Dina Grinberga's Team World secured third place in the 2023 Women's World Challenge. Players interested in participating can apply for the Team World selection process in 2024. Charlie Skinner/WPIH

World Para Ice Hockey has announced the return of the Women’s World Challenge for its third consecutive year, set to take place in Skien, Norway from 25-28 October. 

Hosted by the Norwegian Ice Hockey Association, the tournament will include teams from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, and Team World. The event aims to boost female participation in Para ice hockey globally, paving the way for the 2025 Women’s World Championships and ultimately advocating for the sport's inclusion in the Paralympic Winter Games program.

Michelle Laflamme, manager of World Para Ice Hockey, expressed enthusiasm, “World Para Ice Hockey has seen tremendous success with the first two editions of the Women’s World Challenge, helping us attract more athletes, officials, and fans to grow the women’s side of the sport.”

“We are excited to bring the Women’s World Challenge to Europe for the first time, as we continue to find new ways and audiences to propel the sport forward, and capitalise on a time when women’s sports are experiencing enormous growth in the world. We also are extending an invitation to athletes whose nation may not have a national team yet to apply to skate with Team World as we continue to grow the sport.”

Espen Hegde, sport manager for Para Ice Hockey at the Norwegian Ice Hockey Association, commented on the event's significance, “This is a major event for the Norwegian Ice Hockey Association. We are happy to host the world’s best female Para ice hockey players in Skien and proud to take part in the growth of women’s Para ice hockey."

He continued, "Hopefully, this will be another stepping stone for future recruitment and development for female Para athletes in all participating countries.” The 2024 Women's World Challenge will again offer opportunities for athletes from countries without a women’s national team to participate by joining Team World. Last year, 17 athletes from 11 different countries competed with Team World.

Athletes interested in participating are encouraged to contact World Para Ice Hockey at [email protected] for detailed information on the application and selection process, as spaces are limited.

The tournament will be held at Skien Fritidspark, a multi-purpose venue known for its indoor sports halls, ice hockey rink, water park, and outdoor sports facilities. The venue has a rich history, having hosted events like the 1975 European Gymnastics Championships and earlier this year, the World Para Ice Hockey Championships B-Pool.

In the inaugural Women’s World Challenge in 2022, Team USA claimed gold on home ice, with Canada taking silver and Team World earning bronze. In 2023, the event featured 67 women and an all-female officiating crew for the second time; Team USA defended its title, Canada secured silver once more, and Team World captured bronze.