Host City: Montréal, Canada
Date Started: July 18, 1976
Date Finished: July 30, 1976
Participants: 172 (172 men and 0 women) from 11 countries
Youngest Participant: César Raguso (16 years, 29 days)
Oldest Participant: Jorge Ivorra (33 years, 217 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 45 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 1 medal
The 1976 Olympic hockey tournament was held at Molson Stadium on the grounds of McGill University in Montréal. This was the first Olympics at which the hockey venue would have an artificial surface, although this would later become standard, and actually required by the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH).
The format was supposed to have 12 teams separated into two groups of six playing a round-robin series to determine the top two teams in each to advance to the semi-finals. However, Kenya joined the African boycott of the 1976 Olympics, which left only 11 teams.
The original 12 teams were selected as follows – Canada as the host nation; West Germany as the 1972 Olympic Champion; Argentina as the 1975 Pan American Champion; Kenya chosen as the African representative; the Netherlands (1973) and India (1975) as the last two World Cup Champions; and Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Spain were chosen based on FIH rankings. Great Britain and Belgium played a three-match series to determine the 12th team, which Belgium won.
The gold medal match was an All-Oceania affair, with New Zealand winning the gold medal by defeating Australia, 1-0. Pakistan, Olympic champion in 1960 and 1968, won the bronze medal with a victory over the Netherlands, 3-2.