It's the Hockey World Cup, and it's in England

History Sport

The Hockey Women’s World Cup kicked off on the 21st July at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London. Similar to the Summer Olympics, it is held every four years, with the first tournament in 1974.

Starting with 10 teams, it now has 16, but it’s the same four countries who dominate. Who are they? And where did it all begin? Let’s find out.

Koala Playing Hockey T-Shirt

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Hockey is such an old game that it was created by dinosaurs (okay maybe that’s not quite true). But it is very old - with its roots tracing back 4,000 years to the Ancient Egyptians. Various museums also suggest the Romans, Greeks and even Aztecs have a claim to the game.

T-Rex Running Man

The dinosaurs may not have invented hockey, but everyone knows they invented the running man

So who does it really belong to?

We don’t know. But we do know that the modern game as we currently know it emerged in our home country of England in the mid-18th century. The first hockey governing body was then set-up in 1876, and this was when formal rules were instigated. And now here we are - at the 2018 Hockey Olympics.

So who are the hockey greats?

Well, as we said before, only 4 different countries have won the Hockey World Cup. The Netherlands are considered the Titans, having won the title a staggering 7 times. Next are Argentina, Germany and Australia who share second place - having won only twice in comparison.

English Koala Cricketer

This emigrated English koala prefers cricket to hockey anyway

But does that mean it’s not a popular sport?

Absolutely not. In fact, at the 2012 London Olympics, hockey was the third most spectated sport. It is also the second most played sport in the world (after football). Now that’s something! Numerous celebrities are also known to be hockey hunters - with Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson and the late Heath Ledger all playing the sport.

How can I get involved?

Well over half of the 800 hockey clubs across the country are putting on events this summer in celebration of the World Cup. Find your local event.

Now come on England! Let’s make it 5 countries to win the trophy.

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