The IKF has adapted its calendar up to 2023 ©IKF

The International Korfball Federation (IKF) has revised its calendar until 2023 due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the sport.

The governing body said the major structural changes followed the cancellation of a series of competitions, including the Asian and European Championships and the Under-21 Korfball World Championships.

They have determined that the Under-21 Korfball World Championships will be moved to a cycle of three years as part of their changes, with the next competitions taking place in 2021 and 2024.

Age reference dates for the original competition planned in 2020 will apply for the 2021 event.

Due to the changes, the age group continental championships will be held in 2022 and 2023.

The 2021 World Games in Birmingham in Alabama have also been moved to 2022, as the sport calendar adapts to the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to next year.

The IKF has opted not to hold a European Championships in the same year as the World Games, with the governing body hoping to avoid having too many senior events within 12-months 

A number of teams from the European Championship A-Division in 2021 will directly qualify for the 2023 World Championships and the exact number will be decided at a later date.

The IKF added that should the coronavirus crisis develop next year and prevent proper preparation for the European Championship Division-A, the decision regarding qualification may be reversed.

Remaining European qualification places for the 2023 World Championship will be obtained in one or two European qualifiers to be played in 2022.

Countries that have already qualified through the 2021 European Championship will not play in these qualifiers.

The IKF said the European Championships Division-A in 2021 and the World Korfball Championship qualifying events in 2022 will also decide which 14 countries directly qualify for the European Korfball Championships in 2024.

The remaining two places will be decided at the European Korfball Championship Round One in 2023.

The IKF have decided that the calendar will revert back to its original schedule from 2023 onwards.

It was decided that the 2026 European Championships will take place in the Czech Republic, due to the 2022 event not taking place.

The exact continental qualification quota for the 2023 World Korfball Championships will be determined by the IKF Council before the end of this year.

"While the effect on the competition calendar is substantial, the IKF Executive Committee believes to have found a reasonable balance between the quality of the international competition calendar, the burden on national federations and athletes, and the feasibility of the calendar given the many challenges that the IKF will be facing over the next few years," the IKF said.

"Obviously, the further evolution of the current corona crisis is unclear, and new developments later this year or next year may force us to revise any of the decisions now made."