Canada has kicked off (get it?) the Women’s World Cup, with 24 teams competing this year. (New York Times)
Check out our map of the countries competing for the cup, and customize it as the tournament progresses.
Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, and don’t forget to quiz yourself and your students on the “week that was” in the latest Quiz Connection.
Note: Current Event Connections is slowing down for the summer. Our column will continue to appear once or twice a week until mid-August. If you have an idea for a Current Event Connection, or want to share one of your MapMaker Interactive maps, let us know in the comments!
- Who is the defending Women’s World Cup champion?
- Japan. Japan defeated the United States in 2011, when Germany hosted the 6th Women’s World Cup.
- Who are the favorites in this year’s tournament?
- According to leading oddsmakers, the United States is the favorite this year. The U.S. team has won two Women’s World Cup championship (1991 and 1999), as has the other major favorite this year, Germany (2003 and 2007).
- This year, FIFA, the beleaguered world soccer organization, expanded the playing field at the Women’s World Cup from 16 countries to 24 countries. Why?
- By expanding the playing field, FIFA hopes to expand the popularity of the sport. Supporters of the expansion say that “only World Cup participation will motivate countries to support women’s soccer. And even if the [inexperienced] team gets exposed for a few years by the best competition in the world, the competitive gap will shrink faster beneath the glaring international spotlight.”
- Supporters hope increasing the popularity of women’s soccer will encourage governments to invest in the sport, which is the key element that positively correlates to a country’s performance at the World Cup. Witness the example of Japan: “At the inaugural Women’s World Cup, in 1991, Japan was thrashed 8-0 by Sweden, and 3-0 by the United States. They were not remotely impressive. Yet here they are, in 2015, defending their 2011 title . . . It happened because there was a dedicated effort by Japanese administrators, over time, backed by the Japanese government, to invest in the women’s game.”
New York Times: Women’s World Cup 2015: Door Opens for 24 Teams
FIFA: FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015—Group schedule and results
Nat Geo: Women’s World Cup 2015 map