China plans to launch an ice hockey league in 2018 to prepare for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, state-run Xinhua reported on Monday.
According to Fang Xuefeng, general secretary of Chinese Ice Hockey Association (CIHA), the men’s ice hockey league will be launched with six Chinese clubs in August or September 2018. Due to the limited number of Chinese ice hockey players, the CIHA is still considering regulations to allow foreign players in the league.
Every club will be required to partner with one university ice hockey team to train university players for the league. Meanwhile, the CIHA is also considering to set up a youth ice hockey league to promote the sports’ development in China.
On the other hand, HC KunLun Red Star will be responsible for the management and training of the Chinese women’s ice hockey team. Meanwhile, the CIHA will select Chinese hockey players from all over the world to form another women’s ice hockey team. Both teams will attend the Canadian Women's Hockey League next season.
As both the men’s and women’s national ice hockey teams of China didn’t qualify for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the CIHA aims to enter the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Proofread by William Hogsdon