” outlined Jiří Šindler.”We believe that it will be possible to open at least part of the auditorium for spectators, but we are also considering an outdoor fan zone if the weather permits it”, added Šindler.

Ostrava 2021 world para ice hockey championships

Newcomers will be the driving force the Czech national team

The Czech para hockey team has undergone a generational change since the last world tournament. Meanwhile, the team is regularly training at camps in Nymburk and Poděbrady. “We train in isolation, but we would need to touch our opponents already, so to speak. We are healthy, that is the main thing and whether the championships will be played in May or
June is of little concern for us as of right now. We want to be prepared as best as possible, “said the coach of the Czech para hockey team, Jiří Bříza.The domestic tournament will be the first opportunity to compare forces with foreign opponents for at least three new names appearing in the Czech team line-up. According to coach Bříza, para hockey has been developing extremely fast in recent years and the competition in the elite world A group has increased. “Especially with Russia joining the world leaders, we are expecting an ample tournament with each match bringing a thrilling fight for both medals as well as the qualification for the Paralympics, ” said coach Jiří Bříza.Only the top five of the 2021 WCH teams are guaranteed to advance directly to the Paralympic Winter Games next year.

Ostrava 2019 world para ice hockey championships – Czech team

This year, the Czech team will commence playing in the basic group of the championships with teams from the USA, Canada, and South Korea, which are considered to be very tough, but at the same time, in the eyes of the fans, very attractive opponents. According to the table assumptions, the second group should be dominated by Russia, which will play the introductory duels with the national teams of Norway, Italy, and the newcomers of the world A group – the team of Slovakia.

You can find information about the course of the preparation for the championships on the website as well as on the championships’ website

Text: Zuzana Glacová

Photo: Czech para ice hockey