Ice Hockey World Championships
Logo of the IIHF.svg
Organising body International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)
Founded 23 April 1920; 100 years ago (1920-04-23) (1920 Summer Olympics)
30 January 1930; 90 years ago (1930-01-30) (First individual event)
Region International
Number of teams 16 in the Top Division
12 in Division I
12 in Division II
6 in Division III
Current champions Finland Finland
(3rd title)
Most successful team(s) Canada Canada (26 titles)
2020 IIHF World Championship

The Ice Hockey World Championships are an annual men's ice hockey tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). First officially held at the 1920 Summer Olympics, it is the sport's highest profile annual international tournament. The IIHF was created in 1908 while the European Championships, the precursor to the World Championships, were first held in 1910. The tournament held at the 1920 Summer Olympics is recognized as the first Ice Hockey World Championship. Between 1920 and 1968, the Olympic hockey tournament was also considered the World Championship for that year. The first World Championship that was held as an individual event was in 1930 in which 12 nations participated. In 1931, ten teams played a series of round-robin format qualifying rounds to determine which nations participated in the medal round. Medals were awarded based on the final standings of the teams in the medal round. This basic format would be used until 1992 (although small variations were made). In 1951, 13 nations took part and were split into two groups. The top seven teams (Pool A) played for the World Championship. The other six (Pool B) played for ranking purposes. During a congress in 1990, the IIHF introduced a playoff system. As the IIHF grew, more teams began to participate at the World Championships, so more pools (later renamed divisions) were introduced.

The modern format for the World Championship features 16 teams in the championship group, 12 teams in Division I and 12 teams in Division II. If there are more than 40 teams, the rest compete in Division III. The teams in the championship play a preliminary round, then the top eight teams play in the playoff medal round and the winning team is crowned World Champion. Over the years, the tournament has gone through several rule changes. In 1969 body-checking in all three zones in a rink was allowed, helmets and goaltender masks became mandatory in the early 1970s and in 1992 the IIHF began using the shootout. The current IIHF rules differ slightly from the rules used in the NHL. The World Championships have been open to all players, both professional and amateur, since 1970. The IIHF requires that players are citizens of the country they represent and allow players to switch national teams provided that they play in their new nation for a certain period of time.

Canada was the tournament's first dominant team, winning the tournament 12 times between 1930 and 1952. The United States, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Great Britain and Switzerland were also competitive during this period. Czechoslovakia became the first European country to win the tournament, doing so in 1947, 1949 and 1950. The Soviet Union first participated in 1954 and soon became rivals with Canada. From 1963 until 1990, the Soviet Union was the dominant team, winning 15 championships. The period was marked by an intense rivalry between the Soviet Union and Canada. Besides the Soviet Union and Canada only two other other nations won medals: Czechoslovakia and Sweden. Following this, the next decade was dominated by the so-called "Big Six"–Canada, Czechoslovakia, Finland, the Soviet Union, Sweden and the United States. From 1991 to 1999, five different teams won the World Championship. During Czechoslovakia's "Golden Era" in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they won three gold medals (1999, 2000 and 2001) as well as an Olympic gold medal in 1998. In the 2000s and 2010s, the competition became more open as the "Big Six" teams as well as countries like Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Latvia, became more evenly matched.

The 74th World Championship was held in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland. Finland won their third title by defeating Canada 3–1 in the final.

Medalists

1920–1969

Year Host Gold medal Gold Silver medal Silver Bronze medal Bronze Fourth place
1920
Winter Olympics
Belgium Belgium
(Antwerp)

Canada (1)

United States (1)

Czechoslovakia (1)

Sweden
1924
Winter Olympics
France France
(Chamonix)

Canada (2)

United States (2)

Great Britain (1)

Sweden
1928
Winter Olympics
Switzerland Switzerland
(St. Moritz)

Canada (3)

Sweden (1)

Switzerland (1)

Great Britain
1930 Flag of France.svg France
Flag of Germany.svg Germany
Flag of Austria.svg Austria
(Chamonix, Berlin and Vienna)

Canada (4)
Flag of Germany.svg
Germany (1)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland (2)
Flag of Austria.svg
Austria
1931 Poland
(Krynica)

Canada (5)

United States (3)
Flag of Austria.svg
Austria (1)
Flag of Poland.svg
Poland
1932
Winter Olympics
United States
(Lake Placid)

Canada (6)

United States (4)
Flag of Germany.svg
Germany (1)
Flag of Poland.svg
Poland
1933 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague)

United States (1)

Canada (1)

