IIHF World Women's Championship

The IIHF World Women's Championship, officially the IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship, is the premier international tournament in women's ice hockey. It is governed by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

IIHF World Women's Championship
Upcoming season or competition:
Current sports event 2023 Women's Ice Hockey World Championships
SportIce hockey
Founded1990; 33 years ago (1990),
1990 IIHF Women's World Championship
No. of teams
  • 10 in Top Division
  • 12 in Division I
  • 10 in Division II
  • 7 in Division III
Most recent
champion(s)
 Canada (12th title)
Most titles Canada (12 titles)
Official websiteIIHF.com

The official world competition was first held in 1990, with four more championships held in the 90s.[1] From 1989 to 1996, and in years that there was no world tournament held, there were European Championships and in 1995 and 1996 a Pacific Rim Championship. From the first Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Tournament in 1998 onward, the Olympic tournament was played instead of the IIHF Championships. Afterwards, the IIHF decided to hold Women's Championships in Olympic years, starting in 2014, but not at the top level.[2] In September 2021, it was announced that the top division will also play during Olympic years.[3]

Canada and the United States have dominated the Championship since its inception. Canada won gold at the first eight consecutive tournaments and the United States has won gold at nine of the last eleven tournaments. Both national teams placed either first or second every tournament until Canada's streak was broken at the 2019 Championship. Finland is the third most successful World Championship team, having won thirteen bronze medals and one silver medal – achieved after breaking the Canadian gold-silver streak. Four other teams have medalled at a Women's World Championship: Russia, winning three bronze medals; Sweden, winning two; and Switzerland and Czechia, each winning one.

Structure and qualificationEdit

The women's tournament began as an eight-team tournament featuring Canada, the US, the top five from the 1989 European Championships, and one Asian qualifier. The same formula was used for 1992, 1994, and 1997, but changed following the first Olympic women's ice hockey tournament at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. The top five teams from the Olympic tournament qualified for the 1999 World Championship, followed by the best three from final Olympic qualification rounds. Beginning in 1999, the championship became an annual tournament and the first divisional tournaments below the Top Division were played. Along with the creation of the lower divisions, a system of promotion and relegation was introduced, allowing for movement between all divisions.

After the 2017 tournament, it was announced that tournament would expand to 10 teams for 2019, having been played with 8 teams since the first tournament in 1990, except in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2009, where 9 teams played. The 2004 edition featured 9 teams when Japan was promoted from Division II but no team was relegated from the Top Division in 2003, due to the cancellation of the top division tournament in China because of the outbreak of the SARS disease.[4] Two teams were relegated from the Top Division in 2004, going back to 8 teams for 2005, but due to the success of the 9-team pool in 2004, IIHF decided to expand again to 9 teams for 2007.[5] IIHF reverted to 8 teams after the 2009 tournament, and play continued in this format until the expansion of 2019.[6]

Championship formatEdit

Initially, the tournament was an eight-team tournament divided into two groups, which played round-robin. The top two from each group played off for the gold, and beginning in 1999 the bottom two played off to determine placement and relegation. In 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2009 the tournament was played with nine nations, using three groups of three playing round-robin. In this format first place from each group continued on to play for gold, second place from each group played for placement and an opportunity to still play for bronze, and the third place teams played off to determine relegation. Beginning in 2011, the tournament changed the format to encourage more equal games. The top four seed nations played in Group A, where the top two teams got a bye to the semifinals, the bottom two go to the quarter-finals to face the top two finishers from Group B. The bottom two from Group B then play each other in a best of three to determine relegation. Beginning in 2019 the tournament was expanded to ten teams, bringing with it a new format. The ten teams are divided into two groups of five and play round-robin. In this format, the five teams in Group A and the top three teams from Group B move into the Quarterfinals, seeded A1vsB3, A2vsB2, A3vsB1, and A4vsA5. The bottom two from Group B now play only one 9th place game and both get relegated. As of 2021, the four teams that lose their quarterfinal games enter into a knockout tournament to determine 5th place with the winner earning a spot in Group A for the next tournament.[7]

Lower divisionsEdit

Outside of the Top Division tournament, participating nations play in groups of no more than six teams. As of 2022, there are six group tiers across three divisions below the Top Division.[8]

Introduced in 1999 as a Division I tournament and Division I qualification tournament, the number of lower divisions rapidly expanded as more national teams gained admittance. By 2003 the lower tiers were formalized into tiered groups of six teams each, called Division I, Division II, and Division III, with promotion for the top team in each and relegation for the bottom team. By 2009 it had grown up to Division V, but in 2012 the titles were changed to match the men's tournaments; Division I became IA, Division II became IB, Division III became IIA, Division IV became IIB, and Division V became IIB Qualification. Promotion and relegation remained the same after the title changes.

