USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of November 5, 2012
I left this past Sunday for Singapore after having spent nearly a week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for meetings with the FIH including its 2012 FIH Congress. The week long set of meetings dealt principally with the new FIH series called the World League. The World League will have various strata (I-IV) that will ultimately provide for qualification to FIH World Cups and the Olympic Games. The move to provide these new FIH properties is a paradigm change for the FIH as our international federation strives to create events in many more countries than ever before; involve more countries in competition than ever before; and build the presence of hockey on a genuine global basis. It is brilliant, but will likely come with some bugs as we move along because it is so new. Working through those hiccups will be worth it though as this new program will provide for consistency, and an eventual long term schedule so National Associations will have a better handle for long term planning on where and when to send teams. To learn more about the FIH World League, go to www.fih.ch.
The USA will stage a World League I event November 16-18, 2012, in San Diego on the Olympic Training Center grounds near Chula Vista. It is a free to watch for all those wishing to attend and we will be posting continual information on the USA Field Hockey website leading up to and during the event (www.usafieldhockey.com). One team will emerge from that competition and will proceed onto a World League II competition. If successful in II, the team will proceed to a III and so on. Our World League event in San Diego will be for men. Early next year, our women's senior team will compete in a World League II competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our women's team has pre-qualified for a II due to their world ranking.
It is Election Day in the USA and last week also saw the election of new members to the FIH Executive Committee. One candidate stood out due to his position in life. He is His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Shan from Malaysia. His title sounds lofty and it is. There are nine royal tribes in Malaysia and the tribes rotate the kingship of the country between the nine royal groups. HRH Prince Abdullah is from one of the royal enclaves, and has a man-servant/body guard with him continually. You might think he was a little above the rest of us common folk, but, interestingly enough, he was just like us common folks. He was great fun to talk to as his interests are so diverse. He is the president of Malaysian Hockey, he is an equestrian, a motor-sports gear head (that is how he described himself), the head of several local conglomerates, and hangs out at Starbucks in downtown KL. I know Prince Albert of Monaco is a member of the IOC as is Princess Anne of the UK. I think it is neat that we now have a member of royalty as an official part of hockey internationally. The other elected FIH Executive Committee Members are Sue Catton (England), Mary Cicinelli, (CAN), Sandra Isola (ARG) and Jan Albers (NED).
Congratulations to the NCAA Conference Champions crowned over the weekend. We now look forward to a great culmination to the collegiate season with the NCAA tournament which provides for some eagerly anticipated matchups over the next two weeks.
Finally, I would again like to extend our best wishes to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, which tore right through the hockey heartland in the northeast. As communities do their best to get back on their feet please know that the hockey community is thinking of you all.Late Show with David Letterman: "This storm has meant the biggest power outage since the Yankees in the playoffs."