Czechoslovakia (2)
Flag of Austria.svg
Austria
1934 Kingdom of Italy Italy
(Milan)

Canada (7)

United States (5)

Germany (2)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland
1935 Switzerland Switzerland
(Davos)

Canada (8)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland (1)

Great Britain (2)

Czechoslovakia
1936
Winter Olympics
Nazi Germany Germany
(Garmisch-Partenkirchen)

Great Britain (1)

Canada (2)

United States (1)

Czechoslovakia
1937 United Kingdom Great Britain
(London)

Canada (9)

Great Britain (1)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland (3)

Germany
1938 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague)

Canada (10)

Great Britain (2)

Czechoslovakia (3)

Germany
No tournaments were held between 1939 and 1946 due to the outbreak of World War II (1938–1945).
1947 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (1)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (2)
Flag of Austria.svg
Austria (2)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland
1948
Winter Olympics
Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg Switzerland
(St. Moritz)

Canada (11)

Czechoslovakia (1)

Switzerland (4)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1949 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (2)

Canada (3)

United States (2)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1950 Great Britain
(London)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (3)

Canada (4)

United States (3)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland
1951 Flag of France.svg France
(Paris)

Canada (12)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (2)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (1)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland
1952
Winter Olympics
Flag of Norway.svg Norway
(Oslo)

Canada (13)

United States (6)

Czechoslovakia (5)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1953 Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg Switzerland
(Basel and Zurich)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (1)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (3)
West Germany
West Germany (3)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland
1954 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (1)

Canada (5)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (2)

Czechoslovakia
1955 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm)

Canada (14)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (1)

Czechoslovakia (6)

United States
1956
Winter Olympics
Italy
(Cortina d'Ampezzo)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (2)

United States (7)

Canada (1)

Sweden
1957 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
(Moscow)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (2)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (2)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (7)
Flag of Finland.svg
Finland
1958 Flag of Norway.svg Norway
(Oslo)

Canada (15)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (3)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (3)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
1959 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague and Bratislava)

Canada (16)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (4)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (8)

United States
1960
Winter Olympics
Flag of the United States.svg United States
(Squaw Valley)

United States (2)

Canada (6)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (1)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
1961 Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg Switzerland
(Geneva and Lausanne)

Canada (17)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (4)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (2)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1962 Flag of the United States.svg United States
(Colorado Springs and Denver)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (4)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (3)

Canada (2)

United States
1963 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (3)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (4)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (9)

Canada
1964
Winter Olympics
Flag of Austria.svg Austria
(Innsbruck)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (4)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (5)

Czechoslovakia (10)

Canada
1965 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Tampere)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (5)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (5)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (4)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
1966 Yugoslavia
(Ljubljana)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (6)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (6)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (3)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1967 Flag of Austria.svg Austria
(Vienna)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (7)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (6)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (4)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
1968
Winter Olympics
France France
(Grenoble)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (8)

Czechoslovakia (7)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (5)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1969 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (9)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (7)

