Friday, April 18, 2008

Aussies promoted to Division 1 for World Championships

I have a soft spot for Australians. They crack me up with their funny phrases. So I was glad when I came across this today -- the Aussies have been promoted to Division 1 in the upcoming World Championships, to be held in May in Canada.

Gold Coaster Mike Gough says the future looks bright for Australian ice hockey after the Mighty Roos national team created history in Newcastle earlier this week.

It has been a long battle for respect but Australia is finally being treated as one of the big boys after earning promotion to the world class Division 1 for the first time.

At the IIHF World Championship Division 2 Group B in Newcastle this week, the Aussies went through undefeated to earn their first promotion to Division 1.

They capped off the week by defeating China 1-0 in the deciding game, which was the biggest win in the nation's hockey history.

...Australia now enters Division 1 and will line up against the best in the world, including Team USA and Russia.

Mighty Roos? Hee hee hee.

And note that they have to keep saying ice hockey to distinguish it from the popular sports of field hockey, and underwater hockey. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

1 comment:

Kevin Forbes said...

It's a nice story...but unfortunately the Aussie writer got their facts a little incorrect.

First off, Division 1 isn't the Division that USA, Russia, Canada and the other big hockey powers play in. As it is detailed on the IIHF site, that division is simply called "Top Division".

Division 1 (which is split into two groups: A and B) features countries like Ukraine, Hungary, Switzerland, Poland and Austria. The teams that excel in this Division move up to the Top Division (like Slovenia and Italy this year). There's a bit of movement between the teams moving up and down, as the bottom two teams from one division always drop down while the top two teams always move up. That's why countries like Ukraine and Switzerland might sound familiar to folks who follow the World Championships.

Australia excelled in Division 2 and so they move into the Division 1 pool now. If they don't do well, they'll drop down to Division 2 again. Division 2 features teams like Belgium, Ireland, Spain, China and Mexico.

Could Australia do well in Division 1 and make it all the way up to the Top Division? Yes, but it's highly unlikely. It's like saying Italy could knock off Canada, Sweden, et al and win the gold medal this May.

Even if Australia did beat the odds, they would not play at the World Championships this year in Canada. Australia will compete in Division 1 next year and so the earliest they could play against the big boys would be 2010 when the World Championships are in Germany.