IIHF World Women's Championships

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IIHF World Women's Championships
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2019 Women's Ice Hockey World Championships
SportIce hockey
Founded1990
No. of teams10 in the Top Division
12 in Division I
17 Division II
Most recent
champion(s)
 United States (9th title)
Most titles Canada (10 titles)
Official websiteIIHF.com

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).

The official world competition was first held in 1990, with four more championships held in the 90's.[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. As part of an effort to improve competition, the IIHF decided to hold Women's Championships in Olympic years, starting in 2014, but not at the top level.[2]

Canada and the USA have dominated the tournament, placing first and second in every tournament until 2019. Canada won gold the first eight straight and the USA dominated recently winning 9 of the last 11 gold medals.

Structure and Qualification[edit]

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 best five from the Olympic tournament were qualified for 1999, followed by the best three from qualification rounds during the Olympic year. The championship became a yearly tournament beginning in 1999 with promotion and relegation with lower ranked nations. Remaining nations play in groups of (now) six nations, with as many as five tiers.

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.[3] 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.[4] Reverting to 8 teams after the 2009 tournament.[5]

Championship Format[edit]

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 semi-finals, 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.

Lower Divisions[edit]

By 2003 the lower tiers were formalized into tiered groups of six, 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 eligibility[edit]

The rules of play are essentially the same as the men's with one key difference: body checking. Checking was allowed in the first championship but has been assessed as a minor penalty since. To be eligible 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.[6]

Tournaments[edit]

Year Host city Final Third place match
Champion Score Second place Third place Score Fourth place
1990  Canada, Ottawa
Canada
5–2
United States

Finland
6–3
Sweden
1992  Finland, Tampere
Canada
8–0
United States

Finland
5–4
Sweden
1994  USA, Lake Placid
Canada
6–3
United States

Finland
8–1
China
1997  Canada, Kitchener
Canada
4–3
(OT)

United States

Finland
3–0
China
1998 Competition not held during 1998 Olympics
1999  Finland, Espoo/Vantaa
Canada
3–1
United States

Finland
8–2
Sweden
2000  Canada, Mississauga
Canada
3–2
(OT)

United States

Finland
7–1
Sweden
2001  USA, Minneapolis
Canada
3–2
United States

Russia
2–1
Finland
2002 Competition not held during 2002 Olympics
2003  China, Beijing Competition at top level was cancelled due to SARS outbreak in China
2004  Canada, Halifax/Dartmouth
Canada
2–0
United States

Finland
3–2
Sweden
2005  Sweden, Linköping/Norrköping
United States
1–0
(SO)

Canada

Sweden
5–2
Finland
2006 Competition not held during 2006 Olympics
2007  Canada, Winnipeg/Selkirk
Canada
5–1
United States

Sweden
1–0
Finland
2008  China, Harbin
United States
4–3
Canada

Finland
4–1
Switzerland
2009  Finland, Hämeenlinna
United States
4–1
Canada

Finland
4–1
Sweden
2010 Competition not held during 2010 Olympics
2011   Switzerland, Zürich/Winterthur
United States
3–2
(OT)

Canada

Finland
3–2
(OT)

Russia
2012  USA, Burlington
Canada
5–4
(OT)

United States

Switzerland
6–2
Finland
2013  Canada, Ottawa
United States
3–2
Canada

Russia
2–0
Finland
2014 Competition not held at top level during 2014 Olympics
2015  Sweden, Malmö
United States
7–5
Canada

Finland
4–1
Russia
2016  Canada, Kamloops
United States
1–0
(OT)

Canada

Russia
1–0
(SO)

Finland
2017  USA, Plymouth
United States
3–2
(OT)

Canada

Finland
8–0
Germany
2018 Competition not held at top level during 2018 Olympics
2019  Finland, Espoo
United States
2–1
(SO)

Finland

Canada
7–0
Russia
2020  Canada, Halifax/Truro[7]

Participation and medals[edit]

Nation Tournaments First Last Gold Silver Bronze Total Best finish (first/last)
 Canada 19 1990 2019 10 8 1 19 1st (1990/2012)
 United States 19 1990 2019 9 10 0 19 1st (2005/2019)
 Finland 19 1990 2019 0 1 12 13 2nd (2019)
 Russia 16 1997 2019 0 0 3 3 3rd (2001/2016)
 Sweden 19 1990 2019 0 0 2 2 3rd (2005/2007)
  Switzerland 16 1990 2019 0 0 1 1 3rd (2012)
 China 11 1992 2009 0 0 0 0 4th (1994/1997)
 Germany 14 1990 2019 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)
 Czech Republic 5 2013 2019 0 0 0 0 6th (2016)
 Japan 7 1990 2019 0 0 0 0 7th (2008/2015)
 Slovakia 2 2011 2012 0 0 0 0 7th (2011)
 Denmark 1 1992 1992 0 0 0 0 7th (1992)
 France 1 2019 2019 0 0 0 0 10th (2019)

Awards[edit]

At most IIHF events, the tournament directorate awards the Best Forward, Best Defenceman, Best Goalkeeper and Most Valuable Player of each tournament. at the women's event, these awards have been handed out in some combination since the first tournament, with the exception of 1997, and the cancelled tournament in 2003.

See also[edit]

External links/sources[edit]

  1. ^ "IIHF World Women's Championships". International Ice Hockey Federation. 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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Merk, Martin. "Women's Worlds grow". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ "The IIHF Annual Congress made the following decisions in Riga during its session on May 19:" (PDF) (Volume 10 Number 4). International Ice Hockey Federation. June 2006. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  5. ^ "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. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  6. ^ IIHF Statutes and Bylaws, sections 406, 616, and 900
  7. ^ "Halifax, Truro to host 2020 Women's Worlds – The Sports Network". TSN. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.