The 8 teams are divided into two, four-team groups in the Preliminary Round.
After a single round-robin series in each group, the four teams from Group A and the best two teams from Group B advance to the Playoff Round while the third- and fourth-placed team in Group B will play a best-of-three relegation round series.
The two top-seeded teams from Group A will receive Quarter-Final Round bye thus moving automatically to the Semi-Finals. The Quarter-Finals will be played between 3A-2B and 4A-1B. The winner of each Quarter-Final moves onto the Semi-Finals.
The winner of each Semi-Final game will move onto the Gold Medal Game, while the losers will play in the Bronze Medal Game.
The two last-placed teams of Group B play a best-of-three Relegation Round series. The third game is only played if needed. The winner of the series plays again at th IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship, while loser is relegated to Division I Group A.
Three Point System
For all games points shall be awarded as follows:
- 3 points for the winning team at the conclusion of regulation time
- 1 point for both teams at the conclusion of regulation time if the game is tied
- An additional point earned for the team winning the game in a 5-minute overtime period, or the Penalty-Shot Shootout if the teams are still tied following conclusion of the overtime period
- 0 points for the team losing the game in regulation time
If a game is tied at the end of regulation time, a five-minute overtime period shall be played. The teams will change ends for the overtime period. The game will end when the five minutes has expired or when a goal is scored; the scoring team will be declared the winner. If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Game Winning Shots Procedure will apply. All overtime periods of any IIHF game shall be played with each team at the numerical strength of three (3) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper for games of the preliminary round.
Overtime procedure in Play-Off Games:
- In case of a tie at the conclusion of regulation time in a Relegation Playoff, Placement Playoff, Quarter Final, Semi Final and Bronze Medal Game, there will be a 10-minute sudden-death overtime period played.
- The teams will change ends for the overtime period.
- The overtime period shall be played with each team at the numerical strength of four (4) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper.
- The team, which scores a goal during this period is the winner.
- In the Gold Medal game there will be a 20-minute sudden-death overtime period, following a 15-minute intermission during which the ice will be resurfaced.
- The teams will change ends.
- The overtime period shall be played with each team at the numerical strength of five (5) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper.
- The team which scores a goal during this period is declared winner.
- If no goal is scored during the sudden-death overtime, there will be Penalty-Shot Shootout (PSS) according to the Penalty-Shot Shootout Procedure.
Penalty-Shot Shootout Procedure
If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Penalty-Shot Shootout (PSS) procedure will apply. The following procedure will be utilized:
- Three different shooters from each team - five in playoff and medal games - will take alternate shots, until a decisive goal is scored.
- If the game is still tied after three shots (respectively five in playoff and medal games) by each team, the PSS will continue with a tie-break shoot out by one player of each team, with a reversed shooting order. The same or new players can take the tie-break shots.
- The same player can also be used for each shot by a team in the tie-break shoot-out.
- Only the decisive goal will count in the result of the game.
- Shots will be taken at both ends of the ice. The area of the ice to be used will be dry scraped.
- A coin toss will determine which team takes the first shot, with the winner of the toss having the choice whether his team will shoot first or second.
- Any player whose penalty was not over when overtime ended cannot take the shots and must stay in the penalty box or in the dressing room.
- Once named, players may only be replaced in the event of injury or penalty.
- The substitute stand-by player is placed last in the shooting order.
- The goalkeepers will defend the same goal, as determined by the Referee. The goalkeepers from each team may be changed after each shot.
- The players of both teams will take the shots alternately until a decisive goal is scored.
- The decisive goal will be credited to the player who scored and to the goalkeeper concerned.
Tie breaking formula
The tie-breaking system for two teams with the same number of points in a standing will be the game between the two teams, the winner of the game taking precedence.
Due to the fact that the three-point system does not allow a game to end in a tie, then the following tie breaking procedure is applicable when three or more teams are tied in points in a Championship standing.
Should three or more teams be tied on points, then a tie breaking formula will be applied as follows, creating a sub-group amongst the tied teams. This process will continue until only two or none of the teams remain tied. In the case of two tied teams remaining, the game between the two would then be the determining tie-breaker as the game could not end as a tie. In the case of none of the teams being tied, the criteria specified in the respective step applies.
Step 1: Taking into consideration the games between each of the tied teams, a sub-group is created applying the points awarded in the direct games amongst the tied teams from which the teams are then ranked accordingly.
Step 2: Should three or more teams still remain tied in points then the better goal difference in the direct games amongst the tied teams will be decisive.
Step 3: Should three or more teams still remain tied in points and goal difference then the highest number of goals scored by these teams in their direct games will be decisive
Step 4: Should three or more teams still remain tied in points, goal difference and goals scored then the results between each of the three teams and the closest best-ranked team outside the sub-group will be applied. In this case the tied team with the best result (1. points, 2. goal difference, 3. more goals scored) against the closest best ranked-team will take precedence
Step 5: Should the teams still remain tied, then the results between each of the three teams and the next highest best-ranked team outside the sub-group will be applied.
Step 6: Should the teams still remain tied after these five steps have been exercised then Sport considerations will be applied and the teams will be ranked by their positions coming into the Championship (seeding).
The gold medal game and bronze medal game will determine the final ranking for the top-4 teams. The eliminated teams from the preliminary round plus the losing teams of the quarter-finals will be ranked following their positions in the groups preceding the quarter-final round.
The final ranking will follow the following procedure:
1. Higher position in the group,
2. Higher number of points,
3. Better goal difference,
4. Higher number of goals scored for,
5. Better seeding number
Click here to download the IIHF’s Rule Book and Sport Regulations.
To play in the IIHF World Championship, the Olympic ice hockey tournament and the qualifications to these competitions, players must fulfill the following qualification requirements:
- Each player must be under the jurisdiction of an IIHF member national association
- Each player must be a citizen of the country he or she represents.
Acquiring a new national eligibility (The ‘one-year’ case)
When a female player has changed her citizenship or has acquired another citizenship and wants to participate for the first time in an IIHF competition representing her new country she must:
- Prove that she has participated on a consistent basis for at least one hockey season and have been member of the new national association for at least 12 consecutive months during that period during which she has neither transferred to another country nor played ice hockey within any other country.
- Have an international transfer card (ITC) that shows the transfer to the national competition of her new country and which was approved and dated at least one year before the start of the IIHF competition in which she wishes to participate.
Change of national eligibility (The ‘four-year’ case)
A player, who has previously participated in IIHF competition, can switch national eligibility (but only once in a player's life) if:
- She is a citizen of the new country of her choice.
- She has participated for at least four consecutive years (1460 days) in the national competitions of her new country, during which period she has neither transferred to another country nor played ice hockey within any other country and has not played for her previous country in an IIHF competition during this four-year period.
- She has an international transfer card (ITC) that shows the transfer to the national competition of her new country and which was approved and dated at least four years before the start of the IIHF competition in which she wishes to participate.
A Women's Coaching Symposium will take place 31 March and 1 April during the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan (USA).
|1994||Canada||USA||Finland||Lake Placid, USA|
|2003||Cancelled due to outbreak of SARS disease in China.|
|2005||USA||Canada||Sweden||Linköping, Norröoping, SWE|
|2007||Canada||USA||Sweden||Winnipeg, Selkirk, CAN|
|2011||USA||Canada||Finland||Zurich, Winterthur, SUI|
The IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship (top division) is not played during Olympic seasons.