The IIHF officially assigned the locations for the 2021 World Championships at all levels following an Extra-Ordinary Congress. They officially approved Halifax and Truro hosting, after the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the pandemic. The proposed dates are April 7-17 in 2021.
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Two of the three lower division 2021 Championships will also be held where the 2020 tournament would have been held. The Division I, Group A tournament will be in Anger, France. Division II, Group B championships will still be in Jaca, Spain.
The sole tournament to change is Division I, Group B, which moved to Beijing and is currently slated to be played in the arenas to be used for the Winter Olympic games as a test event. The 2020 edition was planned for Katowice, Poland.
The Division II Group B tournament will be in Zagreb, Croatia, and the Division III tournament will be in Kaunas, Lithuania. Both of those levels were able to play their 2020 tournaments as they were played in February 2020 and December 2019, respectively. Estonia is returning to the senior level while Bosnia & Herzegovina join the women’s senior category for 2021.
Olympic qualifying tournaments
In April, the IIHF published its rankings which seeded sides for the 2022 Olympics and placed the first six teams into the 10-team tournament, the first year of the expanded field. Also, China, as the host nation, received a spot as the sixth team to qualify thus far. Three spots remain open.
USA, Canada, Finland, Russia, Switzerland were the top five teams and placed in Group A. Japan was the sixth seed and will be in Group B, along with China. The three qualifying teams will go into Group B as well.
According to the IIHF, 31 countries submitted a team to the Olympic Winter Games and Qualification. The countries ranked seven through 15 were guaranteed spots into the Final Qualification Round with the top seeds among them having the right to host.
In each round, the winners of each group move on to the next round, filling the “Qualifier #” spot in the listed countries. The country that wins Groups C, D, and E will qualify for the Olympics. As a note, the IIHF release named Norway in both Group C and D, but it would seem as if Denmark should be in Group D.
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