Just nine days after the Nova Scotia government announced the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship would be cancelled due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the province, the IIHF announced tentative rescheduled dates for the tournament later in summer 2021.
In an attempt to keep the tournament in Canada, the IIHF announced tentative dates for 20-31 August, to be hosted at an undetermined location. It has not been confirmed if a Canadian city cannot host, whether these dates would hold for the tournament to be hosted at a different location, but with the first round of Olympic Qualification set to begin during the tournament, and professional seasons ideally back up to speed by September 2021, scheduling the tournament later seems to be a long shot at this point.
While it is impossible to speculate on a host city moving forward, the Canadian government has recently announced a ramp-up in vaccinations in the coming months, giving hope that most Canadian cities will be in a reasonable position to host come August. Additionally, the summer will ensure that NHL cities and arenas are available, meaning that a similar bubble structure to last year’s NHL playoffs in Toronto and Edmonton (which also hosted the 2020 World Junior Championship) is a possibility.
With herd immunity on the foreseeable horizon, the hope is that the IIHF can successfully pull off the tournament, and ensure that the World Championships can go forward and avoid being delayed until 2023, with the 2022 Beijing Olympics set to take place this coming February.