Executive Director's Report- Week of March 15

March 15, 2010, 1:06 p.m. (ET)

Executive Director's Report - Week of March 15, 2010


By Steve Locke

Christine Battcock, Manager of Junior High Performance and Marketing, let us know of a visit last week by the USA Field Hockey National Women's Team to El Capitan High School in Lakeside, CA. The team was promoting the upcoming AtaHolding FIH Women's Field Hockey World Cup Qualifier to be held later this month at the United States Olympic Committee's Training Center near San Diego. They also spent a fair amount of time discussing what it was like to be an elite athlete and Olympian.

Sandy Martinez is the Athletic Director at ECHS and she was amazed at the positive impact the visit had upon her students. You don't meet Olympians every day, and when you do it is incredibly meaningful. Athletes participating were Carrie Lingo, Lauren Crandall, Sara Silvetti, Jesse Gey, Sarah Dawson, Katie O'Donnell, and Pam Spuehler.

Lauren Crandall with a student from El Capitan High school
Carrie Lingo with athletic trainer Sandy Martinez

A low-key but powerful event, The USA Field Hockey Women's Indoor Open, was staged last weekend in Parker Ford, PA. KC Collins, of the USA Field Hockey staff, is the event director. KC indicated that this event has been in a decline for the past several years, but is now showing signs of renewed growth. Ten teams participated and, as this report is written the week prior to distribution, results are not included here, but can be found on the USA Field Hockey website (http://www.usafieldhockey.com/ ). The Women's Indoor Open was conducted at the Training Center, a facility owned and operated by Richard and Jun Kentwell. The event extended throughout the weekend, and hosted a Futures session Sunday morning with many of the Futures' participants anticipated to stay into the afternoon to watch the competitions. Thanks to Richard, Jun and KC for staging this event.

Mailbag. It is great to receive mail generated by the weekly report-especially when it is encouraging (this is not to say we don't like getting critical mail, too, as constructive criticism helps us grow). Here is a message from Maine concerning last week's report:

Great weekly report. Very informative and thought provoking on many fronts; playing, coaching, officiating, safety, etc. Our family, at the moment, fits into all of these categories, and has benefitted greatly from USA Field Hockey. We hope to have many more years of involvement watching one daughter play in college or maybe more, one officiate post college as well as coach in a small college, and the old man of the family continue to play at festival as well as at smaller venues ( often the only male). Maybe we can one day be involved in helping young men and women learn and love the sport as we have.-The Chadbourne family from the "boonies of Maine.

Below is apiece from our good friend Mim concerning last week's report and the Town Hall meetings held at the USA Field Hockey National Indoor Tournament:

As a long time (long in the tooth) official & coach, may I suggest the following to improve the game and help reduce the aforementioned concerns:

1. Players' safety is affected by game officiating: good officials control the game & still allow "flow", but not all former players can make the transition to officiating without mentoring

2. All new or returning (after an absence of 5 or more yrs) officials should be provided with a mentor: someone to discuss the game with during the season, someone to work games with (maybe 4 during the typical 20 game season), someone who would share insight into the art of officiating

3. Each officials' board should retain a portion of the dues of all members to hire an official to oversee the mentors and do at-game observations of newly rated officials--perhaps a retired or recuperating, experienced official could serve this role

4. Goggles--I'm from Massachusetts and have found that the goggles reduce not only eye injuries, but cheek bone injuries and do not impede the players at all ... mouth guards that are moderately priced ($5-10. range) offer far better protection to the teeth than the typically issued $.50 mouth guard provided by schools ... Lastly, for the players' safety: shoot any adult that says: "Just have them wear helmets and let them play!"

5. I welcome the training official into my practices--love the extra help when doing corner reps, half-field O v D drills, doesn't have to be formal 2-team scrimmages

Thanks for listening--grow the sport,

Mim Jarema

Receiving notes, obtaining input, and/or complaining or complimenting is helpful. We need to know what you are thinking and what you want. Thanks for writing!

From NBC's Tonight Show: "Well, listen to this. The New York Times is now reporting it's possible to catch the common flu from money. They say the virus can live on a $20 bill for more than 10 days. So, not only is the virus contagious, it's also very frugal."

Also from NBC's Tonight Show: "The Senate just passed a bill allowing Amtrak passengers to carry guns in their checked luggage. However, Greyhound passengers are still not allowed to carry deodorant."

Have a great week!