Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Minor Arena, Dynamo Stadium, Mosvka; Young Pioneers Stadium, Mosvka
Date Started: July 25, 1980
Date Finished: July 31, 1980
Format: Round robin tournament.
Like the men's tournament, the women's Olympic hockey competition was plagued by the Western boycott of the Olympics. Of the original six countries, only the home country remained, and the organisation had to search hastily for replacements. Of the six participating teams, only Czechoslovakia had played at the 1978 World Championships (9th), while Austria had played at two earlier World Championships. The most remarkable entry was that of Zimbabwe, which (as Rhodesia) had been banned from the Olympics in 1972 and 1976 due to the apartheid regime, which had ended in April 1980. The team had first met in May, being made up of players with an English background (such as twins [Sonia Robertson] and [Sandy Chick]). Their captain and coach was [Anthea Stewart], who had played internationally for South Africa. Zimbabwe was not even officially admitted to the International Hockey Federation until after the Games. All this did not keep the Zimbabweans from a major upset. Three victories and two draws were enough to secure the young country's first ever Olympic medal.
If the boycott had not taken place the qualifiers would most likely have been the Netherlands, West Germany, the USA, Australia and Great Britain in addition to the hosts from the Soviet Union.