USA Field Hockey Weekly Report

Dec. 03, 2013, 5:23 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of December 2, 2013

The 2013 National Hockey Festival has come and gone and was a tremendous success. Congratulations to all of the teams who participated and all those who took home medals. Even the rain in otherwise sunny Florida could not put a damper on the competition or the spirits of participants. This year’s addition of the Under-14 Division proved to be an important improvement for the event. Opening the younger division represents one of many initiatives by USA Field Hockey to progress the game toward becoming a lifestyle sport in the United States. The new division allowed younger athletes the opportunity to participate in our community’s celebration of the game, rather than simply watching their older siblings play.

By the way, statistics from Festivals are quite impressive especially for the communities hosting the event. For instance, in the 2012 Hockey Festival hosted near West Palm Beach, we realized the following impact on the community:

• 8,500 visitors from across the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean
• 5 day average length of stay for field hockey visitors
• $9 million of direct visitor spending
• Over 12,000 hotel room nights
• 50 hotel properties received business 
• Over 4,400 car rental days
• Over 4,000 airline flights

It is of no wonder why local communities find hockey events appealing. Not only do the events help drive the local economy, but through the expert event production by Karen Collins and her staff, the events are premium.

A special thanks to the numerous volunteers, interns, and staff who made Festival a huge success.While participants stay for a few days and have opportunities to soak in the sun and relax between games, volunteers, interns and staff, arrive days early, leave late, and log countless hours in the hopes of making the event as premier as possible and enjoyable for all. Festival certainly would not be possible without the commitment of Karen Marley, who has been a crucial behind-the-scenes contributor in USA Field Hockey events for many years, and her group of diligent interns. Thank you to all involved for your dedication and hard work throughout the entire planning process and the event itself. Also, a special shout out to Festival attendee Caroline Gribbins who captured this article's cover image at the scenic Palm Beach County. 

This past week many of you at the National Hockey Festival noticed the activities taking place on the FUNdamental Field Hockey field. Liz Tchou and the Sports Development team did a fantastic job of hosting several clinics, and seminars for youth, umpires, and adults at Festival. The Sport Development Team offered open play for youth and boys each day and the response was very inspiring. Over 50 youngsters and boys stopped by to play, many for the first time. This is all part of USA Field Hockey’s mission to ‘Grow the Game’ and increase participation and awareness of the sport. For more information on growing the game or starting FUNdamental Field Hockey in your area, please click here. And thank you to all who participated, it was an absolute blast.

US Women’s National Squad Head Coach, Craig Parnham, made the trip of Florida to take part in the festivities. It was great to have Craig involved in our largest event and to be so impressed by what he saw.

The Annual General Meeting was held on Friday night. We were pleased to have a number of Board Members and staff interpret the state of hockey in the United States. The meeting highlighted our promising year of growth with record high numbers in membership, marketing, Futures, and events, as well as the important move to the Home of Hockey for the Women’s National Squad. Interesting and constructive comments raised by members included themes such as ensuring consistent “small-sided” programming across all USA Field Hockey programming as we progress with Hockey 5’s, praise for our membership department moving forward with lifetime membership enhancements for those lifetime members serving in umpire and coach roles brought to the fore in last year’s AGM, and improving service delivery of membership with books, and other components. In addition, a Board Meeting was held on Saturday and Sunday of Festival.

Congratulations to the three 2013 NCAA National Champions: the University of Connecticut, Shippensburg, and Bowdoin! Your commitment to excellence and the relentless fight are exemplary. Enjoy your achievements. Having all three divisions in Virginia Beach and Norfolk was a great opportunity for the entire field hockey community to come together and celebrate the game.

Final Days to purchase tickets to the inaugural Winter Ball!  Join USA Field Hockey for an evening to celebrate the many accomplishments of USA Field Hockey next Saturday, December 14th at 6 p.m. Connect with our field hockey community and meet the U.S. Women’s National Team at our new Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports Complex.  Time is running out!  Reserve your tickets by December 7th!

In honor of “Giving Tuesday” across the Nation, we hope that when you think about charitable donations during the season of giving, you will think about the impact field hockey has made on your life and support USA Field Hockey. A gift of ANY size makes an immediate impact in our programming from the grassroots to the Olympic stage. Our fund year closes on December 31st, and we look forward to counting on your dedication this year. A big thank you to the nearly 1,250 people has already made the commitment to help us Grow the Game. For more information or to make a gift, please contact: Meagan Connolly, fundraising manager at: or 719-322-1215. Make your gift today!  

Jimmy Kimmel Live:  “Big news from the Oxford English Dictionary. For all of you kids watching who don't know what a dictionary is, it's a small portion of the Internet, printed out, kept on a shelf, and opened once every three years during a Scrabble game.”

Have a great week! 

Steven Locke
Executive Director
USA Field Hockey