Driscoll and Peters both received their international umpire ratings following the Pan American Junior Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico this past September.
International ratings are the first step in what is considered the Umpire Olympic Development pipeline. There are four stages that umpires must achieve in order to make the top level "World Panel". Umpires are in competition with others from all over the world to prove that their knowledge and abilities in umpiring are of the uppermost standard and can handle the pressures that come with umpiring at the World Cup and Olympic level. Including Mary and Ben, USA Field Hockey boasts five men and five women in this pipeline who have been very active over the last year on the international umpiring circuit.
"Mary and Ben have worked hard and have had a very steep learning curve to achieve their international rating. They have accepted the challenges along the way and will be a great addition to our already impressive group of international umpires," said Steve Horgan, Umpiring Director, USA Field Hockey.
Driscoll grew up in Hershey, PA and played field hockey at Penn State University. She transitioned into a coaching role at Hershey High School straight out of college, but found out coaching was not for her as she settled down and started a family.
Driscoll began umpiring four years ago and quickly developed a passion for the game with a whistle in hand.
“When I made the decision to pursue umpiring internationally, I made it a goal to receive my International rating within my first year of international umpiring,” said Driscoll. “I was really excited when I got it at my first international tournament this fall. Umpiring gives me the same satisfaction the game of field hockey gave me as a player. The game continues to challenge and make me grow as an umpire and it quenches my competitive spirit. I will umpire as long and as far as the game will take me and I look forward to a long and successful career.”
Peters started playing field hockey at the age of 12 at his local club in England and attended his first umpiring course at the age of 15. He quickly found out he enjoyed calling the game and was pretty darn good at it. He moved to the United States in 2009 and immediately began umpiring NCAA Division III matches and attending USA Field Hockey sanctioned events. From there, Peters was placed on the International Development Panel for umpires and continued to develop as an umpire by attending the Women’s National Championship and NCAA Division I competitions.
“I am very humble to have achieved an international rating and receive my International Hockey Federation (FIH) badge,” said Peters. When asked if he hopes to be a part of the Olympic Games in 2016, Peters commented, “I don’t think I will be at the same level as other great umpires in the world today by 2016, as it is a long journey and process, but I do hope to reach the Olympic level at some point during my umpiring career if the opportunity is given to me.”
USA Field Hockey extends a big congratulations to Mary Driscoll and Ben Peters for their commitment to umpiring and representing the U.S. on the international umpiring stage. USA Field Hockey is actively seeking new umpires. If you are interested in becoming an umpire, visit usafieldhockey.com or contact USA Field Hockey’s Umpiring Director Steve Horgan at email@example.com.