The ninth edition of the FIH Women’s Junior Hockey World Cup starts on April 1 in Potchefstroom, South Africa. It’s an event that was originally scheduled to take place in December, but had to be postponed four months because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the outbreak of Omicron variant.

There are a few changes in the roster this time, as traditional powerhouses Australia, New Zealand and Spain opted to skip the event because of the pandemic. A few days before the start of the tournament, the FIH announced that, “Ukrainian Hockey Association has informed us today that their Women’s Junior team will not be able to participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup eventually, despite its tireless efforts to try to make it possible.”

The team of Ukraine will not be replaced. Therefore, the event will be played with 15 teams, with Pool B comprising of South Africa, England and Ireland. The matches of Ukraine will be cancelled.

But there won’t be any shortage of big teams present at the competition, as the four different winners of the event - the Netherlands (three-time champions), two-time winners South Korea and Argentina, and champions at the inaugural edition in 1989, Germany will compete.

Teams and format

The 15 teams present in Potchefstroom - just over 120 km away from Johannesburg - have been slotted into four groups.

Each team will play the other once, and the top two teams at the end of the league stage move forward to the knockout rounds that start with the quarterfinals. A win earns three points, a point for a draw and none for a loss.

The teams have been slotted into the following Pools.

Pool A – Canada, Netherlands, USA, Zimbabwe
Pool B – England, Ireland, South Africa
Pool C – Argentina, Austria, Korea, Uruguay
Pool D – Germany, India, Malaysia, Wales

The groupings will put up a few interesting cross-border clashes: Canada vs USA, England vs Ireland, Argentina vs Uruguay.

The winners and runners-up of the pools will play in the quarter-finals as set out below. The teams that finish 3rd and 4th will play classification matches from 9th to 16th.

The quarter-finals will be as follows although the matches will not necessarily be played in this order:

1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B

1st Pool D v 2nd Pool C

1st Pool B v 2nd Pool A

1st Pool C v 2nd Pool D

The winners of these matches will play for 1st to 4th places and so on.

Past winners

The competition was first organised in 1989 in Ottawa, Canada, and was won by the erstwhile West Germany who beat South Korea 2-0 in the final.

Since then, the 21 and under competition has become a popular breeding ground for future talent. The example of Argentina’s Luciana Aymer is most common. The 44-year-old had won bronze with Argentina at the 1997 edition, but then went on to win two senior World Cups and four Olympic medals (silver at Sydney 2000 and London 2012 and bronze at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).

Interestingly, at the Junior Women’s World Cup, Argentina is the team that has won the most number of medals. They are the defending champion, having won the event in 2016 and also claimed gold in 1993 - the second edition. They were runners-up in 2001, 2009 and 2003, and finished with bronze in 1997 to complete their tally of six medals.

The Netherlands meanwhile are the most successful team with titles in 1997, 2009 and 2013. The Dutch were runner-ups in 2016 and finished third in 2005.

Then there are the South Koreans who won back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2005, and then won bronze in 2009.


Silver Bronze
1989 West Germany
South Korea
Soviet Union
1993 Argentina Australia Germany
1997 Netherlands Australia Argentina
2001 South Korea
Argentina Australia
2005 South Korea
Germany Netherlands
2009 Netherlands Argentina South Korea
2013 Netherlands Argentina India
2016 Argentina Netherlands Australia

Previous finals: 

2016: Argentina 4-2 Netherlands 

2013: Netherlands 1-1 Argentina (4-2 APS) 

2009: Netherlands 3-0 Argentina 

2005: Korea 1-0 Germany 

2001: Korea 2-2 Argentina (4-3 APS) 

1997: Netherlands 2-0 Australia 

1993: Argentina 2-1 Australia 

1989: West Germany 2-0 Korea

India’s run

This is the fifth time India will be competing at the event, after failing to qualify for the tournament in 2016 by finishing fourth at the Junior Asian Cup in 2015.

India competed at four successive Junior World Cups from 2001 to 2013. The last time they competed though, they came up with their best result, a surprise bronze medal after beating England in the shoot-out in the third-place playoff.

That team from 2013 had a certain Vandana Katariya and Rani Rampal in the line-up – players who went on to guide the team to their historic run to fourth place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Indians have three players from the Olympic team from last year competing at this event, led by captain Salima Tete, Lalremsiami and Sharmila Devi.

The team qualified for the event this year after being nominated by the Asian Hockey Federation since the 2021 Asian Cup - the usual qualification standard - could not take place due to the pandemic.

India’s women’s junior World Cup history: 2013 – 3rd, 2009 – 9th, 2005 – 11th, 2001 – 9th

India’s veteran halfback Sushila Chanu is one of the current core group members who rose to prominence within the national setup following India’s Bronze Medal finish in the 2013 Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup. As a matter of fact, Sushila Chanu was the captain who led the team to the memorable achievement nearly a decade ago.

In her appearance on Hockey India podcast Hockey Te Charcha, Sushila spoke about the current current’s prospects.

“This is a really tight-knit group with excellent understanding between each other on the field, and off the field as well. They have trained together as a group for a really long time, and even played practice matches against the Senior Women’s Team in the National Camp at SAI Bengaluru and in Bhubaneswar in which they have contested well. The group also consists of players who have represented the Senior Team on the big stage like the Olympics. These reasons lead me to believe that the Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team is a strong contender for the Gold Medal in the upcoming World Cup,” said Chanu.

Recalling memories of the time she led the team during the 2013 Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, Chanu said, “We had the time of our lives during that Junior World Cup campaign. We were so young and carefree at the time, but each one of us was completely focussed on using that competition as a platform to improve on our skills individually, and as a team. Our communication within the team was so strong at the time. It was one of the key reasons behind our success in the Junior World Cup.”

India’s squad

India’s 20-member squad will be captained by Salima Tete, with Ishika Chaudhary as her deputy.


Bichu Devi Kharibam


Marina Lalramnghaki
Ishika Chaudhary (vice-captain)
Akshata Abaso Dekhale


Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke
Salima Tete (Captain)
Ajmina Kujur
Sharmila Devi
Baljeet Kau


Jiwan Kishori Toppo
Mumtaz Khan
Beauty Dungdung
Sangita Kumari

Madhuri Kindo
Manju Chorsiya
Rutuja Dadaso Pisal

Key support staff:

Harvinder Singh: Team Manager
Erik Wonnik: Coach
Patrick TSHUTSHANI: Assistant Coach
Heera Mundluru: Physio
Kavita Nambisan: Strength and conditioning

Where to watch

The Indians are slotted in Pool D along with Wales, Germany and Malaysia.

April 2 - 1230 hrs IST - India vs Wales

April 3 - 1430 hrs IST - India vs Germany

April 5 - 1900 hrs IST - India vs Malaysia

Tournament schedule

All matches will be live on Watch.Hockey App (Subscription required)