Czechoslovakia (11)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada

1970 to present

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold medal Gold
medalists
Score Silver medal Silver
medalists
Bronze medal Bronze
medalists
Score 4th place
finishers
1970 Flag of Canada.svg Canada
(Montreal and Winnipeg)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (18)
6 – 5 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (5)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (12)
3 – 2 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1971 Switzerland
(Bern and Geneva)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (10)
5 – 3 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (7)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (13)
3 – 1 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1973 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (5)
3 – 2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (6)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (6)
4 – 0 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1974 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
(Moscow)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (11)
3 – 1 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (8)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (5)
3 – 1 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
1975 Flag of Canada.svg Canada
(Montreal and Toronto)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (19)
5 – 4 OT Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (9)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (3)
4 – 1 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1977 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Helsinki)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (6)
2 – 1 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (8)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (4)
5 – 4 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
1978 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (12)
3 – 2 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (8)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (14)
6 – 1 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1979 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
(Moscow)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (13)
6 – 1 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (10)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (6)
5 – 2 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
1981 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Gothenburg and Stockholm)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (14)
8 – 1 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (9)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (15)
4 – 2 Flag of the United States.svg
United States
1982 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Helsinki and Tampere)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (15)
5 – 3 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (11)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (7)
6 – 0 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
1983 Germany West Germany
(Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Munich)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (20)
6 – 5 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (9)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (5)
3 – 1 Flag of the United States.svg
United States
1985 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague and Bratislava)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (7)
5 – 3 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (10)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (6)
10 – 3 Flag of the United States.svg
United States
1986 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
(Moscow)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (16)
3 – 2 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (10)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (8)
4 – 3 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland
1987 Flag of Canada.svg Canada
(Hamilton, Montréal and Toronto)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (21)
6 – 5 OT Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (7)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (7)
4 – 3 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
1989 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm and Södertälje)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (3)
3 – 2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (8)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (16)
4 – 2 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
1990 Switzerland
(Bern and Fribourg)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (17)
3 – 0 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (11)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (17)
3 – 2 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
1991 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Turku, Helsinki and Tampere)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (22)
4 – 2 Flag of the United States.svg
United States (8)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (8)
5 – 2 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland
1993 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague and Bratislava)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (4)
5 – 2 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (1)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (18)
5 – 3 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
1995 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm and Gävle)
Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (1)
4 – 1 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (12)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (9)
4 – 1 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
1996 Flag of Canada.svg Canada
(Montreal and Ottawa)
Flag of the United States.svg
United States (3)
5 – 2 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (11)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (7)
4 – 3 OT Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (5)
1997 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Helsinki, Turku and Tampere)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (5)
1 – 0 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (2)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (19)
4 – 0 Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland
1999 Flag of Norway.svg Norway
(Oslo and Lillehammer)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (8)
3 – 1 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (3)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (9)
3 – 2 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
2000 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
(Leningrad)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (9)
4 – 3 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (9)
Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (1)
2 – 1 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
2001 Flag of Germany.svg Germany
(Cologne, Hanover and Nuremberg)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (10)
3 – 2 OT Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (4)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (10)
3 – 2 Flag of the United States.svg
United States
2003 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Gothenburg, Karlstad and Jönköping)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (23)
3 – 2 OT Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (13)
Flag of the United States.svg
United States (4)
4 – 2 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland
2004 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Helsinki, Tampere and Turku)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (24)
5 – 3 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (5)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (20)
1 – 0 GWS Flag of the United States.svg
United States
2005 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague and Bratislava)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (11)
3 – 0 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (12)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (8)
6 – 3 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
2007 Flag of Latvia.svg Latvia
(Riga)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (6)
4 – 0 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (12)
Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (2)
5 – 0 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada
2008 Flag of Canada.svg Canada
(Toronto and Québec City)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (18)
5 – 4 OT Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (13)
Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (3)
4 – 0 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
2009 Switzerland
(Kloten and Bern)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (19)
2 – 1 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (14)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (11)
4 – 2 Flag of the United States.svg
United States
2011 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
(Moscow and Leningrad)
Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (2)
6 – 1 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (14)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (9)
3 – 1 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
2012 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Helsinki and Tampere)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (20)
5 – 3 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (13)
Flag of Norway.svg
Norway (1)
3 – 2 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland
2013 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(Stockholm and Malmö)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (7)
5 – 1 Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland (2)
Flag of the United States.svg
United States (5)
3 – 2 GWS Flag of Finland.svg
Finland
2015 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague and Bratislava)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia (12)
2 – 1 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (10)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (10)
3 – 2 Flag of Germany.svg
Germany
2016 Flag of Canada.svg Canada
(Montreal and Toronto)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (25)
2 – 1 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (11)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (12)
5 – 2 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland
2017 Flag of Germany.svg Germany Flag of France.svg France
(Cologne and Paris)
Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (26)
2 – 0 Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (6)
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union (10)
5 – 3 Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
2019 Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
(Copenhagen and Herning)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden (8)
2 – 1 GWS Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (15)
Flag of the United States.svg
United States (6)
4 – 1 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union
2020 Switzerland
(Zürich and Lausanne)
Flag of Finland.svg
Finland (3)
3 – 1 Flag of Canada.svg
Canada (16)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Switzerland (5)
3 – 2 GWS Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
2021 Flag of Latvia.svg Latvia
(Riga)
2023 Flag of Finland.svg Finland
(Helsinki and Tampere)
2024 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
(Moscow and Leningrad)
2025 Flag of Canada.svg Canada
(TBA)
2027 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
(TBA)
2028 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
(Prague and Bratislava)

Medal table

Countries in italics no longer compete at the World Championships.

Country Gold Silver Bronze Medals
Canada Canada 26 15 10 51
Soviet Union Soviet Union 20 11 10 41
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia 12 13 20 45
Sweden Sweden 8 14 11 33
United States United States 3 8 6 17
Finland Finland 2 6 3 11
United Kingdom Great Britain 1 2 2 5
Switzerland Switzerland 0 2 4 6
Germany Germany
Germany West Germany
 
0
0
0
1
0
1
2
1
3
3
1
4
Austria Austria 0 0 2 2
Norway Norway 0 0 1 1

See also

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