Following the withdrawal of Australia and previously its neighbouring country New Zealand, the tournament is now planned with four teams in March: Iceland, Turkey, Croatia and South Africa.
After a meeting of the Ice Hockey Australia board of directors, national team coaches and managers and the Chief Medical Officer, the team had to be withdrawn due to Covid-19 related issues including travel restrictions in Australia, quarantine requirements, the current exposure rate overseas and the ability to ice a team under these circumstances and risks.
A few months ago the 2021/2022 season of the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League had to be cancelled as well after several meetings with the clubs due to regional lockdowns and travel restrictions within Australia and the men’s U20 and women’s U18 national teams had to be withdrawn for similar reasons.
The decision to withdraw the women’s national team was not made lightly but due to many unknown factors and an inability to pull players together to ice a team, the challenge became too great. Ice Hockey Australia hopes that the preparation work done with the team managers will support the participation in the future.