USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of May 9, 2011

May 10, 2011, 11:48 a.m. (ET)


USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of May 9, 2011

Diversity It was a wonderful visit to the Bay area I made two weekends ago. What I saw there was an idyllic environment with affluent parents investing both recreationally and financially into their children to create families with a broad spectrum of interests. It all seemed entirely based on participation in field hockey. Not only was the investment sincere and ongoing, the participating population was diverse in gender and most spectacularly in their ethnic mix. There was collegiality and a robust environment based upon involvement in hockey for the love of the game. Sound idyllic? It was, but it was real.

The Stanford Storm is a team based in the Bay area which has evolved over time into what is described above. The Storm features players ranging from five years all the way up into high school. Along with having fun, the team as a whole and individually have certain accountabilities to meet. For instance, the club has recognized that without a continuum of the sport into the high school years that generally hockey will die on the vine, particularly for boys. A new accountability beginning this year is the responsibility of each boy or girl entering high school to start a high school hockey club. This sounds easier than the actual act of doing it is. A newly minted freshman from the Storm must go into an institution that for him or her is new and approach the principal with the proposition of a club. Remembering that high schools generally in California are like all others and cut-backs are the flavor of this new scholastic year, this is not a slam dunk request. On point for this upcoming year are four Bay area high schools. The short term is to just create a club. The long term is to create a league. After having visited the Storm, I feel sorry for any high school administrator that might try denying any request that would be of benefit to Storm children or to the sport. They might have to change the name of the club from Storm to the Intense Storm.

Member Club Task Force meets for the first time Clubs have been determined to be the principal driver for the sport’s development as we move along. As a result, USA Field Hockey has been conducting Town Meetings, individual meetings with club principals, and providing surveys all in the interest of collecting data and finding what is important to clubs and their members. There are from time to time specific issues that we must deal with and the tool most used for that sort of resolution is the creation of a task force. We have done that and identified specific areas that this particular task force is focusing upon. I wanted to share with you the names of those on the task force and the issues that they are wrestling with. Also, we had our first meeting a week ago, and the robustness of the dialogue was rich, and the members to a person are all well-spoken.

Mission of Task Force

1.       Provide advice on the operation of the 2012 USA Field Hockey National Club Championship qualifying system

2.      Provide advice on upgrading the USA Field Hockey National Indoor Tournaments, their qualifying events, and the process to qualify so to achieve fairness and a premium level

3.       Provide advice on creating a system to eliminate or modify the legacy system applicable to USA Field Hockey’s National Hockey Festival.

Advisory Club Task Force Members

  • Bernatchez, Brian
  • Cornthwaite, Lauren
  • Klassner, Karen
  • Kentwell, Richard
  • Liszewski, Kathi
  • Muir, Andy
  • Reinprecht, Tina
  • Traverso, Nigel
  • Zappone, Larry

1.       BOD Representatives:   Randell Sundeen and Heather Lewis

The first topic being tackled is the Festival application system for 2012 and onwards. Last Wedneday, we announced the 196 U19 and U16 teams who will participate in Festival 2011. To those clubs who were successful in the lottery, congratulations, and to those clubs who missed out, commiserations. As we review the application system, consideration is being given to make Festival (which is the largest tournament of its kind in the world), a unique experience and a prime recruiting event, accessible to all athletes from across the country and not the preserve of a few. We will continue to provide to you progress with this group. We expect advisory outcomes to be complete by July 1st.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: ‘Starbucks is quickly becoming a popular place for thieves to steal iPads, laptops, and purses. It’s pretty crazy. I mean, can you imagine getting robbed while you’re just trying to pay $6 for a cup of coffee?’

Have a great week!

Steve Locke

Executive Director
USA Field Hockey