Rules and eligibilityEdit

The rules of play are essentially the same as used for the men's tournaments, with one key difference: body checking is not permitted in the women's tournaments. Body checking was allowed at the first championship in 1990 but has been assessed as a minor penalty at all subsequent tournaments.

In order to be eligible to compete in IIHF events, players must be under the jurisdiction of the governing body they are representing and must be a citizen of that country. Additionally, the player must be eighteen years old, or sixteen with a medical waiver, in the season the tournament takes place.[9]

TournamentsEdit

Year Host city/cities Final Third place match
Champions Score Runners-up Third place Score Fourth place
1990   Ottawa  
Canada
5–2  
United States
 
Finland
6–3  
Sweden
1992   Tampere  
Canada
8–0  
United States
 
Finland
5–4  
Sweden
1994   Lake Placid  
Canada
6–3  
United States
 
Finland
8–1  
China
1997   Kitchener  
Canada
4–3
(OT)
 
United States
 
Finland
3–0  
China
1998 Competition not held during 1998 Olympics
1999   Espoo/Vantaa  
Canada
3–1  
United States
 
Finland
8–2  
Sweden
2000   Mississauga  
Canada
3–2
(OT)
 
United States
 
Finland
7–1  
Sweden
2001   Minneapolis  
Canada
3–2  
United States
 
Russia
2–1  
Finland
2002 Competition not held during 2002 Olympics
2003 Competition at top level was cancelled due to SARS outbreak in China
2004   Halifax/Dartmouth  
Canada
2–0  
United States
 
Finland
3–2  
Sweden
2005   Linköping/Norrköping  
United States
1–0
(SO)
 
Canada
 
Sweden
5–2  
Finland
2006 Competition not held during 2006 Olympics
2007   Winnipeg/Selkirk  
Canada
5–1  
United States
 
Sweden
1–0  
Finland
2008   Harbin  
United States
4–3  
Canada
 
Finland
4–1  
Switzerland
2009   Hämeenlinna  
United States
4–1  
Canada
 
Finland
4–1  
Sweden
2010 Competition not held during 2010 Olympics
2011   Zürich/Winterthur  
United States
3–2
(OT)
 
Canada
 
Finland
3–2
(OT)
 
Russia
2012   Burlington  
Canada
5–4
(OT)
 
United States
 
Switzerland
6–2  
Finland
2013   Ottawa  
United States
3–2  
Canada
 
Russia
2–0  
Finland
2014 Competition not held at top level during 2014 Olympics
2015   Malmö  
United States
7–5  
Canada
 
Finland
4–1  
Russia
2016   Kamloops  
United States
1–0
(OT)
 
Canada
 
Russia
1–0
(SO)
 
Finland
2017   Plymouth  
United States
3–2
(OT)
 
Canada
 
Finland
8–0  
Germany
2018 Competition not held at top level during 2018 Olympics
2019   Espoo  
United States
2–1
(SO)
 
Finland
 
Canada
7–0  
Russia
2020 Competition at top level, Division I, and Division II Group A was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021   Calgary  
Canada
3–2
(OT)
 
United States
 
Finland
3–1  
Switzerland
2022   Herning/Frederikshavn  
Canada
2–1
 
United States
 
Czechia
4–2  
Switzerland
2023   Brampton

Participation and medalsEdit

Country Tournaments First Last Gold Silver Bronze Total Best finish (first/last)
  Canada 21 1990 2022 12 8 1 21 1st (1990/2022)
  United States 21 1990 2022 9 12 0 21 1st (2005/2019)
  Finland 21 1990 2022 0 1 13 14 2nd (2019)
  Russia 17 1997 2021 0 0 3 3 3rd (2001/2016)
  Sweden 20 1990 2022 0 0 2 2 3rd (2005/2007)
  Switzerland 17 1990 2022 0 0 1 1 3rd (2012)
  Czechia 7 2013 2022 0 0 1 1 3rd (2022)
  China 11 1992 2009 0 0 0 0 4th (1994/1997)
  Germany 16 1990 2022 0 0 0 0 4th (2017)
  Norway 4 1990 1997 0 0 0 0 6th (1990/1994)
  Kazakhstan 4 2001 2011 0 0 0 0 6th (2009)
  Japan 9 1990 2022 0 0 0 0 5th (2022)
  Denmark 3 1992 2022 0 0 0 0 7th (1992)
  Slovakia 2 2011 2012 0 0 0 0 7th (2011)
  Hungary 2 2021 2022 0 0 0 0 8th (2022)
  France 1 2019 2019 0 0 0 0 10th (2019)

AwardsEdit

At most IIHF events, the tournament directorate awards the Best Forward, Best Defenceman, Best Goalkeeper and Most Valuable Player (MVP). At the Women's World Championship, these honours have been awarded in some combination since the first tournament, with the exception of 1997 and the cancelled tournaments in 2003 and 2020.

