Host City: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Venue(s): Amsterdam Stadium, Amsterdam; Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Date Started: May 17, 1928
Date Finished: May 26, 1928
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to classification round matches.
Field hockey returned to the Olympics after the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) was established in 1926. Defending champion Great Britain cancelled their entry, without an official reason for their absence. Probably they were afraid to play against the team from India, still a British dependency at that time. The Indians had only played their first international games in 1926. Nevertheless England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland had refused to play the Indian side during their tour of the home nations prior to the Olympics. They did beat a "Hockey Association XI" with 9 English internationals 4-0, and an Anglo-Scottish XI 7-3, which mostly likely prompted the British withdrawal.
The Indians breezed through the preliminary round, beating all opponents with at least a five goal difference while not conceding a single goal. The other finalist was the home nation. The Dutch had been playing hockey for some time, but under their own rules. These involved a soft ball, double-sided sticks, mixed teams and no shooting circle. Dutch team captain Rein de Waal spearheaded a switch to the international rules, and also managed to arrange training sessions with the Indian team. Thanks to a surprising 2-1 victory over heavily-favored Germany, the home team made it into the final. They were no match for the Indians however, who scored three goals and then made little effort to increase the score.