History of the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup
SANTIAGO, Chile – The Junior World Cup is an event that exists in some form or another in a vast number of sports – from soccer, to golf, to gymnastics. It is a way for the rising stars of their sport to showcase their talent on a global stage. For field hockey, there is the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup (JWC).
The men’s iteration of the JWC began in 1979 and was held in Versailles, France. What started as an invitational competition with 12 teams has grown into a 16-team event that requires qualification from your respective continental championship event. On the women’s side, this competition did not see its first rendition until 1989 in Ottawa, Canada.
In the history of the JWC, a few teams have been dominant – although not always aligned with the results you’d expect in relation to the performance of each nation’s senior team.
For the men, FIH Junior World Ranked No. 2 Germany was the dominant team for some time, and leads overall with six total titles – their latest in 2013. The most recent winner at the 2021 JWC was No. 1 Argentina, who is tied at two gold medals with No. 3 India. No. 12 Pakistan won the inaugural title, while No. 9 Australia also has one championship title coming in 1997. The Netherlands, who currently rank fourth, has never won gold at the JWC but does have two silver and two bronze medals.
In 2016, the India men’s team became the first team to host and win the Junior World Cup after defeating Belgium (now ranked fifth) 2-1 in the final.
Much like their senior counterpart, The Netherlands’ junior women’s team has had much success. As the current No. 1 ranked team, they have come out on top the most at four times in 1997, 2009, 2013 and 2022. No. 2 Argentina and No. 7 South Korea are tied with two gold medals, while No. 3 Germany has one from the very first edition in 1989. No. 9 Australia holds two second and third place finishes.
The No. 5 United States Women have qualified for nine of the ten Junior World Cups, and the highest they have placed was seventh in 2005 and 2013. In the most recent 2022 iteration, they finished eighth.
This year, the 2023 FIH Hockey Junior Women’s World Cup will be held in Santiago, Chile. This will be the third time Santiago will play host to this event after accommodating in both 2005 and 2016.