Fabulous News! Harrow, a long-time supporter of hockey and many field sports, will be partnering with USA Field Hockey in the delivery of the upcoming 2011 USA Field Hockey National Club Championship to be held on July 21-24 in Richmond, Virginia’s SportsQuest facility. The term of the arrangement will stretch through 2012. This is substantive news as Harrow has recognized the value of the 2011 event and how the value will increase in subsequent years. It is not often that an event can resonate from the outset as others recognize the possibilities. Harrow is a multisport company based in Denver, Colorado.
The USA Field Hockey National Indoor Tournament It is starting this week and we are going through (well, really Karen Collins is) a lot of preparatory work to make the tournament as flawless as possible (as per normal for a KC Collins event). This year’s indoor tournament is actually divided between two sites over two different weekends. And, there is a particular reason for doing so. The upcoming weekend’s Richmond, Virginia centered event will host 124 teams (120 are U19 girls and 4 are U20 boys). The following weekend we will host the U14 and U16 girls at Virginia Beach. There will be 128 teams in Virginia Beach. The separation of the two events is allowing us to provide substantially more playing time for more people/more teams. Last year at the combination of all age groups events in Richmond we had a total of 168 teams. For this year’s separated into two venues event(s) we will host a total of 252 teams. This is a positive and certainly a big plus for the sport. The event is still over-subscribed in the sense that many more teams want in. There is a point where allowing even more teams in will undercut the quality of the event so the expansion to two venues seemed to be a better approach.
By the way, just to get a perspective of the interest in indoor, for the U19 girls, 250 teams attended qualifiers*. 62 teams qualified. Another 58 teams were selected from a lottery of those teams that did not qualify (*all teams must attend a qualifier). For U16 girls, 210 teams attended qualifiers. 52 teams qualified. 20 teams were selected via the lottery from those that did not qualify. For U14, it was a first come-first served protocol.
Departing Board Members Three wonderful women are departing the USA Field Hockey Board of Directors. Two are leaving as their terms are expiring, and another is leaving to truly experience retirement. Houston, Texas’ Betti Tiner is departing as her term expires. Betti has been a terrific help to me as the weekly reports are produced and sent to you. She is a wonderful grammarian, and has spent much time providing critique and quality oversight of the material sent weekly. As I am still relatively new to the sport, it is not uncommon for me to blunder into red-flag situations without realizing it. Betti has helped immensely in helping me avoid unnecessary entanglements.
Lisa Wilkins is also leaving as her term expires. Lisa has served not only as a Board member with thoughtful concerns regarding her umpire constituency, but has also always provided insightful commentary on business and operational concerns within the organization. Lisa will continue with umpiring.
Finally, Martha Jordan is leaving to truly enjoy her retirement. Martha is an attorney, recently retired, as has her husband, and she is quite rightly getting underway with top-quality time with her family and other interests. Martha has provided USA Field Hockey substantial support through the executive director hiring process, and several other projects that required legal expertise and genuinely unbiased business acumen.
We will miss them all and they soon will be receiving tokens of our appreciation honoring the service they provided to this organization. Thank you Betti, Lisa and Martha!
Conan: “The National Geographic channel has a new show that gives an inside look at the Secret Service. That’s right, it’s called “Ruining the Whole Point of the Secret Service.”
Have a great week!