Lower division tournamentsEdit

Year Group B Qualification for Group B
Host city/cities Winner Host city/cities Winner
1999 Colmar, France   Japan Székesfehérvár, Hungary;
Pyongyang, North Korea;
Almaty, Kazakhstan
  Italy
  Kazakhstan
2000 Riga and Liepāja, Latvia   Kazakhstan Dunaújváros and Székesfehérvár, Hungary   North Korea
Division I Division II Division III Division IV Division V
Host city Winner Host city/cities Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner
2001 Briançon, France   Switzerland Qualification: Bucharest, Romania;
Maribor, Slovenia
  Netherlands
  Slovakia
2003 Ventspils, Latvia   Japan Lecco, Italy   Norway Maribor, Slovenia   Australia
2004 Ventspils, Latvia   Kazakhstan Sterzing, Italy   Denmark Maribor, Slovenia   Austria
2005 Romanshorn, Switzerland   Switzerland Asiago, Italy   Norway Cape Town, South Africa   Slovenia Dunedin, New Zealand   South Korea
2007 Nikkō, Japan   Japan Pyongyang, North Korea   Slovakia Sheffield, United Kingdom   Australia Miercurea Ciuc, Romania   Croatia
2008 Ventspils, Latvia   Kazakhstan Vierumäki, Finland   Austria Miskolc, Hungary   Great Britain Miercurea Ciuc, Romania   Iceland
2009 Graz, Austria   Slovakia Torre Pellice, Italy   Latvia
2011 Ravensburg, Germany   Germany Caen, France   Czech Republic Newcastle, Australia   Netherlands Reykjavík, Iceland   New Zealand Sofia, Bulgaria   Poland
Division I A Division I B Division II A Division II B Division II B Qualification
Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner
2012 Ventspils, Latvia   Czech Republic Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom   Denmark Maribor, Slovenia   North Korea Seoul, South Korea   Poland
2013 Stavanger, Norway   Japan Strasbourg, France   France Auckland, New Zealand   Hungary Puigcerdà, Spain   South Korea İzmir, Turkey   Turkey
2014 Přerov, Czech Republic   Czech Republic Ventspils, Latvia   Latvia Dumfries, United Kingdom   Italy Jaca, Spain   Croatia Mexico City, Mexico   Mexico
2015 Rouen, France   Czech Republic Beijing, China   Slovakia Asiago, Italy   Kazakhstan Reykjavík, Iceland   Slovenia Kowloon, Hong Kong   Turkey
2016 Aalborg, Denmark   Germany Asiago, Italy   Hungary Bled, Slovenia   Poland Jaca, Spain   Australia Sofia, Bulgaria   Romania
2017 Graz, Austria   Japan Katowice, Poland   Slovakia Gangneung, South Korea   South Korea Akureyri, Iceland   Mexico Taipei, Taiwan   Chinese Taipei
2018 Vaujany, France   France Asiago, Italy   Italy Maribor, Slovenia   Netherlands Valdemoro, Spain   Spain Sofia, Bulgaria   Croatia
2019 Budapest, Hungary   Hungary Beijing, China   Netherlands Dumfries, United Kingdom   Slovenia Brașov, Romania   Chinese Taipei Cape Town, South Africa   Ukraine
Division I A Division I B Division II A Division II B Division III
Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner
2020 Angers, France [a] Katowice, Poland [a] Jaca, Spain [a] Akureyri, Iceland   Australia Sofia, Bulgaria   South Africa
2021 Angers, France [a] Beijing, China [a] Jaca, Spain [a] Zagreb, Croatia [a] Kaunas, Lithuania [a]
Division I A Division I B Division II A Division II B Division III A Division III B
Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner Host city Winner
2022 Angers, France   France Katowice, Poland   China Jaca, Spain   Great Britain Zagreb, Croatia   Iceland Sofia, Bulgaria   Belgium Belgrade, Serbia   Estonia

Notes:

  • a Tournament cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IIHF World Women's Championships". International Ice Hockey Federation. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  2. ^ Merk, Martin (17 December 2010). "New era of women's hockey". International Ice Hockey Federation. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Women's Worlds in Olympic years". IIHF.com. 22 September 2021. Archived from the original on 5 February 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  4. ^ Merk, Martin. "Women's Worlds grow". International Ice Hockey Federation. Archived from the original on 5 February 2023. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  5. ^ "The IIHF Annual Congress made the following decisions in Riga during its session on May 19" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. June 2006. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  6. ^ "World Women's back to eight teams". iihf.com. International Ice Hockey Federation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  7. ^ "IIHF - Standings 2021 IIHF – Ice Hockey Women's World Championship". IIHF International Ice Hockey Federation.
  8. ^ Montroy, Liz (22 March 2022). "A tournament of firsts". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  9. ^ "IIHF Statutes and Bylaws, sections 406, 616, and 900" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 February 2015.

Works citedEdit

External linksEdit