After a few months of relative peace on the international hockey front, and even the return of international competition as recently as two weeks ago, the IIHF today announced that a number of international tournaments will be cancelled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was confirmed that with the exception of the Top Division tournaments at the Men’s, Women’s, Junior and Under-18 World Championships, all other lower division tournaments are cancelled for men’s, women’s and men’s under-18. Men’s junior and women’s under-18 had already been cancelled earlier this year, when it was confirmed that the 2021 World Juniors would be held in a bubble environment in Edmonton, Canada.
In total, 18 new tournaments have been cancelled, bringing the grand total so far in 2021 to 28 tournaments. While the World Juniors seem to be a go considering they are isolated in a bubble, whether the Top Division for Men, Women or Under-18 Men remains still has yet to be seen. Their decisions will be pending a IIHF Council meeting to happen in January, after the World Juniors have been concluded. The existing tournaments will roll over into the 2021-22 season, with the same teams in place, only with dates and locations to change. Click here for a full calendar of Upcoming Tournaments.
Additionally, the IIHF confirmed that the first round of Women’s Qualification tournament for the 2022 Olympics has yet again be postponed, this time from February to August 2021. The second round will now be moved to October 2021, while the final qualification tournament will be in November. The men’s qualification tournament is not impacted, and is set to conclude by 29 August.