The Vitality 2018 Women’s Field Hockey World Cup is fast-approaching, after a long four years of anticipation for field hockey fans the world over. Here you’ll find a wealth of info to help you watch and enjoy the games, from how to get tickets to what you should expect. Read on, field hockey lovers!
What is the Vitality Women’s Field Hockey World Cup?
One of field hockey’s biggest stages and something that athletes, coaches, and teams train and work for all their lives.
Every four years, in the mid-cycle between the Summer Olympic games, there’s a women’s field hockey world cup. Held since 1974, this intense tournament is run by the International Hockey Federation (IHF). This year, there are 16 nations who have qualified and will be fighting for the World Cup 2018 Title. This is a battle you won’t want to miss!
When is the World Cup?
The 2018 Women’s Field Hockey World Cup runs from July 21st – August 5th of 2018.
During the first week of the tournament, you can expect either 4 matches per day. Other than those days, there will be 2 matches a day. The times of these matches depend on the day, but range from push-back times of 11 AM – 8:15 PM.
Where is it?
The World Cup will be played at the home of England Hockey, the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre (MAP). The venue
is very near to where the Riverbank Arena was situated at the London 2012 Olympics. The stadium is inside the community-oriented Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, in all its entertaining and elegant splendor.
How Will the Event Be Structured?
July 21st – July 29th = Pool Play
- The first 8 days of the tournament are pool play. The winners of these pools gain a spot in the Quarter Final, while the 2ndand 3rd places in each pool move on to the cross-over matches.
July 30th – July 31st = Cross-Over Matches
- The 2ndand 3rd place teams in each pool play each other to see who moves on to play in the Quarter Finals.
August 1st – August 2nd = Quarter Finals
- During this time frame, the first place team in each pool will go against the winners of the Quarter Finals—basically, this will be a huge deciding moment for those remaining teams.
August 3rd= Off Day
August 4th= Semi- Finals
- The teams who win these matches will, of course, be moving on to the Finals. Be prepared for some intense playing during these games!
August 5th= Finals
- 2:00 pm – Bronze Medal Match
- 4:30 pm – Gold Medal Match
Who’s competing in the Pools?
Here is the list of pools and their fierce contenders for the gold!
Pool A – Netherlands, China, Korea, Italy
Pool B – England, USA, India, Ireland
Pool C – Argentina, Germany, Spain, South Africa
Pool D – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Belgium
Who are the Favorites?
Holland – Of the thirteen tournaments held so far, Netherlands is the most successful team, having won the title seven times. This team is in the lead up to the tournament, and with a streak of success as long as Holland’s, this may just be the team to beat.
England – England’s women’s field hockey team is just coming off the win of the Rio Olympics. What’s more? This team will have the home field advantage, creating ample opportunity for this victorious bunch to prove unbeatable.
Who Won it Last Time?
In 2014, Netherlands defeated Australia 2–0 in the finals and Argentina defeated USA 2–1 in the third-place match. Only four countries have ever won the World Cup. Netherlands won the title seven times, while Argentina, Germany, and Australia have each won the title twice.
These are the teams to watch like a hawk! Will Netherlands take home the gold yet again, or find defeat in one its close competitors?
Our ‘Games to Watch’ in Pool Play:
Even for the biggest field hockey aficionado, the 2018 Women’s Field Hockey World Cup may prove to hold too many games for one to watch. You do have a life to live and responsibilities to tend to, after all.
So if you could only watch four games, what would they be? Here are our suggestions:
- July 28th New Zealand vs Australia at 8PM: Both excellent teams not to be reckoned with, the battle between New Zealand and Australia is bound to be a nail-biter. After New Zealand’s victory over Australia in their 2016 Rio match, there’s sure to be some grit and gumption on both sides.
- July 28th Argentina vs South Africa at 2 PM: A little earlier on in the day, you can also view the match between Argentina and South Africa. Both teams emanate a great deal of potential and thirst for the win, particularly Argentina considering its third-place victory in the last Cup. But which team will attain its rightful winning position?
- July 25th USA vs England at 8 PM: A closely matched pair of teams, and definitely representing the top of the women’s field hockey arena, England and the USA are sure to put up a heck of a fight against each other. Be sure not to miss this one; it could be a real nail-biter!
