A simple enough question, but I'm having trouble finding a clear answer. I'm interested to know why the shootout is used in the World Junior Championships. I'm assuming it's either because:

The players are of a junior level


International hockey rules

Does anyone know?

EDIT: To add an additional level to the question. Assuming from the comment below that it's due to international rules, what is the reasoning behind the international rules?

  • Shootouts are used also in senior championships. For example, you can see here that quarterfinal match between Czech Republic and USA at 2016 IIHF World Championship was decided by game-winning shots.
    – Martin
    Jan 5, 2017 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


I found an answer on Wikipedia that goes like this:

A penalty shootout is normally used only in "no ties allowed" situations (for example, a tournament where the losers must be eliminated) and where other methods such as extra time and sudden death have failed to determine a winner first. It avoids the delays involved in staging replayed matches in order to produce a tie-break. A common complaint about penalty shootouts is that they only determine the better team in the one, rather narrow, discipline of taking penalty shots, rather than fairly determining the better team in overall play.

So if occam's razor says anything about it, they're likely done in the name of expediency: producing a winner quickly. I'd guess this is more prevalent in formats where teams are playing many games within a short span of time. If they're forced to play endless sudden death over time arounds, the players might be too fatiqued for more play on subsequent days.


The World Junior Championship is hosted by the International Ice Hockey Federation or IIHF. The IIHF is free to set the rules for each tournament as they please. According to their website, they choose to use the shootout if the score was still tied after a 20 minute overtime period. You can see the full list of format rules here.

  • 2
    Yes, that's what they do, but the question is clearly about why.
    – Nij
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:52
  • Unfortunately, it seems that the "why" for this question is "because they can" which is why I provided the above answer. You can speculate on plenty of reasons why, but you're never going to get a definitive answer other than "the rules allow for them to choose how to end a game." The NHL enacted shootouts for no other reason than they thought it would be more entertaining for viewers. Jan 11, 2017 at 15:03

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