Sochi Winter Olympics: How does Olympic Ice Hockey work?


If out of all the complicated, convoluted and high concept events in the Winter Olympics, hockey is the sport that confuses you, then you need to just shut off your television and sell it because it’s probably a hazard to your health. Quick recap: shoot puck in the net of the guy not dressed like the guy in your net. If you score on guy dressed like you, you fail at life — it’s not astrophysics.

But while you may understand the game, the tournament itself is a little harder to grasp if you’re jumping in cold. Thankfully, it’s not as complicated as it might seem, as the tournament to get to the gold medal game is long and winding, but pretty simple.

How ice hockey in the Olympics works is each county is put into a group with other countries, not unlike the World Cup Draw we see every four years.

From there, the teams within a given group play a round robin style tournament that produces a winner, this creating the semifinals. The two winners of the semifinals play for gold on the final afternoon of the Olympics while the losers play for the bronze medal prior to the gold medal game.

You can follow the hockey tournament this year at Sochi by following our tournament chart here.

Topics: 2014 Sochi Games

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  • Bradley Vernon

    This is completely wrong, no team is eliminated in the round robin of the Men’s hockey and only two teams are eliminated in the Women’s hockey. It is not “win your pool and go to the semi-finals” at all.

  • ABW

    That didn’t help

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