Executive Director Special Report

Sept. 11, 2012, 5:35 p.m. (ET)
With the field hockey season underway, it is perfect timing and worthwhile that I revisit the ever-important subject of safe sport and proper sport decorum. As stewards of the game, USA Field Hockey remains committed to promoting good sportsmanship and developing a healthy and safe environment for athletes to thrive. It is our responsibility to give all participants the confidence that they are playing in the safest possible environment where respectable sport values and etiquette can be expected, practiced and developed by all. 

As we are fully active in sport this fall, I ask all of you to review USA Field Hockey’s Code of Conduct. This was revised last March and is displayed at all USA Field Hockey sanctioned events. It is my expectation that this philosophy is practiced not only at our events, but on a daily basis as an athlete, coach, spectator or individual active in our sport.  

“All spectators, coaches, umpires and athletes must conduct themselves in a positive manner reflecting the highest standard of ethics and good sportsmanship. Profanity, racial or sexist comments, or other intimidating actions directed at officials, participating athletes, team representatives, or tournament personnel will not be tolerated. Spectators must remain in a designated area for the safety and enjoyment of the game for all. Failure to comply with the rules may result in ejection from the premises.”

USA Field Hockey takes this matter very seriously and continues to put initiatives in place that further promote a safe and secure playing environment that encourages respect, integrity and fair play. 

For example, at the National Club Championship this summer, USA Field Hockey utilized a technical table to ensure coaches and spectators were conducting themselves in an appropriate and respectable manner. This will continue to be used at all USA Field Hockey events.  

In addition, we are about to embark on an online training program for all coaches who are a full-time or contract staff at USA Field Hockey. This program, provided by the Athlete Safety Alliance and in partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee is focused on creating a healthy, supportive environment for all participants and through educational resources, assists the field hockey community with recognizing, reducing, and responding to misconduct in sport.

I will continue to provide regular updates on our ever-growing initiatives in this area. I wish everyone the best of luck this season. Enjoy every moment on and off the field as November will be here before you know it. If you have any comments on this subject or would like to discuss additional initiatives currently in place, please reach out to me at slocke@usafieldhockey.com 

Yours in hockey,

Steve Locke