The Indian U-18 men’s hockey team will begin its campaign at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games against Bangladesh on October 7 while the women will take on Austria in their opener.

The Hockey competition at the multi-disciple sporting extravaganza will follow the fast-paced Hockey 5’s format and both the teams will have a total of nine members in the squad, which consists of two goalkeepers, two defenders, two midfielders and three forwards.

The men’s team is grouped in Pool B, and the Vivek Sagar Prasad-led team will face off against Austria on October 8, Kenya on October 9, 2014 Youth Olympic gold medallists Australia on October 10 and silver medallists Canada on October 11 apart from playing Bangladesh on the opening day.

In Pool A, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu and Zambia will compete against each other.

In the women’s competition, the Indian team led by Salima Tete is grouped in Pool A and will play against Uruguay on October 8, Vanuatu on October 9, Argentina on October 10, South Africa on October 11 while in Pool B Australia, China, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Zimbabwe will fight with each other for a quarterfinals berth.

“The Youth Olympic Games will be a critical tournament as it will give them a multi-discipline competition experience at a young age and this will better equip them to handle the demands of international hockey at a higher level,” said David John, Hockey India’s High Performance Director.

“Doing well here will be a matter of great pride for the Indian Teams as this is the first time that the Indian Hockey teams will be participating at the prestigious Youth Olympic Games.”