Week of June 21, 2010
Stay to Play Most of you are aware that we have been conducting Town Hall Meetings throughout the year and to date have had five. Our next Town Hall will actually be the Annual General Meeting to be held during Festival in Phoenix. The purpose of the Town Hall Meetings has been to generate thoughts referencing what members want from USA Field Hockey and what our membership would like to see USA Field Hockey become or if they want it to stay as it is. This practice is a healthy exercise to determine if this organization is staying contemporary with its constituent members or not.
In the midst of Town Hall Meetings, we get questions that may be considered a little controversial. We have had recently some questions referencing a newly instituted program within USA Field Hockey that carries a little controversy with it and requires interpretation as to what it is and why it is.
The program, Stay to Play, (aptly described by going to this link: http://www.usfieldhockey.com/events/nationalhockeyfestival/Stay-to-Play-Policy.pdf) provides that people going to USA Field Hockey’s National Festival (and, all other subsequent national events) must stay in a hotel booked for you by our provider in order to play. That may sound harsh, but there are a variety of reasons, and here they are:
Although it was heavily publicized when it happened, there is still something unique with what happened recently in San Diego, CA. recently. It was the first ever boys-only high school field hockey competition in the USA. The teams were from high schools in Southern California and were assembled out of La Jolla High School and El Capitan High School.
Here is an excerpt from the USA Field Hockey news-release from last week:
USA Field Hockey Men's National Team Head Coach Nick Conway initiated the series as a pilot project for a boys' field hockey development program scheduled to be implemented in 2011. He will serve as coach for the La Jolla High School team, while Sandy Martinez, mother of former USA U21 Men's National Team member Manny Martinez, coaches the El Capitan side. The teams consist exclusively of students from each of the two San Diego-area schools.
"We've been trying to create a program that will facilitate the growth of men's hockey within the youth ranks," said Conway. "Sandy's been developing boys' field hockey for some time."
Since my arrival some 6 months ago, I have been watching Nick Conway carefully as he developed and implemented plans for this Southern California project successfully, and is now in the midst of preparing the new project mentioned in the news-release for the development of boys/men’s hockey throughout the USA beginning in 2011. He is wicked smart and is passionate about boys and men getting involved. He is also frustrated in having but a small pool of players from which to select for the USA Field Hockey National Men’s Team, albeit that that small pool is competent and aggressive in ability. Nick knows without a proper developmental pipeline, the sport will not flourish, and I am betting that the project we will unveil in several weeks will be a homerun. So, stay tuned as we are definitely not forgetting about the boys and men of this sport.
My Father. Last week my father passed away and I was gone a good part of the week attending to family business. He had a long and productive life (he was almost 92 when he left), was a great athlete (he was crowned the USA National Bench Press Champion for his age group when he was 87), and genuinely was looking forward to leaving this life to see what actually lay ahead. Thanks to all of you who expressed your concerns. We all go through this process eventually. In my family’s case, our father made it extremely easy due to his forever positive outlook.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! “There are a lot of differences between basketball and soccer. For instance, in basketball, something happens.”
Have a great hockey week!
USA Field Hockey