After over twenty years of not holding the IIHF Women’s World Championship in years when the Olympics are taking place, today the IIHF Congress voted to allow for both tournaments to be held the same calendar year every four years, with the tournament moving from April to August in Olympic years, starting in 2022.
The change was prompted both due to complications over divisions outside the Top Division competing during Olympic years, causing issues and delays for promotion and relegation, as well as the success of the recent Women’s Worlds that just wrapped in Calgary, Canada, showcasing that August hockey can be successful. The move to summer was made to avoid both tournaments taking place only two months apart, as many women’s players also hold second jobs in addition to their competitions.
With the confirmation of the second tournament, the first such iteration will take place next August, and the Danish Ice Hockey Union has applied to host, which would mark the nation’s first time hosting the tournament after just their second year in the Top Division in 2021. This will also mark the first tournament outside of the “big four” of women’s hockey nations (Canada, United States, Sweden and Finland) since Switzerland hosted in 2011, and just the third time overall, after Harbin, China hosted in 2008.
Given that lower divisions did not compete this year due to the pandemic, next year’s World Championships will feature the same ten teams as played in Calgary, including the newly-promoted from 2019 Hungary and Denmark, and if the world begins to creep closer to normal, the Danish tournament in 2022 will feature the first promotions and relegations in three years.