- July 25th Germany vs Argentina at 6 PM: Before Argentina battles South Africa, it will be playing against none other than Germany. Will Germany be able to conquer this tough team, or will it ultimately be overcome? This match could be an indicator of how you’ll find these two top-notch teams doing later on in the Cup.
What Will it Be Like?
This is one of BBC Sport’s unmissable events of 2018. Not only should the field hockey matches be of incredible quality, but the hosts have done a fantastic job of creating the ultimate sporting environment for this tournament in The Lee Valley Hockey Stadium.
The Fan Central, the event’s spectator village, is a hub for everyone to get together and maximize their experience at the Women’s Field Hockey World Cup. There’s even free entry, open to all including non-ticket holders. Here are just a few things you can expect from the venue during games:
- BIG SCREEN TV – Don’t miss any of the field hockey action!
- LIVE MUSIC – Adding to its overall festival feel, this venue will be offering live music. It’s sure to spice up the already hot games!
- FOOD – Food and drink will be served reflecting London’s diverse and delicious cuisine. You know that Pimms, the British classic, will be served there! There will also be cuisine from China, India, Italy, Greece, Mexico, and more.
- RETAIL – You’ll find some of the world’s top brands hanging around here: the likes of Gryphon, TK, Adidas, Grays, Ritual, and more… These brands will be releasing new lines so that you can get kitted out for the new season.
- HOCKEY ZONE – Pick up a stick and give hockey a go in many different forms. Play small games and do virtual reality training sessions with some of the World Cup athletes themselves.
However, do keep in mind that fireworks, flares, explosives, whistles, and air horns will not be permitted. Despite this, the venue should provide more than enough rowdy good fun.
How to Get Tickets?
You will find tickets available in three price categories. These categories determine where the seat is located: categories A, B, and C. Once you buy a ticket, your access for two-match sessions will be secured. You can purchase your tickets on the FIH website. Order soon, before you run out of time!
How to Get to the Stadium?
The infamous London Tube makes it easy to get to the field hockey stadium. Just get off at the Stratford Station, and it’s a 15-minute walk.
Also, there are free spectator shuttles, running on a first come-first serve basis from the Stratford and Stratford international stations on all match days. These will drop you off at the Fan Center. Further, keep in mind that Fan Central opens at least 90 minutes before the spectator gates to the Arena open.
Side note: If someone says they’ll meet you at the Westfield Shopping Center to go and hear all the jazz, don’t be confused as there are two Westfield shopping centers in London. Make sure you meet at the Westfield in Stratford.
How to Catch it on TV?
The games will be livestreamed, so have no fear if you can’t make it to the event. You can still keep up on the action. We will let you know the streaming information as it’s released.
If you do go, Uru has gathered a list of people’s favorite summer activities in and around London to make sure you hit:
- The “Millennium Mile” Walk: This is a fantastic activity for anyone who loves a good walk. It encompasses a wide range of historical spots and lovely scenery in London.
- Bricklane – Indian Food: While in London, why not explore some unique and tasty culinary options? On Brick Lane, you’ll find several Indian food restaurants–perfect for the avid foodie!
- Kingsly Court: Here you’ll encounter cocktails, cute scenery, good food and an overall great vibe.
- Queen’s Park: Nothing ushers in memories of summer like a good picnic in the park. There are several parks in London you can choose to picnic or frolic in, but we highly recommend the Queen’s Park with its green yet urban charm.
- Click here, for more recommendations compiled from local field hockey players.
MEN’S WORLD CUP ALSO COMING SOON…..
The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup is following soon from November 28th– December 16th.
This will take place in Bhubaneswar, India in the Kalinga Stadium.
Twelve of the countries competing in the women’s world cup have also qualified for the men’s, with the exception of USA, Korea, Italy, and Japan. In the men’s world cup, these teams will be replaced by France, Canada, Malaysia, and Pakistan.
The Uru Team has more than 50 of our athletes playing in the Vitality Women’s Field Hockey World Cup and we are very eager to cheer them on. Multiple athletes have kindly offered to capture the World Cup from the inside, so follow us on Instagram and stay tuned for the action.
Also check out our Top 15 Things to Do in London During the 2018 Field Hockey World Cup
NO BORDERS. JUST SPORTS.