Hockey Women’s World Cup History
It is tough to get away from the Netherlands when considering the history of the official Hockey 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 Hockey Women’s World Cup aligned with the Hockey 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.
This is the first time a Hockey Women's World Cup 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 Hockey 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 Hockey Women's 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.