Weekly Report Week of June 4, 2013

June 04, 2013, 12:07 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly-Week of June 4, 2013

Online voting now open for Grow the Game video contest From California to Connecticut to all the states in between, the lines blur when it comes to spreading the passion of field hockey as displayed in every second of the numerous Grow the Game videos USA Field Hockey received. Our USA Field Hockey staff would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of those who took the time to submit videos of how you are growing the sport. This year’s tremendous participation shows how the efforts of individuals can effect a community, a school district and the youth. We encourage you to continue to keep up the great work!

Nearly two dozen Grow the Game videos have been narrowed down to the top 10. Now we want to know which video you think is most deserving of a $1,000 shopping spree at any one USA Field Hockey Grow the Game sponsor! Vote for your favorite Grow the Game Video before Sunday, June 9 at 11:45 p.m. ET.  Let us know which video tugs at your heart, makes you laugh or challenges you to pick up a stick and try field hockey! Visit usafieldhockey.com for a preview of the top 10 and watch all Grow the Game videos on USA Field Hockey’s YouTube channel.

Men’s National Team Selection Process Now Complete The recent Cal Cup Tournament provided a large number of players to be selected to various teams within the men’s program. The work by the high performance staff recruiting and training talented youth from their respective regions provided a fantastic opportunity for the U-20 men’s division to be a highly competitive battle for national supremacy. Thank you to the Cal Cup committee for hosting another fine tournament and to Rutger Wiese, Chris Pothier, Steve Danielson, Pat Cota, Arvind Singh, Jote Atwal, Ben Maruquin, Sean Harris, and Mike Whitehead for all of their assistance.

Congratulations to the NorCal Sharks for winning the U-20 men’s division and to the LA Tigers for winning the Super Division. The level of play in both the Super Men's Division and U-20 Men was very encouraging resulting in some very closely contested matches. The Senior Men’s program has changed a lot over the past 18-months with a vision for future success. The opportunity to be selected to represent your country is one that many aspire for and congratulations to those selected. The centralized training program has had a very positive effect on the performance of many players in the current program and we look forward to this increasing over time. Thank you to all those supporters of the men’s program and players in their aspirations for further success.

USA Field Hockey Women’s National Championship (WNC) a Huge Success If you have never been an event organizer you likely would have little understanding of how to organize an event with such a huge number of moving parts. Whilst the WNC is relatively small by our quantitative standards, it is a massively important event as it provides a very prestigious population of aspiring athletes the opportunity to achieve national team appointment. The platform for this opportunity was provided by USA Field Hockey’s Laura Darling and her posse of incredible staff and volunteer members. With the entirety of organizing the event which included obtaining the venue, its signage application, arranging for its auxiliary facilities, arranging for housing and meals, organizing umpiring and trainers, and being sure everything ran like clockwork is an extraordinary feat. Laura had on hand a greased machine staff meeting every need. Not only was Laura, et al, busy providing an excellent tournament, but our High Performance staff consisting of many collegiate coaches were on hand prior to the tournament preparing athletes and at the tournament coaching them. Craig Parnham, Women’s National Team head coach, had his immediate staff assessing athletes and making the final decisions on national team composition. Finally, the 108 athletes that invested a week’s worth of their time at the tournament and hundreds of hours of devoted practice leading up to the tournament were the glue. Thank you to everyone for absolute devotion to providing high quality athletic contests and platforms for very deserving athletes trying to each achieve their dreams of national team selection.

Also, a big thanks is extended to Andrew Griffiths, and his entire staff at Old Dominion University for the provision of an excellent facility and wonderful support throughout the entire tournament.

None of our finalists has yet brokered peace in the Middle East -- although North Carolina field hockey star Loren Shealy's status as a Robertson Scholar, an unlikely joint effort of Carolina and Duke that had this Tar Heel taking classes in Durham for the spring semester, suggests that she might know how to mediate intractable conflict.

That was a quote from the Sports Illustrated story on Loren Shealy. Loren is accomplished and that isn’t being as generous as it should be. She is more accomplished than most people who have reached the age of 60. That would be more accurate. She is a superb athlete with magnificent academic prowess. We are really proud that she is a part of this sport and wish her all the success she will surely earn in the future.

We have a multitude of Task Forces working on providing recommendations to ever improve the programs and services USA Field Hockey can offer to our sport. The Adult Task Force has spent the last months working as a group and in small sub-groups exploring three themes: support, education and opportunity to grow the game for adults. The Member Services Committee have prioritized working on reconnecting Lifetime Members, benefits and services provided to Umpire and Coach Members, and how we provide an ongoing membership experience to those who have represented USA in the past. And the Club Advisory Task Force has reviewed and made recommendations upon the Spring club events amongst other topics. Thanks to all those who are volunteering their time to participate actively in developing the infrastructure of field hockey. We are determined to be a listening, collaborative, transparent organization that serves our membership – Task Forces are a big part of this.

Unabashed commercial for a great guy! Last week in Norfolk, VA at the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Championship, I met just the greatest guy who happens to be the father of Andrew Griffiths, the hockey coach at Old Dominion University. He is Peter Griffiths, and he lives with his wife, Jane, in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada. Peter came down to watch a super week of hockey….and, visit with Andrew. Peter is a citizen of the USA, Canada, and the UK. How can that be?  Dunno, but he is diverse and highly knowledgeable of hockey and will spend hours talking the game. If you are of the mind to want to spend some time with Peter and learn more of the game, write him at jane19g@yahoo.com or better yet go see him at Jane’s and Peter’s Bed and Breakfast, the Duncan-Quinn House in Niagara-On-The-Lake…a terrific place.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: “It turns out the winning ticket from the huge $590 million Powerball drawing was apparently sold in a town called Zephyrhills, Florida. In a related story, Florida residents are getting an unusual volume of calls from their grandkids today.”

Have a great week!

Steven Locke
Executive Director
USA Field Hockey