USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of April 11, 2011

April 12, 2011, 12:14 p.m. (ET)
Week of April 11, 2011  
USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of April 11, 2011
If you follow high school sport throughout the United States, here is an interesting statistic. Field Hockey is the 12th most popular sport for young women at the high school level according to the 2009-10 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). Field hockey has 63,719 participants nationwide at 1,827 schools (and, additionally there are 600 junior high/middle schools with hockey, too). Many of these high school young women are in hot pursuit of a college scholarship; and others are in hot pursuit of just having fun.

USA Field Hockey has always worked alongside of the NFHS; however, over the past couple of years we have worked more closely with the organization in an effort to assist in developing materials beneficial to our combined coaching communities.  A major hope in any sport governing body is to introduce consistency.  Last year, with the addition of the self-start rule, we developed a tremendously helpful video which was posted on the NFHS web site to assist the scholastic umpire.   We are about to embark on another project through the NFHS via a training exercise which introduces consistency in skill application so playing the game becomes a safer experience.

USA Field Hockey, through our contracted Technical Director for High Performance  Terry Walsh, and Olympic and Athlete Managing Director Laura Darling, is creating a training segment that will be housed on the NFHS website, www  The training segment for hockey high school coaches will highlight skill development, safety, safe environments for athletes, and also will interpret pathways for high school athletes to follow (e.g. university athletics, National Team competition, Olympic Games opportunities, or fun, et cetera). This training will provide a logical progression for coaches at the high school level to work toward in developing athletes. We anticipate the training regimen will be complete and up on the NFHS website in time for the beginning of the 2011-12 scholastic year.

The NFHS is a ‘trade organization’ for high school athletic associations. It has no authority over sport in each state, but is in place to provide tools for coaches and administrators. Each high school athletic association operates as its own entity. However, the NFHS is really the only one stop shop to efficiently communicate with the 50 high school athletic associations in this country. The NFHS has been working with several sport national governing bodies (USA Field Hockey is the national governing body-NGB- for hockey in the USA) to develop training curricula as we are doing to help gradually promote consistency in all areas of sport administration. The NFHS sees sport NGBs as the only credible partner they have in this arena, and we see the NFHS as a real influencer in attracting more high schools and more athletes into hockey throughout the USA.
What does this all mean for USA Field Hockey and hockey generally? It means many things. Among those many things includes the emphasis of fundamental skill development (makes for safer play), the provision of safe environments for athletes (which is recent sports-speak referring to how to know sexual harassment when you see it and how to prevent it), a provision of coaching ethics (knowing how to treat athletes respectfully both physically and psychologically), and introducing USA Field Hockey as the governing body and a great educational source in many topic areas. It is all good stuff! 

The dearly departed And, I say that with great respect. Three Board members recently left the USA Field Hockey Board of Directors after two had served their terms and another had retired to spend time with her husband. All of them were just great and are truly missed. To honor each, USA Field Hockey sent award mementos to Lisa Wilkins, Martha Jordan, and Betti Tiner. A photo of one of the awards is pictured above. Board members, committee members, and many other volunteers in this organization spend an inordinate amount of personal time making this association and the sport better. Thank you to each of you for all of the efforts you continue to make.

Last week I shared that we are putting a together a USA Field Hockey Member Club Advisory Task Force, and we have had a good number of very talented club owners and administrators put their names forward to be considered. Thank you. This representative body will play a key role in shaping the development of club field hockey. If you would like to be part of the Advisory Task Force please submit your name along with club ownership/principal affiliation to Laura Darling at by this Thursday, April 14th.

Normally every week I have a quote. But, as these reports are written on the Thursday and Friday before the following Tuesday’s release, it was difficult to find something timely in light of the potential Federal government shutdown late last week. So, I selected the following quote last Friday:

Jimmy Kimmel Live! ‘The Federal government’s shutdown will mean that all non-essential workers would stop coming to work. I’m OK with that. Why do we even have non-essential workers?’

But, it isn’t timely now, so I punted and used this one:

Conan: ‘Toyota says they’re going to start integrating Microsoft technology into their vehicles. It’s perfect for the person who wants a car that crashes every 10 minutes.’

Have a great week!

Steve Locke

Executive Director
USA Field Hockey