The IIHF announced this afternoon that the Women’s World Championship, originally scheduled for April 7–17, 2021, has been moved to the following month and is slated to be played from May 6 to May 16 in Halifax and Truro, Canada.
In addition to the tournament’s moved dates, the IIHF announced that it would increase its financial support for participating nations in the tournament in order to alleviate the burden of travel and accommodation costs, and compensate for the decrease in ticket revenue at the host venue.
“We know how important this event is in the women’s ice hockey calendar, especially considering that we could not have a tournament last season and now, with the Olympics on the horizon,” said IIHF President René Fasel in the IIHF’s release. “Our member national associations expressed concerns over the associated costs that come with operating a tournament in the current global environment, and I am glad we were able fill the gap and ensure the Women’s World Championship can take place with all 10 teams.” The release does specify that the revised schedule is “tentative.”
At the present, the IIHF and Hockey Canada are still working to ensure accordance with Nova Scotia and the Canadian federal government’s COVID-19 protocols, but Hockey Canada is working “to develop and build a medical plan that will ensure the safety of all Canadians and the participating players, coaches, and staff.”
In 2020, Women’s Worlds was canceled due to the pandemic shutting down large parts of the world, including Nova Scotia, and there was much concern amongst players, fans, and media that this year’s tournament would suffer the same fate.
While the move doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the IIHF, nor does it really reaffirm the organization’s commitment to women’s hockey, it is a positive sign that this year’s tournament will be held and protocols will be followed in accordance with local and national governments.