Women's Past Cups

Women’s World Cup History

It is tough to get away from the Netherlands when considering the history of the official Women’s World Cup. There have been 13 editions of the women’s event, starting in 1974 and, during that time, the Oranje have dominated, winning seven times and finishing runners-up on another four occasions.

Other teams to have made their mark on the event are Australia, Argentina and Germany (playing as West Germany). These teams have each won on two occasions.


The Women’s World Cup aligned with the Men’s World Cup in 1982, when the IFWHA merged with the FIH to make one international governing body. Since then, the event has run every four years, making a two-year gap between it and the Olympics.

Only on one occasion have the two events run at one venue and that was the 2014 World Cup, which took place in The Hague, Netherlands. The next edition will take place in London, England, the first time it has been hosted in the UK.

The World Cup is the greatest single sport event in hockey’s calendar.

It ranks alongside the Olympics as the title that coaches and athletes are desperate to win. The world stage is the place where heroes are created and the Women’s World Cup has a long list of incredible athletes who have lit up this stage.

The first World Cup winners were the Netherlands, who beat Argentina 1-0 in the final. The trophy then swung between the European giants of West Germany and the Dutch until 1994 when Australia announced its arrival with two consecutive victories in 1994 and 1998. Current Netherlands coach Alyson Annan was part of the double gold-winning team, and she will be hoping that she can add a gold medal as a coach in London.

Annan, Rechelle Hawkes and Nikki Hudson were part of the Hockeyroos team that swept all opposition before them during a golden period for Australian hockey. The three players are all household names and inspirational figures for the current crop of Hockeyroos.

Germany is another team that has a proud history in the World Cup with their victory over the Netherlands in 1981 possibly one of the closest matches of all time.

Both teams had sailed unbeaten through the pool games: Germany had conceded just twice in five matches, the Netherlands had kept five clean sheets. West Germany beat Australia 2-1 in the semi-finals, the Netherlands were part of a 10-goal thriller against the Soviet Union, eventually emerging 7-3 winners. The final itself was end-to-end, with the score at 70 minutes 1-1. Germany’s reputation as a team that remains calm under the pressure of penalties was born as the West German side won 3-1.

Argentina’s reputation as a nation that could win medals coincided with the emergence of eight-time FIH World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar.

While the goals were being scored by the sensational Soledad Garcia, Aymar’s performances in 2002 and 2010 were astonishing. She was voted Player of the Tournament on both occasions and her gliding runs from midfield that literally carved open the opposition’s defence, became the stuff of legends.

There are many, many players who have performed heroics on the World Cup stage, but it would be remiss not to mention the goal-scoring machine, Maartje Paumen. In 21 World Cup matches, Paumen has scored 22 goals, making her the leading World Cup goal scorer.

With a year to prepare, the Head Coaches of the participating nations will be looking for new heroes to make their mark on this glittering hockey showcase.


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