After a cancellation in 2020, and a last-minute refusal by Nova Scotia to host the tournament in the spring this year, the IIHF Women’s World Championships has a new venue:

The 31-game schedule will be played at WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park from 20 to 31 August 2021, with 10 teams from around the world competing for gold. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced the new dates for the Women’s Worlds on 30 April, and the 2021 edition of tournament will mark the eighth time Canada has hosted the event.

To maintain the safety of all participants and the greater community at large, all health and safety protocols and measures will be adhered to leading up to and for the duration of the tournament.

Teams are expected to arrive in Calgary on 10 August and will immediately enter quarantine before resuming practices and possible pre-tournament games before the puck drops on 29 August. A full tournament schedule will be announced at a later date.

The last Women’s Worlds was held in 2019 in Finland, where USA defeated silver medalist Finland in the final game. Canada took the bronze after a decisive win over Russia.

With so much time since the last competition, and so very much disruption to women’s hockey, it’s going to be hard to know in advance how the top group of teams will perform and if the slow move towards more parity will continue. Russia had league play this season for women when many other countries either never do, or had limited seasons, so they may have some advantages.

The timing of this tournament is very unusual, of course, but it will mark a significant change from the traditional schedule where this tournament competes with the NHL playoffs and often local league playoffs in Europe. The field will be relatively wide open in August for hockey action, so we expect to see broadcasters step up and air all the games.

When it gets closer to August, we’ll try to have some coverage of the players, the countries participating and how to watch. Until then, game back on!