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XL Bandy World Championship 2020, Irkutsk

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Update: Due to COVID-19, this event was canceled. 

Amazing news! Irkutsk became a host for a big international sports event – Bandy World Championship 2020! A great number of sportsmen and their fans from 18 countries will be visiting Siberia from the 1st of March to the 5th of April 2020. Check out this post to learn about this event and activities organized by the Bandy Committee.

Bandy is a game similar to ice hockey. Both of the games are popular winter sports around the globe. Russia is not an exception. In 2019 Russia became a champion in Bandy World Championship, that is the reason why the 2020 Bandy World Championship is held in Irkutsk. For the locals it’s a great chance to watch a top-level international sports championship, for the foreigners it’s a unique opportunity to discover mysterious Siberia, one of the most untouched spots on our planet. And of course, walk on a legendry lake Baikal ice. The Baikal region is famous for organizing winter sports competitions, such as Ice Marathon, Ice storm and many others.

In the history of bandy world championships, only three countries have become the owners of gold medals since 1957 if we take into account succession. Russia has been a bandy world champion 26 times (USSR 14 times, Russia 12 times), Sweden 12 times, Finland 1 time. The championship is split into two parts:

Group B competitions are held from March 2 to March 6 at the stadiums Record (address: Ryabikova Bulvar, 13 g), Trud (address: Lenina St, 48), and Zenit (address: Aviastroitelei St, 4a/4) in Irkutsk, as well as at the Stroitel Stadium in Shelekhov (address: Kvartal 20, 99/1). Admission to all matches of group B is free for everyone.

Group B countries: Hungary, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Somalia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Japan, Mongolia, Switzerland.

Group A competitions take place from March 29 to April 5. All matches of the A tournament will be held in the Baikal Ice Palace (address: Lermontova St, 255/1).

Ticket sales will be announced in early March 2020.

Group A countries: Germany, Kazakhstan, Norway, USA, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Russia.

All important information about the event can be found on the official website. You can find there:

  • the schedule of the games
  • online broadcasting
  • all the latest bandy news

If you never heard of bandy games, this information below is for you!

What is the difference between bandy and ice hockey?

Ice hockey and bandy could be mixed up.


Ice hockey and bandy could be mixed up. Let’s see the main differences between them:

  • Players use a ball in bandy, and ice hockey is played by using a flat puck.
  • There are 11 players in each bandy team. Both ice hockey teams have 6 players.
  • Bandy rink is usually larger than one for ice hockey.
  • Bandy is played in two halves of 45 minutes each. Ice hockey is played with three intervals of 20 minutes each.
  • Bandy is faster than ice hockey because of a ball.
  • The goalposts in bandy are larger than ice hockey ones. It makes sense why bandy goalkeeper stands to prevent the goal. Ice hockey goalkeeper sits to prevent the goal.

The players in both ice hockey and bandy wear skates and play with curved sticks hitting a flat puck or a ball.

Bandy history facts

Bandy originated in England in the late 18th century.

Bandy originated in England in the late 18th century. It could be called “the elder brother” of ice hockey because hockey was developed from it.

Bandy became popular in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Northern Bandy Union was established in 1910 by Russia, Germany, and Nordic countries. There was disagreement on common rules, so Russia decided to develop bandy on its own. Since 1922 bandy competitions of town and national level have been taking place constantly.

If you are staying in Irkutsk during the championship, it’s a good idea to get closer to this Siberian town. Irkutsk Urban Adventures local guides will be happy to show you around sharing interesting stories and Irkutsk-life experience. Would you like to explore the Baikal lake? We can organize a group tour for Bandy fans for a special price! Feel free to contact us via email [email protected] for details!

Written by Marina, a local guide