Posted: 07 November 2018

It's Time for the Hockey World Cup!

The Men’s Hockey World Cup is now held every four years and bridges the gap between the Summer Olympic Games.


The tournament starts on 28th November, with the final taking place on 16th December.

England’s first match is on 30th November against China, who are making their debut in the tournament.


This year’s tournament is taking place in Bhubaneswar, India .

How does it work?

The Hockey World Cup consists of a qualification stage and a final tournament stage.

In the final tournament stage, the teams divide into pools (determined using current world rankings) and play a round robin tournament, with the top two teams in each pool playing in the semi-finals for a place in the final.

England are in Pool B.

The bottom two teams in the semi-finals take part in a third-place playoff, and the rest of the teams also take part in playoffs to decide their final positions in the tournament.

Who’s the most successful team?

So far, the story has really been about five teams.

Pakistan is the most successful nation in the event’s history, having made the final six times and winning the tournament four times.

The Netherlands and Australia have both won the tournament three times. Australia have been the most successful team in recent years, having won in both 2010 and 2014.

Germany has won the tournament twice and this year’s hosts, India, have won once.

What are England’s chances?

England’s debut in the tournament came in 1973 and the team’s best result so far has been as runners-up to Australia in 1986 at their home tournament in London.

England are currently ranked 7th in the world according to FIH rankings, but preparations have not been going particularly smoothly, as they came last in the Four Nations (England, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands) tournament in Valencia, which finished at the beginning of the month.

Anything else I need to know?

The idea for a Hockey World Cup came from Pakistan who felt that the game should have more than one world level tournament. Hockey was an Olympic sport, but because the Olympics are a multisport event, it was felt that support for hockey was not what it could be. A hockey-only world event would provide a global stage for the sport.

The inaugural Hockey World Cup was held in Barcelona in 1971.

The trophy is quite spectacular. It was created by the Pakistani Army and designed by Bashir Moojid.

It consists of a silver cup with a beautiful, floral design standing on top of a base inlaid with ivory. On top is a globe crafted from silver and gold, which is topped by a hockey stick and ball.

How can I use the Hockey World Cup to inspire my students?

With hockey taking centre stage, now is a great time to encourage your students to take an interest in the sport.

Why not encourage them to pick a team and follow their progress through the tournament? Perhaps they could provide a quick update on their team’s progress at the start of lessons, giving them a reason to follow the tournament closely.

And, of course, now’s a great time to start planning a school hockey tour to make the most of their enthusiasm for the sport!

You could arrange the tour of a lifetime to India, a country that is incredibly passionate about hockey. A tour closer to home can also offer some unforgettable experiences, whether that's friendly fixtures against local opposition in destinations such as Spain and the Netherlands, or international youth tournaments .

Interested in arranging a school hockey tour?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.