Executive Director Weekly Report

May 07, 2013, 2:44 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of May 6, 2013

Yesterday we announced the addition of three divisions to the 2013 National Hockey Festival Under-14 girls and Under-15/Under-21 boys will be joining us at the world's largest amateur field hockey event this Thanksgiving in Palm Beach County, Fla. This is exciting news and a necessary step in growing the base of the

Two of Hockey’s Luminaries are Honored Sharon Taylor and Karen Marley were both honored during the recent American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Convention in Charlotte, N.C. during the latter part of April. Both awards were highly significant and recognized years of valued work completed by both Sharon and Karen (Marley as she is affectionately known).

I read the description of both Sharon and Marley and their myriad accomplishments in the pamphlet presented at the award ceremonies, and it is just astronomical the amount of work both have put forth in behalf of and for hockey. Sharon was presented the AAHPERD Presidential Award, and Marley The Pathfinder Award. It is equally impressive that two hockey women would receive these awards in the same year. That shows the prominence of hockey at AAHPERD.  Good on you Sharon and Marley. Both of you are very deserving.

Assimilation into Lancaster We have an amazing transition taking place as we soon will have our Women’s National Team domiciled in Lancaster, PA at the Home of Hockey. But, the transition thing is not as simple as just picking up stuff and moving into new digs. It is far more complex than that, and the following will give you a little snippet of what we are doing. When I say we, I really mean USA Field Hockey’s Laura Darling. Laura has spent literally hundreds of hours working with real estate agents, local businesses, educational institutions, media, transportation companies, medical providers (our partners the Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster), and a sundry mix of others preparing the community of Lancaster for the arrival of the team in mid-August. This is being done as we thought it very important to listen to the concerns of team members as we move to a new locale, and follow through with positive results. The concerns expressed to us, in a nutshell, were : (1) athletes wanted to be in a community that was generally close to home (almost all team members are from the Northeast);(2) our team needed career opportunities that were hopefully in disciplines from their college curricula and with flexible hours for training and traveling to competitions. That was a critical need; (3) athletes wanted economical and comfortable living circumstances (many options have been found for them in the Lancaster locale); (4) for those athletes wanting to pursue educational opportunities locally while concurrently training, opportunities are being sought; and (5) there was a need to open the community for athletes to examine cultural and other opportunities. That effort fell in line with our continuing effort to help our athletes become multi-faceted as whole people and contributors to local society. Laura has been doing amazing work for our athletes, the support staff, and coaches. Later this year, she will host an Assimilation Week in Lancaster for the staff and athletes and help them understand options and learn more about the new people they will be working alongside.

FIH Olympic Program Thoughts Quite a number of weeks ago in the weekly report I mentioned the recent vote by the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee to remove wrestling as a core sport from the Olympic program beginning in 2020. Wrestling will be permitted to compete for a program spot on the 2020 Olympic program and beyond, but they must do this in competition between wrestling and six other sports. It is not a great position for the long-time Olympic sport to find itself. The reason I mention this is that Field Hockey found itself among the five current Olympic sports facing elimination and, in fact, during the final vote was next in line to wrestling for ousting. Ouch. That was a complete surprise and an unexpected issue our international federation, the FIH, now has to confront. And, they are doing so. In recent FIH executive committee meetings, options were considered, and in June during the national association CEO meeting in Rotterdam (USA Field Hockey is a national association member of the FIH) the FIH execs will present an Olympic Programme Review and International Relations Strategy. This topic, whether you are an international competition and Olympic fan or not, has a great deal to do with the sport maintaining its legitimacy as an authentic mainstream sport on a global basis. I will report back learnings as appropriate upon my return from that gathering.

Late Show with David Letterman: Martha Stewart has signed up with Match.com, the dating thing. And she's been taking dating tips from the CEO of Match.com. And I thought, "Wait a minute. That's insider dating."

Have a great week!

Steve Locke
Executive Director

USA Field Hockey