FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup: what do stats tell?

January 3, 2023

The 15th edition of the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup is about to get underway in just 9 days in Odisha, India. While the World Cup was a relatively late addition to the international hockey calendar, it has now completed over 50 years in existence, with the first edition having been played in 1971. In the 14 editions of the World Cup so far, there have been plenty of mind-boggling records created, and in following editions, surpassed. A look at the statistics of the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup is almost as good as a look at the history of men’s hockey over the past 5 decades, so here is a brief look at the same.

The history of the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup can not be written without mentioning Pakistan, the champions of the inaugural edition of the event. Not only did Pakistan win the first ever World Cup, but they are also the team that has won the most World Cups in the men’s event, with 4 gold medals. Through the first 8 editions of the men’s World Cup, Pakistan amassed 4 gold medals and 2 silver medals, making them the most successful team in the World Cup. Pakistan won their 4th gold medal at the World Cup in Sydney in 1994, but no other team has been able to equal their gold medal tally so far.

Australia and Netherlands come in next with 3 gold medals each. Australia have won a total of 10 medals at the World Cups, which is the most amongst all nations. Australia’s tally includes 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 5 bronze medals. Netherlands have won 9 medals at the Men’s World Cups with 3 golds, 4 silver medals and 2 bronze medals. Both Netherlands and Australia were amongst the medals at the 2018 World Cup, with Netherlands finishing runners-up behind Belgium, while Australia won the bronze medal. Australia last won the gold at the 2014 World Cup, while Netherlands’ wait for a men’s World Cup gold has been really long, having last won the World Cup at the 1998 edition. Netherlands has gotten close to the elusive 4th gold medal at both 2014 and 2018 World Cups, ending with the silver medal at both editions.

Germany have won 2 gold medals, with the last one coming in 2006. India and Belgium are the other two teams to have won gold medals at the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup, with India’s victory coming in 1975, while Belgium are the reigning world champions, having won the gold in the 2018 edition.

Australia boast of the highest win percentage at the men’s World Cups, winning 69 of the 92 matches they have played in, an astounding 75%! Netherlands have played the most number of matches at the World Cup, completing 100 matches in the finals of the 2018 World Cup, ahead of India, who have played 95 matches.

Australia also have produced the most attacking hockey at the World Cups, scoring 307 goals in the 92 matches, at a rate of 3.3 goals per game! Netherlands and Pakistan have the next best scoring averages, with Netherlands averaging 2.67 goals scored per game, and Pakistan averaging 2.64 goals per game. Australia also have a phenomenal defensive record at the World Cups, letting in just 107 goals in their 92 games, at an average of 1.16 per game.

India, Netherlands and Spain are the only teams to have appeared in all 14 editions so far, and all three teams will also appear at the upcoming World Cup, making it 15 appearances in a row. Argentina, Australia, England and Pakistan have appeared in 13 editions so far, with only Pakistan missing out on the 2023 edition.

A total of 26 nations have competed at the 14 editions of the men’s World Cup so far. Chile and Wales will take the number up to 28 as they make their debut appearances at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.

FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela:


The full match schedule for the World Cup can be found here.


Tickets can be booked here.


Pool A: Australia, Argentina, France, South Africa

Pool B: Belgium, Germany, Korea, Japan

Pool C: Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Chile

Pool D: India, England, Spain, Wales


The squads of  the 16 participating teams can be found here.


The list of Officials is available here.

Where to watch?

The matches will be shown live on TV or on Watch.Hockey. See full plan here.