A women’s hockey world championship hasn’t ever been held during an Olympic year, but that will change in 2022.
The international hockey federation (IIHF) announced on Tuesday that Denmark will host the 2022 Women’s World Championship from August 26-September 4, 2022, six months after the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Two cities in Denmark – Herning and Frederikshavn – will split host duties.
The first women’s world championship in ice hockey was held in 1990 and the tournament has been an annual event since 1997 (with the exception of Olympic years).
The IIHF updated its statutes and bylaws in September to allow for the women’s world championship to be played in an Olympic year. Because the world championships are played in March or April, it hasn’t previously been feasible to have countries compete in a major world tournament only one month after the Olympics.
The solution? An August tournament.
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Tuesday’s announcement comes during an Olympic cycle in which women’s hockey nearly had just one major tournament instead of the usual three.
The 2020 World Championship was cancelled due to Covid-19, while the 2021 World Championship was originally supposed to be held in Nova Scotia. In March, the tournament, then scheduled for April 7-17, was postponed to May 6-16. In late April – while players were in the final stages of preparation – the province of Nova Scotia announced the cancellation of the event.
Players including Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield called out the lack of back-up planning, with Knight writing on Twitter that the decision was “just another reminder that women’s hockey continues to be treated as an afterthought.”
During all of this uncertainty on the women’s side, the IIHF held men’s world championships for all three age levels (senior, junior, and U18).
The 2021 Women’s World Championship was finally held in August in Calgary, with Canada defeating the U.S. in the gold medal game thanks to an overtime goal from Marie-Philip Poulin.
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