Format (should expand World Juniors to 12 teams)

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Jazz, Dec 10, 2004.

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  1. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

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    Anyone here think that either Belarus or Germany have any chance of avoiding relegation back to Div I??

    While I agree that there is a big drop-off after the Top-8 (and yes, Swizterland belongs with the elite at the World-Junior level), I don't think it is right to have a team in Div I fight it's way to the top level only to be virtually guaranteed of a drop back down.

    I say the time has come to expand the tournament to 12 teams, that way at least 2 teams in the next tier of nations will get more than a single shot before droping back down. I know most of you will point to lopsided scores, but that is what we see in Womens hockey. Additionally countries need to play against the best to get better.

    Another reason to change is that let's say the improbable happens and either Germany or Belarus upsets one of the Top-8, then how good will it look to have one of the these Top-8 countries drop to Div I and make a mockery of that division the next year?

    I would have 2 groups of 6, have the top-4 advance to the cross-over QF round, and the bottom 2 of each group play a relegation round and the lowest 2 of these 4 drop to Division I.

    Any comments on this?
     
  2. Riddarn

    Riddarn 1980-2011

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    I like it. Sweden has been close enough to falling out the last few years, we need a safety-buffer. ;)
     
  3. mole

    mole Registered User

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    Representing Denmark, I am fully in favour :)
     
  4. 007

    007 You 'Orns!

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    I think it's a great idea. Hockey's an expanding sport, so it makes sense for the IIHF to provide extra incentive for developing hockey nations. The best place to start is at the U-18 and U-20 level, in my opinion. First, it's a reward for programs like Germany's and Switzerland's which are starting to bear fruit. Second, it will encourage young hockey players in those countries to stick with the sport, as opposed to switching to football or something else.
     
  5. J17 Vs Proclamation

    J17 Vs Proclamation Registered User

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    Representing England i agree though we'd still never make it.
     
  6. I totally disagree, it would make a mockery of the tournament. You can barely make 6 competitive teams every year, never mind 12.
     
  7. BuppY

    BuppY xGoodwillx

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    I don't mind it but this tournament needs to be more competetive when it comes to the low end teams.
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    In this case, the more is definitely not the merrier. The extra teams will just end up being canon fodder, or window dressing or whatever. They contribute nothing to the competition.
     
  9. Frenzy31

    Frenzy31 Registered User

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    This is very true, except that any given night a team can knock another off. Maybe in a format like the NHL playoffs, best of 7, but 1 game anything can happen and any goalie can get hot for 14 days.

    IMO, Belarus will not finish in the bottom 2 anyways. Germany and maybe SUI, but Belarus really handled/dominated the U20A division last year so I think that they will be well represented in the upcoming Tournament.
     
  10. Gwyddbwyll

    Gwyddbwyll Registered User

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    I'd be in favor of an expansion too. It doesnt do teams like Germany or Belarus any favors to go from extreme to extreme.. thrashing countries for a year then getting spanked the next.
     
  11. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

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    6??

    Dude, there are 8 teams that are competitive at this level:

    • Russia
    • Canada
    • Finland
    • Czech Republic
    • USA
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Slovakia

    Note that EVERY TEAM in this list (except Sweden - but that's another story;)) has won a medal in the past 7 years.

    It drops off after these 8. But the gap is closing. What you are saying made sense about 20 years ago, but now we are in a situation where many countries are investing more money into their programs than before (eg Denmark and Hungary) and they can use more games against the elite level to help them progress. The point I am trying to make is for the growth of the sport, short term pain is going to be good for long-term gain. Look at womens hockey, up until 3 years ago, there were only 2 teams (Can & US) that competed for the gold, now Finland and Sweden fast closing the gap.

    Agreed!

    :lol - good one Riddarn!
     
  12. SwisshockeyAcademy

    SwisshockeyAcademy Registered User

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    I think ten is the right number if you are only relegating 1 team. With two going down i would like to see a 12 team division. Its time.
     
  13. Belizarius

    Belizarius Registered User

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    U-18 WJC are with 10 teams i believe
    why not U-20?
    I mean, scouts are going to watch germany, belarus... in D1... they would make a better job scouting these guys against better competitions.

    And it could give a better chance for France to learn. French hockey is better and better every year, especially this season (5 NHLers in elite). Even after the last place finish from the senior team at Prague in may, french hockey is better. And that means we still have a lot of talented youngsters who deserve a chance to play against the best of the world.
     
  14. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

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    Agreed - I remembered France's appearance at the 2002 World Juniors in the Czech Republic.

    That year, France and Belarus played a 2-game total goal series to see who would stay up with the elite group and who would get relegated to Div I. France won the first game 3-2, and Belarus the second game also 3-2 - that set up a Shootout to determine the winner, and Belarus finally won it on the 28th shot of the shootout! To bad they have not been able to get promoted back to the elite level since.
     
  15. Ismellofhockey

    Ismellofhockey Registered User

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    The biggest problem I'd see with expansion is scheduling, there are many games as it is and it's hard for some players to be away from their club for such a long period of time.
    Make it 10 teams and the schedule isn't strained much but with 12, every team would have to play 4 extra games wouldn't they?

    The god thing is that the experience of playing against the top countries would probably help Germany, Denmark, Belarus... develop their program at a better pace.
     
  16. Wow, Slovakia and Switzerland both have 1 bronze medal in 7 years, thats hardly competitive. Putting in more teams that barely have a chance at all would just make the tournament worse.
     
