The FIH today announced the official match schedule for the Women’s Champion’s Challenge I set to take place in Dublin, Ireland June 18-26.

In total, eight teams will participate in the bi-annual event and will be split into two Pools of four. Following a simple round robin round, all eight teams will then move into a cross-over Quarter Final match, seeded according to their respective Pool placings.

New Zealand won the last edition of the Women’s Champions Challenge in 2009 when the event was held in South Africa. With the win, the Black Sticks competed in last year’s Samsung Champions Trophy in Nottingham.

Looking to challenge for the crown this year will be South Africa, and Japan, two teams that were medalists in 2009. Both nations are in Pool A where they are joined by USA and Scotland. Pool B features Spain, Azerbaijan, India and Ireland. India earned promotion to the event both by virtue winning the 2009 Champions Challenge II and their end of tournament position at the BDO FIH Indoor World Cup in Argentina. Host nation Ireland were also at the 2009 Champions Challenge II, finishing in third place.

Japan and USA will kick off the event on June 18th in the 10:00 match. The teams will have three days of Pool action before moving onto the Quarter Finals. Losing teams in the Quarter Finals will play in the 5-8 Classification section, while the winners will move into the Semi Finals and the medal rounds.