From 14-19 April 2023, the World Cup of University Hockey will take place in Cârța, Romania, with eight national teams competing. The presence of Canada, the United States, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania and the sport itself partly explain the name of the event. But what exactly does the university adjective mean? This question will be addressed below, as the university sport model is not common in all European sporting cultures.
From 14-19 April 2023, Cârța, Romania, will host an event of great importance in university sports. In addition to its importance in terms of sports diplomacy and professionalism, the event is also significant considering it could bring about a transformation in the local sports culture. In this part of Central and Eastern Europe, and indeed in Europe as a whole, the so-called university sport model is not very well established. The event is expected to bring about some breakthroughs in this area.
In European sports, the university sport system is much less organized and developed from an institutional point of view. In the host country Romania, for example, Sapientia U23 is the only ice hockey team that really operates according to the model of university sport. This does not mean, of course, that there are not countless university athletes in the country and in other parts of Europe.
The home of university sport is undoubtedly North America, where it has a long tradition and an impressive range of institutions. The model is designed to give athletes the opportunity to build a dual career, i.e. to focus on their studies as well as their sport. This works so well that the biggest universities, which also compete in the strongest university leagues, offer scholarships to deserving young people, who can then receive a high quality education in both areas.
There are also regular, organized university sport events that extend beyond national borders. The most widely known of these is the Universiade, where young athletes can compete in various sports, including ice hockey.
The upcoming World Cup of University Hockey will be organized in the same spirit. Its aim is to offer a quality sporting event and experience for the interested public, and to provide an opportunity for the participating athletes to meet and socialize with each other, in addition to the competition. It also aims to promote the model of university sport, which has been successful in North America, and to integrate it into European sporting culture.
The WCOUH will be hosted by the Sapientia U23 team in cooperation with two major players in university hockey. One of the goals of the partnership between the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and the European University Hockey Association (EUHA) is to develop university hockey through the sharing of knowledge, joint competition, professional meetings and quality games. This also implies a social change, as the growth of university sport is beneficial for both the intellectuals and the sports community.
A total of 20 matches will be held at the World Cup of University Hockey. The group stage will take place over three days, followed by a rest day before the play-offs, the semi-finals, the bronze medal game and the final.
All matches of the tournament will be broadcasted live on www.sport.vicket.com/wcouh2023. Full season tickets and team tickets for the World Cup are also available on the website.