The IIHF World Championship is set to take place annually from 2022 onwards ©Getty Images

Denmark is set to stage the first International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship to be held in the same year as the Winter Olympics when it plays host in 2022.

Since 1997, the event has been held annually except for years when the Games take place.

But the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress in Russian city St Petersburg has approved a change to its statutes and bylaws to allow the Women’s World Championship to be played every year.

The IIHF say the event will now continue to be played in March and April except in Olympic years, when the tournament will be organised in August.

As such, next year’s edition is scheduled to be held in August - six months after the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

It claimed that having two big competitions within two months would cause "difficulties" due to players having day joys or studying.

The proposal was approved by the IIHF Council, as well as the organisation’s Women’s Committee and the Competition and Coordination Committee.

It was then presented to the delegates at the last Congress in June.

"We had many discussions with the top countries," said Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer, chair of the IIHF Women’s Committee.

Denmark has been chosen to stage the IIHF Women's World Championship in 2022 ©Getty Images
Denmark has been chosen to stage the IIHF Women's World Championship in 2022 ©Getty Images

"They are always at the Olympics but couldn’t play a few weeks later again, so we discussed whether it could work if we played in August.

"We know that after the Olympics many players end their careers with a highlight and that gives the opportunity to work with new players entering the team."

The IIHF said another reason for the proposal was because of challenges with promotion and relegation as the lower divisions were played while at the top level no demotion happened.

"We had a good conversation within the Council," added Kolbenheyer.

"We wanted to find a long-term solution because we had a challenge with promotion and relegation every four years.

"We wanted to solve different issues with this proposal.

"It is a really fair solution for all the countries participating in the women’s programme."

The IIHF said discussions were underway with potential host cities after the Danish Ice Hockey Union secured the rights to stage next year’s Women’s World Championship.