It’s the most wonderful time of the year for hockey fans!
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) hosts the World Junior Men’s Championships every year on the first day of Kwanzaa and it’s a great way to see the rising stars. Well, the rising stars of men’s football.
While the World Juniors Boys will drop the puck without a hitch, the IIHF has announced it will cancel all tournaments in January, including the U18 Girls tournament. This is the second year that the Women’s World Juniors equivalent has been affected by COVID without any rescheduling plan.
âFollowing a recommendation from the IIHF Medical Committee due to recent developments in the global epidemiological situation of COVID-19 and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the IIHF Council has decided to cancel all tournaments of the IIHF which were to start in January 2022 â, the the federation said in the December 24 press release.
The statement went on to say: âDue to the league’s commitments to Sweden on possible postponement dates, it was determined that it would not be possible to move the Women’s U18s to a later date. All other tournaments mentioned above will not be carried over.
As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to impact sport and society, postponements, adjustments and cancellations are expected. That said, some in the hockey community are wondering why men’s tournaments aren’t disproportionately affected.
Players, members of the media and fans took to social media to express their disappointment.
Additionally, at the time of publication of this article, a Change.Org petition has more than 13,000 signatures.
âLet’s send a message back to the IIHF: we care about ourselves, we see the hours players spend in the gyms and on the ice, we support women in sport, and we want the 2021 U18 Women’s Championship to have a date, âwrote petition creator Lori. Bolliger.
âTell IIHF and IIHF President Luc Tardif to postpone the U18 Women’s World Championship and allow players to participate in one of the most important hockey events of the year.
The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association has volunteered to host a rescheduled U18 Women’s Worlds via Twitter.
âThe OWHA would be delighted to host the U18 Women’s World Championship to ensure the players are supported. We are committed to working with the IIHF, Hockey Canada and the federations on timing and safety.
Hockey Hall of Fame member and active health care worker Hayley Wickeheiser was among the voices speaking out against the financial implications of the decision. âNothing to do with safety, if they can pull it off at (World Juniors),â Wickeheiser tweeted. âWhere there is a will, there is always a way. I question the âwillâ part.
Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini had a different opinion.
Anyway, the cancellation is valid for the moment. The IIHF did not respond to the OWHA’s offer, nor did Hockey Canada.
What do you think of the decision to go ahead with the World Juniors Boys but not the U18 Girls tournament?