The origins of the women’s Hockey World Cup and its Trophy are shrouded in mystery, although evidence suggests that the original World Cup Trophy may well have originated from Scotland during a time when women’s hockey was undergoing considerable change.
With the women’s World Cup having first been presented in 1975, women’s hockey has developed considerably and still is one of few sports where both genders are equally amazing.
Despite this fact, the men’s World Cup Trophy has for many years eclipsed its women’s equivalent. That will change from 2018 however as the women’s World Cup Trophy undergoes extensive surgery, with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) commissioning an extensive renovation and upgrade project for the prize for one of the biggest events in women’s sport.
The next women’s World Cup winners will be the first to get their hands on the fully upgraded Trophy. Taking influences from its heritage, including Scottish celtic designs and echoes of Scotland’s national emblem, the thistle, within the engraving, it will redress the equally amazing prestige of the men’s and women’s Hockey World Cups.
In order to enhance the women’s Trophy, it was important for the FIH and its commissioned designers to understand both the event’s and the Trophy’s history.
One problem with tracing the beginnings of an international event for women is that the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations (IFWHA) ran separate events until it merged with the FIH in 1982.
Prior to that date, a regular, international women’s event had run for many decades, with a large number of competitors, suggesting that a women’s World Cup, in one form or another, has actually existed long before that of the men.
Katie Dodd, a Trustee of The Hockey Museum, was able to offer the following insights. She said: “The IFWHA tournaments started in 1933 and were played every three years until 1959, with the exception of the war years. They were then played every four years from 1963 until 1979.’
Under IFWHA rules, however, there was no official winners at these events, rather the emphasis was on participation.
This changed in 1975 in Edinburgh when a Quaich – a Scottish drinking bowl – was presented to the winners, England, by the Royal Bank of Scotland. All the players from the winning team were presented with replicas of the trophy, which remains the original Women’s World Cup to date.
Official records of a FIH-sanctioned Women’s World Cup date to 1974, and for a while the two events ran separately and autonomously.
However, a 1948 competition, which took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, took the liberty of printing medals with the words ‘FIH World Cup winner’. Unfortunately for the winners, England, the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA) didn’t approve of competitive events, with an overall winner, so the victorious winners had to hide their medals. A report of the event in Hockey Field magazine made no mention of the winners, the medal ceremony or the national anthems being played.
Dodd adds: ‘During the 1970s both FIH and IFWHA ran separate World Cup events and a number of teams seemed to play in both, notably Netherlands, Germany, Argentina and Canada but most of the Commonwealth countries only played in the IFWHA.’
The first official women’s Hockey World Cup took place in 1974, with the first joint FIH/IFWHA event taking place in 1983 in Kuala Lumpur. Since this iconic Trophy has been passed amongst many legends of the game who have helped their country to the World Cup title.
Fans will be able to see this newly renovated women’s World Cup Trophy during this summer’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals, with those events Hockey World Cup qualifiers. To find out more information about those event’s click here.Back