The International Ice Hockey Federation has confirmed international sized rinks (60m by 30m) will be used for both men’s and women’s hockey during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The decision comes after positive feedback on the North American sized rinks (60m by 26m) that were used during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Though there is a difference in width, IIHF President Rene Rasel recognizes both surfaces are well suited for international hockey and rink dimensions do not benefit one style of play over another.
The IIHF has decided from now on all international tournaments played in North America will be played on the smaller rinks. The previous Olympic tournament held in North America, the Salt Lake City Games in 2002, was played on the larger ice surface. Conversely, any tournament held in Europe will be played on the international size rinks, as is their custom.
The decision is not a drastic change as 27 tournaments have been played on the smaller rinks in North America since 1972.