Both men and women compete in field hockey at the Olympic games. Twelve teams qualify through a series of tournaments. China is guaranteed one automatic entry, while five continental championships determine up to nine other qualifiers. Three Olympic qualification tournaments are held to determine the last three entrants.
For the competition, there are two rounds. In the first round, teams are divided into two pools of six teams, then play follows a round robin format. Each team plays every other team in the pool once. The top four teams advance to a single elimination round consisting of two semifinal games, and the bronze and gold medal games.