Olympic Sports >> Field hockey

Field hockey

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  • 1 men's tournament
  • 1 women's tournament


  • 12 teams for both men and women. In the first round, teams are split into 2 groups, and the top 4 in each group advance to the knockout stage: quarter-finals, semi-finals, final. There are also classification matches and a bronze medal match to determine final tournament rankings.
  • New: 4 periods of 15 minutes instead of 2 periods of 35 minutes. If a game is tied at the end of normal time it will be decided immediately by a penalty shoot-out (extra-time has been scrapped).


Approx. 2000 BC

Documents show evidence of hockey-style games being played in Persia, Egypt, Greece and Rome.


Founding of the first field hockey club in Blackheath, near London.


Field hockey makes its Olympic debut at the London Games (England win the gold medal), but the sport is absent in 1912 and 1924.


Women are allowed to compete in international matches after the founding of the International Federation of Women's Hockey Associations (IFWHA).


Staging of the first European club competition, the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.


Staging of the first men's Hockey World Cup. Pakistan win the inaugural edition.


Staging of the first women's Hockey World Cup. The Netherlands win the inaugural edition.


Women's hockey joins the Olympic programme in Moscow. Zimbabwe become the first champions.


Dhyan Chand (India)

The symbol of India's dominance of the sport in the early 20th century. Olympic gold medallist in 1928, 1932 and 1936, he scored over 2,000 goals in an international career spanning more than 20 years.

Andreas Keller (West Germany & Germany)

King of the Kellers. This third-generation field hockey player won Olympic gold in 1992 after winning silver in 1984 and 1988. His grandfather Erwin won silver in 1936 and his father Carsten won gold in 1972. And the Keller dynasty shows no signs of letting up! Andreas's half-sister Natascha and half-brother Florian have also won Olympic gold, in 2004 and 2008 respectively.

Rechelle Hawkes (Australia)

A golden hat-trick. Hawkes was chosen to read the Olympic Oath at the Sydney Games in 2000, and repaid the favour by leading the "Hockeyroos" to a third gold medal, after 1988 and 1996. She also won the World Cup in 1994 and 1998.

Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.