The official schedule for FIH Champions Challenge II (men’s) that will be held in Lille, France from July 2-10, 2011, has been announced. Ireland and Scotland have both been drawn in pool B of the eight-team tournament
The teams will be split into two preliminary round groups for three-days of round robin action. The teams will then play a cross-over quarterfinal to determine the playoff teams. The top ranked teams from each pool will take on the fourth-ranked teams, while number two and number three will also face-off. The winners from the cross-over games will move onto the semi-finals and medal games, while the losers will continue to play for final placement.
In total, the teams will play six games each during the nine-day event. China and Austria will kick things off on July 2 with an 11am match. pool A features China, USA, Austria and the Czech Republic, while pool B includes France, Ireland, Russia and Scotland.
Ireland and host France are expected to be two of the main contenders at the event. Ireland took the silver at the Champions Challenge II in 2009, while France took the bronze. China is also sure to be a tough team to beat. The Chinese squad was at the Champions Challenge I level in 2009.