Host City: Beijing, China
Date Started: August 10, 2008
Date Finished: August 23, 2008
Participants: 432 (216 men and 216 women) from 15 countries
Youngest Participant: Felix Denayer (17 years, 193 days)
Oldest Participant: Akemi Kato (37 years, 241 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 98 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 6 countries with 1 medal
Field hockey had undergone a few minor changes since the 2004 Olympics. Arbitration had been upgraded to modern times, with a video umpire judging potential goals, and the other referees communicating by radio. Clothing regulations were also made stricter. This eventually resulted in a penalty for the coach of the New Zealand men's team, when he had let three of his players on the field with under-shorts in the wrong colour.
The competition format was still the same as in years before, with twelve teams competing in two pools of six, for both men and women. The top two teams in each pool qualified for the semi-finals to decided the medals.