The first IIHF sanctioned Women's World Championship took place in Ottawa in 1990. The Women's World Championship is now held in every year in which the Winter Olympics do not take place.
Starting in 1999, in addition to the main IIHF World Championship, an A Pool World Championship was added. At this time, it was decided that the European World Championship would be discontinued. Now there is the main World Championship, as well as an A, B, and C Pool. Women's hockey is truly expanding!
Women's hockey was accepted into the 1998 Winter Olympics as a full medal sport for the first time. The 1997 World Championship served as a qualifier for this inaugural Women's Hockey Olympic event.
In addition to the IIHF sanctioned Women's World Hockey Championships, which started in 1990, there was also a women's hockey World Tournament in 1987 that got the ball rolling for women's hockey on the international front. Here are the results of all IIHF sanctioned World Championships to date:
Winners by Year (Highest Division) 2015 2013 United States 2012 Canada 2011 United States 2009 United States 2008 United States 2007 Canada 2005 United States 2004 Canada 2001 Canada 2000 Canada 1999 Canada 1997 Canada 1994 Canada 1992 Canada 1990 Canada 1987 Canada (unofficial)
Pacific Rim Competitions were held in 1995 and in 1996. Canada, USA, China, and Japan competed in this tournament. There were also European Championships (A and B Divisions) during these non-World-Championship years. In 1996 and in 1997, there were also Three Nations Cup championships between USA, Canada, and Finland.
The year 1999 is the first year that the World Championship will be split into an A and B Pool. This will eliminate the need for the European Championships each year. There was a detailed qualification process in the spring of 1998 to determine which teams would initially qualify for the Pool A and Pool B 1999 World Championships. There was a pre-qualification tournament, and then a qualification tournament. Here are the results:
The team that places last in Pool A moves down to Pool B, while the team that places first in Pool B moves up to Pool A.
Here is a description of the women's world hockey championship qualification process, prior to the 1998 Winter Olympics:
The top five teams from the European A Championship qualified to attend the World Championship. The top team from the European B Championship moved up to the European A Championship the following year, and the bottom team in the European A Championship moved down to the European B Championship the following year.
There was also an Asian Championship that determines which country will represent Asia at the World Championships. Japan qualified in 1990, and China qualified in 1992 and in 1994. The other country which competes at the Asian Championship is Korea.
Canada and the United States did not have to attend any preliminary qualification tournaments to compete at the World Championships. Both countries automatically represented North America, as they were ranked number one and number two, respectively, in the world.
Teams that were eligible came from all over the world. They had to play many tournaments to get to the highest level of championships. Athletes came from many backgrounds. Many started playing when they were young students. They came from all colleges, military universities, educational backgrounds and prep schools.
YRS GP W L T GF GA PTS PCT 1- Canada 4 20 20 0 0 164 25 40 1.000 2- USA 4 20 15 4 1 157 48 31 .775 3- Finland 4 20 12 7 1 131 47 25 .625 4- Sweden 4 20 8 9 2 78 95 18 .450 5- China 3 15 6 8 1 46 73 13 .433 6- Switzerland 4 20 6 13 1 47 136 13 .325 7- Norway 4 20 4 15 1 42 123 9 .225 8- Germany 2 10 2 8 0 22 79 4 .200 9- Russia 1 5 1 3 1 9 22 3 .300 10-Denmark 1 5 1 4 0 7 24 2 .200 11-Japan 1 5 0 5 0 9 47 0 .000
G S B Total Canada 4 0 0 4 USA 0 4 0 4 Finland 0 0 4 4
The Ontario Women's Hockey Association hosted the first World Invitational Tournament. Countries participated in this very successful inaugural event. At the same time, meetings were held with the participating countries plus other non-participating nations. They met to discuss the future of female hockey and to plan an approach to lobby the International Ice Hockey Federation for a World Championship.
IIHF Present Dr. G. Sabetzki attends the European Championships held in West Germany to evaluate first hand the calibre of competition. He returns home very impressed. Top five countries selected to advance to World Championships in 1990.
Canada leads a group of countries at the IIHF congress in Stockholm, Sweden to establish a Women's World Championship. Canada awarded as the hosting country for the First World Championship for March 1990.
The CAHA policy committee reviews bids to host the first ever Women's World Championship and finally awards the event to Canada's National Capital, Ottawa.
During IIHF fall congress in Zurich, Switzerland, dates are finalized, March 19-25, 1990. All eight participating countries (Japan, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland), Finland, West Germany, USA, and Canada) establish sever rule changes:
The first ever Women's World Hockey Championship takes place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from March 19-25, 1990.
Team Canada has announced the six coaches who will comprise the Women's National Team Coaching Pool. These six coaches are:
Other information from the Newsletter is that the Pacific Rim Tournament will be in San Jose, California from April 1-8, 1995.
The USA is staging a North American challenge tournament March 9-15, 1995, in Lake Placid and would like a senior Canadian club team of 18 years and over to participate. We will be discussing this at the Female Council in November in Ottawa.
The USA Women's Under 18 team will be coming together to train in Lake Placid in July and would like to play two games somewhere in Eastern Ontario or Quebec in July 1995. We will also be discussing this at the Female Council in November.
Here is some information about the Pacific Rim Tournament that will be held in 1995 and 1996 (the years when there are no World Championships) that I received from the CAHA ...
At the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) meetings in June 1994, a small group was asked to review women's international events. They came back to the council with the following proposal:
The rationale seems to have been that the fairest manner for teams to qualify for the 1998 Olympic Games was through the World Championship. In order for this to be an accurate measure, it could not take place two years before the Olympics (i.e., not in 1996, when the next World Championship was originally scheduled).
The second point was that Japan needs help in raising their standard of play as host country and both China and Japan deserve more international competition, hence the Pacific Rim.
The bidding process for the host site of the Women's World Championships in Canada in 1997 will continue as planned with a site to be announced this Fall. Quebec, Ontario, BC, Alberta, and the Maritimes have each submitted the name of a city which will be considered. [New: Kitchener, Canada has been announced as the site of the 1997 WWC. The other 2 locations being considered were: St. John, NB and Kamloops, BC].]
The Pacific Rim was to be discussed at an IIHF Council meeting in early July 94, and we should know soon where and when it will be held in 1995.
The High Performance Plan is currently being revised to accommodate these changes, which give us a more gradual build up to 1998. Included in the plan will also be a competition with Finland and possibly the USA and we are talking to both of these countries at the moment to set up some dates.
Here is some information about the next World Championships (1997) and the Pacific Rim tournament which was part of the National Team Bulletin.
The CAHA has asked the IIHF to change the date of the Women's World Championships to early February (instead of mid-April) for three reasons ...
The issue of reinstating body checking came up and a decision was made to leave it as it is, but develop more supporting material to explain it clearly and perhaps a video illustrating the rule. If you watched the recent women's world championships on TV (held in Lake Placid from April 11-17 1994), you would have probably noticed that quite a bit of body checking was allowed, although it was not supposed to be.
Japan has asked for a Pacific Rim (Canada, USA, Japan, and China) competition in January 1995. This has been confirmed. Currently there is an Asian Championship (with Japan, Korea, and China) to determine the Asian representative at the World Championships. If the Pacific Rim takes place, I would guess that the top 3 teams (most likely USA, Canada and China) will be allowed to compete at the following year. That would mean that the 8 teams to compete at the World Championships would be determined as follows:
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