Nick Conway, USA Field Hockey’s Coach of the National Men’s Team, has created a very innovative recruiting video for boys/men to enter the game. Nick’s video juxtaposes very nicely with our upcoming plans in 2011 for a massive effort in developing more boys/men opportunities. The plan has been described in earlier reports and has its initial basis in a series of high schools throughout the United States. Our presumption is that after starting in high schools the program’s evolution over the years will take it into middle and elementary schools. It is all quite exciting, and if you would like specific interpretation of the program Nick is happy to provide. Nick’s email address is nconway@usafieldhockey. In the meantime, have a look at our new recruiting video by going through this link:
This year’s NCAA hockey season has been exciting through all the divisions. Last week the University of Maryland’s D1 Championship was noted. It was impressive. Equally impressive were the Division II and Division III Championships. The Bowdoin College field hockey team won in a penalty-stroke shootout to claim their third NCAA Division III Championship, 2-1, over Messiah College. The Polar Bears claimed the shootout by a 3-1 margin. It is the third NCAA title in the last four years for Bowdoin College. This past weekend, UMass Lowell clenched the Division II Championship title, 1-0, over Shippensburg. UMass Lowell had a perfect season, going 24-0 and are the first undefeated National Champions in the school's history.
Our membership base is at 18,500, our goal is to grow our membership numbers as we grow the sport and to make sure we offer value and great service to members. Over the last several months, a team of USA Field Hockey National Office staff, liaising with the Member Services Committee, has been working to look at ways we can improve our Membership program. Feedback from members collated over the year drove the process. The new membership proposals were presented to and approved by the USA Field Hockey Board on Sunday, November 28th, in Phoenix, AZ and the changes will roll out in January of 2011.
The following highlights the key changes members will see in 2011:
First and most importantly is the change in insurance provision that actually has already taken place (on December 1st), as we move to ESIX, a large sport insurance brokerage located in Atlanta, GA. ESIX has made sure we have in place a stronger insurance program that provides Participant Accident and General Liability cover to all members. Our commitment to providing safe training environments for all participants is reinforced as we make it mandatory for all Coach and Umpire Members to receive Background Checks. A change that all members will have already experienced is an enhanced website that aims to make the member online experience easier to navigate and more informative. Along the same lines, we continue to make improvements to Field Hockey News which is now an full color 48 page magazine. In January we will relaunch the magazine as Field Hockey Life, reflecting its focus on all things field hockey leaving the website to be the main source for ‘news’ about the sport. All members will receive Membership Cards. Upon renewal members will receive their membership card in the mail, which can be used to demonstrate membership of USA Field Hockey at a growing number of sanctioned events. We have taken a close look at how we respond to member queries and recognized we can do better. We are now in the process of assessing how we can make key information easier for members to find online. Of course, the core reason members are members are for opportunities to play, and with the addition of the National Club Championship in 2011 and the Regional Qualifiers for the National Club Championship from 2012 we will see the platform to play much increased.
There are some changes specific to some membership categories. We will now provide Rule Books and Indoor Rule Books as part of membership to Coach and Umpire Members. These will be mailed out in January to current Coach and Umpire Members. We will in due course expand access to online education modules to Umpire Members. We have expanded the insurance coverage for Coach Members so they are covered for all field hockey activities, not just USA Field Hockey activities.
These improvements come at a cost and, after careful consideration, we have agreed to raise the prices of Under 19 Membership to $50 (from $40), bring Umpire Membership in line with Coach Membership at $85 (from $65) and raise Lifetime Membership to $750 (from $500) as well as making the qualifying age for Lifetime Membership to 50 (from 40). All other Membership categories pricing will remain the same.
Overall, we believe this is a great step forward for USA Field Hockey and represents a much improved Membership program. A summary is at www.usafieldhockey.com/membership .
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: ‘President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan. Nobody knew he was going — except for the WikiLeaks guy.’
Have a great week!
USA Field Hockey