  17. littleHossa

    littleHossa Registered User

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    I am for it, in a tournament like the U20 where some good players might play together for 2 years, you need a bit of wheeling room for the teams like Germany or Ukraine. Everytime their core is 19 year old they get to the next division and then the next year they're full of rookies and get spanked and just keep redoing the cycle year after year. It will also bring exposure to the hockey prospects of smaller hockey countries having them play against the best their age.
     
  18. Roughneck

    Roughneck Registered User

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    But you cannot deny that the two countries are producing more and more NHL calibre prospects (In Slovakia's case, star NHL players) and it would be hard for the other upcoming countries unless their junior players can get some good stiff competition.
     
  19. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Why, why, why? We add two teams, it means there are two more fodder squads, two more teams that don't have a chance of winning. Look at how Austria and Ukraine did last year.

    The elite group needs to mean something. If we have 12 teams, it will mean less than it does now. A few years ago, only 10th place got relegated to Group II. Perhaps we need to return to one team getting relegated (would make that 9th/10th place game mean something), but adding two teams would weaken the tournament.

    Right now, there are eight good hockey countries at the junior level, capable of beating their opponent on any given night. (Canada, U.S., Russia, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia, Switzerland and [still] Sweden). After that, there are several former Soviet block nations (Ukraine, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Belarus) that are developing as they rebuild their sporting infrastructure. Germany is always competitive, but just not good enough at the junior level; Austria and Italy are progressively getting better. But outside of Germany, none of these countries are competitive on a yearly basis, and for the good of the tournament's competitive nature (which should be of the highest priority), the lesser nations should be kept to a minimum. Once these countries get to a competitive level (likely five to 10 years of steady improvement away), we could look at a 12-team tournament.
     
  20. dw2927

    dw2927 Registered User

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    It would be nice to see a country like Austria showcase its good young players..Thomas Vanek, Bernd Brucker, Thomas Poeck etc..
     
  21. Belizarius

    Belizarius Registered User

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    It's so bad to see that.
    The powerful countries trying to keep their spot.

    Look at the other sports : 8 coutries only don't help to promote hockey.
    If you want to have an international impact, economic repercussions, you need to developp hockey in more countries.
    Examples?
    Vanek helped Austrian hockey to have more exposure.
    In France, with Cristobal Huet in the NHL, at least we have a few hockey reports at TV...
    But if young players of small countries can't test themselves against better competitions, they will never be able to move up the ladder.
    Maybe you will have a few games with big scores for 1-2 years, but sooner a team like Denmark could surprise one of the "big 8".
     
  22. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    This has nothing to do with the top countries trying to preserve their spot. This has everything to do with trying to preserve the competitiveness and integrity of the tournament. Adding two pushover teams will make the tournament weaker. That's more important than giving lesser countries a chance to showcase players. We have to look out for the good of the tournament as a whole, not individual nations.

    How will getting beat by 10 goals a game year after year improve your national program? It won't. Fans will lose interest watching their team get beat year after year.

    Here's a better idea: follow the Switzerland model. Invest into your junior program. Develop quality young players. Switzerland has gone from a perennial laughing stock to a team that can beat any team on any given night. They have a bronze medal, at least one fourth place finish, and the respect of every national junior program in the world. They bettered themselves through hard work and quality developmental programs, not token spots in the touranment. Other countries can do the same.

    In time, I'm confident that other teams will become better, especially those from former USSR nations. (Belarus is getting close). But until these teams do reach a level where they can be competitive (not necessarily win, but not be embarrassed), then it should be expanded. But until then, 10 teams is the absolute maximum we should be facing.
     
  23. cagney

    cagney cdojdmccjajgejncjaba

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    I'd find an expansion of the tournament interesting but I don't feel it's practical for reasons others have mentioned above.

    One particular point I disagree with though is the notion that playing in this tournament will help weaker countries develop better players. It would be valuable from an experience point of view but it won't help players improve their skills. Getting more young athletes involved in the sport and then having the proper internal development programs is what develops quality players. Those things are infinitely more important than a week long tournament for the best 18 and 19 year olds.
     
  24. SwisshockeyAcademy

    SwisshockeyAcademy Registered User

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    We are going to see perhaps the finest ten team field ever in the tournaments history and we are going to boot two fairly stable hockey nations back down only to be replaced by two teams that were well set up for the Div 1 event but will probably graduate their best players. They will be cannon fodder in 2006. I would like to go back to one team relegated format and have no problem adding two more teams by 2007. The Danes,Latvians, Slovenians, Norwegians etc will demand a spot with their improved play.
     
  25. Jets4Life

    Jets4Life Registered User

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    Why stop at 12? How about making the WJC consist of 6 divisions of 4 teams, bringing the total of 24:

    • Canada
    • USA
    • Finland
    • Sweden
    • Czech Republic
    • Slovakia
    • Russia
    • Gerrmany
    • Switzerland
    • Ukraine
    • Belarus
    • Latvia
    • Norway
    • Austria
    • France
    • Italy
    • Estonia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Lithuania
    • Denmark
    • Luxemborg
    • Japan
    • Poland
    • Romania

    Each team would play their division rivals once(3 games total). Take the 6 Division winners, plus 2 second-place teams with the best records and have the 8 teams play each other in elimination matches (i.e #1 Canada vs #8 Belarus). The two remaining teams would fight for the Gold medal, while the losers of the semi-final will play for bronze, just like Soccer's World Cup. Besides, it would be a great morale booster to beat Luxemborg 23-0!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2004
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