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Olympic Games: Quick Facts

In less than 3 months, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will commence. Field hockey, globally known as 'hockey', has roots dating all the way back to antiquity. Modern field hockey emerged in England in the mid-19th century and the sport has grown in popularity over time.

As we gear up for the games, here are some Olympic Games quick facts about the sport of field hockey.

  • Competition Dates

    Field hockey at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will take place between July 27 to August 9. The opening match of the women's side features Argentina against the USA.

  • Mascot: Phryges

    The Phryges are based on an item of clothing that is a symbol of freedom, has been part of the French history for centuries, and dates back to ancient times. After featuring on certain flags in Latin America before becoming widely popularized by French revoluntaries, the Phrygian cap has now become a familiar symbol in France. A symbol of revolutions, the French Republic and freedom, the Phyrgrian cap can be seen on the French national cion Marianne, depicted in busts at town halls across the country as well as on stamps, and is also covered in the national curriculum in schools.

  • Venue

    Field hockey will take place at the Yves du Manoir Stadium in Colombes. The historic stadium was used prominently during the Paris 1924 Olympic Games, when it hosted the Opening Ceremony and some track and field events. It will be the only Paris 1924 venue that will be used again for Paris 2024. 

  • Format

    The Paris 2024 Olympic Games for field hockey includes men and women beginning with round-robin pool play, involving teams divided into two groups — Pool A and Pool B. In the 12-team men's and women's tournaments, six teams are in each pool. The top-four teams in each pool advance to the quarterfinals.

  • Qualified Teams

    Men's Teams: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain

    Women's Teams: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, China, Japan, Netherlands, South Arica, Spain, United States

  • How Teams Qualified

    For both the men and women, each of the continental champions (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania) secured a team spot for their respective NOC (National Olympic Committee). France, as the host nation, received a direct quota place in both the men's and women's tournament. The remaining quota places were decided by two separate FIH Hockey Qualifier tournaments, with the top-three squads at the end of each tournament qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

  • Gender Balance

    Gender balance is a core tenet of this sport; of the 30 million players worldwide, about 51% are women and 49% are men.

  • First Appearance

    Field hockey made its first Olympic appearance during the London 1908 Olympic Games with the men, but the women’s game was not introduced until the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games.

  • Medal Table

    The India men sit at the top of the medal table, with eight gold. The USA men won bronze at the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games.

    The Netherlands tops the women's table, with four gold. The USA women won bronze at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games

  • Sport Origin

    Hockey takes its name from the French word “hocquet”, meaning a shepherd’s crook in reference to the curved shape of a hockey stick. The roots of the game stretch back to antiquity, as records show an early form of the sport practised 4,000 years ago in Egypt, with variations played in what is now Ethiopia (1000 BC) and Iran (2000 BC).

    Various museums report that a form of the game was also played by the Romans and Greeks, as well as the Aztecs.