USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of February 7, 2011

Feb. 07, 2011, 11:49 p.m. (ET)
USA Field Hockey National Hockey Festival in Phoenix was definitely a home run. Cris Maloney recently sent along an article he found in a local Phoenix paper, and it referred to the success of the Reach 11 Sports Complex becoming a boon for the city…and that USA Field Hockey’s National Hockey Festival has been the biggest event thus far. We placed the article onto the USA Field Hockey website last week, and the key point in the article was (quoting): "It is estimated that over $9.2 million was generated in direct visitor spending to the Valley, which included over 11,000 hotel-room nights. USA Field Hockey has signed an agreement to host the Hockey Festival at Reach 11 in 2011 with an option to renew in 2012. Local Phoenix representatives estimate that securing this three-year event for Phoenix will generate more than 30,000 hotel-room nights and more than $27 million over the life of the agreement for the city.”

There is one person in particular that is to be credited with much of the success at Festival, and, for that matter, the successes we experience at many USA Field Hockey events. Judy Spring, the owner of JBS Destination Solutions has over the years been so thorough in all she does to promote USA Field Hockey and hockey as a sport. There is just no one so attuned to the detail of event housing as Judy. Although she is a vender of USA Field Hockey, she is also more importantly a friend of many within the sport, and we appreciate all she has done and the services that she continues to provide.

Disney's Field Hockey Showcase is underway this week. One of USA Field Hockey’s premier events, which is done in collaboration with Disney’s Orlando based ESPN Wide World of Sports, gets underway this week. The field has been full for months with 144 teams competing. That number is a record  in this 5th edition of the Showcase. The Disney Field Hockey Showcase is one of many USA Field Hockey driven events meant to showcase young athletes for potential collegiate participation, but more importantly it is the opportunity to get away from winter blues and travel to sunny Florida. The event will stretch from February 9-13.

It was an amazing 68 seconds. 68 seconds; that is all it took to fill the 16 team field for both the U17 and U19 USA Field Hockey National Club Championship to be staged in Richmond, VA’s SportsQuest in July of this year. There was so much interest and pressure to get in that we decided to expand the field to 32 club teams in each of the two age groups. Even with the expansion to 32 club teams per age group there were another thirty-six club teams that attempted to enter. The response was overwhelming. It is, after all, the only National Club Championship staged by USA Field Hockey, the national governing body for the sport in the USA.

Just to review our entire process, upon creating the new championship for 2011, it was decided to have the entries be on a first come-first served basis in 2011…just to see if there was interest, and to determine if we needed to create a qualifying system for 2012. It is quite clear we do need a qualifying system, and we are in the process of developing the process to introduce to you later this year.

Thanks to all of you who entered or attempted to enter. It proved to us that there is a need for more playing opportunities in the USA. The provision of qualifiers will enhance the ‘more playing opportunities’ hope, and as we continue down the road we will expand the USA Field Hockey National Club Championship to include more age groups and will also expand to boys/men as our club system grows.

The USA Men's National Indoor Hockey Team gathered in Berlin last Thursday for its final preparations before the FIH Indoor World Cup which begins on February 8th in Poznan, Poland. Peter Jones, lead coach for the USA Field Hockey Indoor Men’s National Team, reports in from Europe as follows:

Playing 3 periods against Mariendorf, who  recently won promotion to the German First Division, the USA team started slowly, as the effects of jet-lag were evident.  The USA trailed 3-1 after 20 minutes and 5-2 after 40 minutes, before coming roaring back to finish 8-6 victors.  The game was played in a good spirit and Mariendorf demonstrated the skill which helped them to a fine indoor season this winter.  The USA will train four times in Berlin and play two more games before catching the train to Poznan.

The USA indoor team on tour is Kevin Segeren, Jason Wellings, Christoph Winter, Rob Schilling, Tim Krauss, Moritz Runzi, Pat Harris, Steve Mann, Sean Harris, Steve Danielson, Shawn Hindy and Pat Cota.  Nigel Traverso is the manager, Brian Brata is the athletic trainer, Marijn Petermeijer is the video analyst/coaching assistant and Peter Jones is the coach.  Also assisting the team this week are strength and conditioning expert Lars Focke and Goalie Coach Heiko Milz.

The USA Indoor program is grateful to the USAFH, USFHF and the US Men’s Field Hockey Foundation for supporting its Indoor World Cup preparations and participation and to Asics for outfitting the team.

Great Feedback of FH Life our newly reconstituted magazine. Last week I mentioned that you should have in your hands the newest copy of the newly renamed FH Life, the USA Field Hockey magazine. The comments came rolling in and all were positive…except for one. As I advertised that the magazine was to include all USA Field Hockey constituencies, the writer complained….quite legitimately…that we had not included any specific piece regarding umpires. He was right, and that will be manifestly corrected in subsequent editions. However, Ashley Meunier, the FH Life editor, reminded me that we did have a major spread on an umpire in our previous issue, and have a huge surprise piece on an umpire coming in our next.

Here is a sampling of the comments we received over the week:

“I am so happy to be able to let you know how pleased I am with FH Life. I noticed the new look right away! Congratulations on a great start. I look forward to the next one.”

“I judge a magazine by how many worthy tear-out pages there are.  This is the first time that I have ever torn out pages from the field hockey magazine for future reference.  Thank you for the useful articles. The change is great.”

“Love what you have done with the magazine.”

“We just got our first issue and I loved it. I thought it was all real good read for information and illustration. Thanks for coming out with this.”

“ My daughters love the new layout it’s clean and interesting!”

“Just wanted to let you know how AWESOME the new magazine is. I hope you feel that all the hard work you have put into the project is worth it. It certainly looks like a first class publication. Congrats on a job well done!”

“Congratulations on the FH Life redesign, it's brilliant. Much more lively and informative, better visuals and words, much better organization. You should be really proud of your work ... and to do it so quickly makes it more impressive. I hope you all celebrate the achievement!”

If you have any comments positive or negative or suggestions of what you would like to see in our new lifestyle magazine please address them to FH Life Editor Ashley Meunier at

Conan: “Congress is proposing a bill that would give President Obama a kill switch that he could use to freeze all activity on the Internet if there were a national emergency. The kill switch goes by the top-secret name Microsoft Windows.”

Have a great week!

Steve Locke
Executive Director

USA Field Hockey