USA Field Hockey Develops National Club Structure

Nov. 08, 2010, 4:35 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Develops National Club Structure  

Contact: Ashley Meunier, Communications Manager

(719) 866-4365, ameunier@usafieldhockey.com 

For Immediate Release

November 5, 2010

USA Field Hockey Develops National Club Structure 

COLORADO SPRINGS, C.O.- USA Field Hockey recently announced an annual National Club Championship beginning in 2011. The Championship will feature the top club teams from across the United States as they vie for honors and bragging rights as the number one club team in the nation. In early October, Laura Darling, Managing Director of Olympic and Athlete Development and Strategic Partnerships took on the role of overseeing divisional programs with a primary emphasis on the development of new members and clubs and sustaining existing clubs. Darling will lead the development of new competitive opportunities and increase the number of sanctioned events for players at all levels.

USA Field Hockey is affiliated with over 250 clubs throughout the country. Over the next six months, Darling will speak with every club to collectively establish a program that will enable clubs to organize a competition structure within themselves.

“I hope to see each member clubs vision on how to best organize the club system as a functioning body for more competitions amongst themselves. The only way we will succeed on this, is if club members are part of the process in building and developing this new structure,” said Darling.

In the process of developing a new club structure, USA Field Hockey has made some improvements to the club membership.

USA Field Hockey recognizes how other sports such as lacrosse and triathlon have grown their membership for sport through a process of sanctioning regional events in the private sector. The concept being that the National Governing Body can provide benefits such as budget relieving insurance and national marketing that allow events to be more successful at a local and regional level.

Currently the National Indoor Tournament qualifiers are the only group of sanctioned events. In recent years, participation in the event has grown substantially and there is now a waiting list. In 2012, there will be sanctioned regional qualifiers for the U19 and U17 National Club Championships and possibly other age groups.

“Throughout 2011, I will continue to work with clubs to better understand how sanctioning can be of benefit to the group of clubs and the whole sport,” said Darling. 

Stickstarz and Turftykes are two youth development programs created for children between the ages of 5-11. Both programs are part of USA Field Hockey’s athlete development pipeline and serve as feeders directly into the already recognized and successful Futures program. Effective in 2011, all member clubs will have access to the Stickstarz and Turftyke curriculums and will be able to deliver these youth programs with the assistance of USA Field Hockey promotional materials.

For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Meunier, USA Field Hockey Communications Manager, at ameunier@usafieldhockey.com, or at (719) 866-4365. Additional information regarding USA Field Hockey can be found online by visiting www.usafieldhockey.com.

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