Tournament in Shenzhen postponed
by Filip Ozbolt|04 MAR 2023
China and Denmark, pictured during the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, will meet again in China at the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group A later this year in Shenzhen.
photo: Matt Zambonin / IIHF
The 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship Division I Group A, due to take place in Shenzhen, China, has been postponed. The IIHF's decision to postpone this Championship was primarily based on the international travel restrictions and testing requirements the participating teams would face as a result of ongoing complications related to COVID-19.

The event was originally scheduled to take place from 11 to 17 April 2023. New dates are already being worked on and the announcement will follow at a later time. 

“The International Ice Hockey Federation firmly stands behind the contract with the Chinese Ice Hockey Association and is only postponing the tournament to make sure it starts in a positive way,” stated IIHF President Luc Tardif.

The Women's Division IA tournament in Shenzhen will feature six teams. Denmark, Norway, Slovakia, Austria, host country China, and the Netherlands will battle for promotion to the top division.

The hosts progressed to the Division I Group A last year in Katowice, Poland, after securing all five victories at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group B. This year's tournament will be China's first Division I Group A appearance since 2011.

The postponement of the tournament in Shenzhen will give all stakeholders more time to prepare and therefore ensure the safety and health of all participants.

Experience has shown with the postponement of both the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship that travel organisation and playing conditions for the athletes could be optimized. In both cases, tournaments were postponed due to concerns over safety risks associated with COVID-19 and held successfully at a later date.

Initially, the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship was moved to Calgary, Canada and played at a later date after confirmation from the provincial government of Nova Scotia that the event in Halifax and Truro will be cancelled.

Last year, the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, Canada, was cancelled during the tournament due to the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, but was held at the same venue from 9 to 20 August 2022.