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Women's ice hockey was added as a medal sport at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. The United States won gold, Canada won silver and Finland won bronze.The chief difference between women's and men's ice hockey is that body checking is not allowed in women's ice hockey. After the 1990 Women's World Championship, body checking was eliminated because female players in many countries do not have the size and mass seen in North American players. In current IIHF women's competition, body checking is either a minor or major penalty, decided at the referee's discretion.



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