The 1976 World Ice Hockey Championships were the 43rd Ice Hockey World Championships and the 54th European Championships in ice hockey. The tournament took place in Poland from 8 April to 25 April, and the games were played in Katowice. Eight teams took part in the main tournament, with each team first playing each other once. The four best teams then took part in a medal play off, and the teams placed 5-8 took part in a relegation play-off. The teams took the results from the first round through to the second round with them.
The 1976 IHWC tournament was first to feature major league professionals from the NHL and WHA although in the end only the United States made use of the new rule, recalling eight pros from the Minnesota North Stars and Minnesota Fighting Saints. The Americans promptly made the medal play off for the first time since 1962 after beating Sweden and tying Finland in the first round.
The Czechoslovakia national ice hockey team won nine games and were unbeaten, becoming world champions for the fourth time. The defending champions from the USSR finished 2nd after sensationally losing the opening game 4-6 to hosts Poland. Sweden won the bronze after beating the Americans 7-3 in the medal round. In the European standings Sweden moved up one position leaving the Soviets with the bronze for the first time ever.