USA Field Hockey Weekly Report Week of October 14 2013

Oct. 15, 2013, 6:34 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of October 14, 2013

Last week National Governing Bodies (NGB) from all over the country gathered in Colorado Springs for the 
Olympic AssemblyA full week’s worth of everything Olympic took place starting last Monday with two days’ worth of NGB Best Practices Seminars. All 47 NGBs participated. On Wednesday and Thursday the annual Sports Link took place. Sports Link brings NGBs and cities together to work toward the hosting of various events in interested cities. The sports marketplace is a huge economic driver for most cities. Finally, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the entire Olympic family (i.e. athletes, NGB administrators, USOC folks and multisport organizations like the Boys ClubsGirls ClubsPAL Clubs and many others) gathered for group and separate constituency meetings. The USOC’s banquet honoring various athletes and administrators was held Friday evening with keynote speaker Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State. 

There were several takeaways from the Assembly including discussions pertaining the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Russia early next year. The event is going to be incredibly expensive, much more so than the USOC anticipated. As a result, most NGBs are receiving flat USOC allotments for the 2014 year which is a real blow to continuing development in many summer sport NGBs. If indeed the Sochi experience does not consume as much as predicted, some of the reserve being currently set aside may be allotted to NGBs during the 2014 year. Also, there are some similar concerns regarding the expense of sending athletes to Rio for the2016 Olympic Games and providing appropriate training sites. The USOC is working hard to develop more sources of funding to underwrite those games as well as providing for the myriad of programs they fundamentally provide. A bit of good news was USA International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Anita DeFrantz was appointed to the IOC executive committee and USOC Chair Larry Probst was elected to theIOC’s General Membership.

Safe Sport; it is complex. Safe Sport is the program we have been bringing to your attention over the past several months and deals with the provision of a safe environment for athletes and others through the fight against sexual abuse, molestation and bullying. To be perfectly honest, it is a complex and difficult topic. Not only is it difficult in dealing with the many potential instances of unsavory behavior, it is also a difficult topic in putting all the logistical pieces together. Those pieces include education (e.g. what exactly can a coach/umpire/adult/fellow athlete do and not do in a safe environment), reporting mechanisms (i.e. what is the process of reporting so to make sure each report is given the right attention), and how to administer the program so to provide for a fair adjudication of claims made against others within the hockey setting. This problem is widespread and not found only in sport. USA Field Hockey is working with many other groups, and, in particular, with the United States Olympic Committee to launch a program that is effective in the administration of this social problem. We keep wanting to launch the program but repeatedly run into issues that need resolution. Once resolution occurs, we run into other issues. After a program assessment from a very capable Safe Sport Sub-Committee made of up individuals with relevant experience in this realm, we plan to launch in early November. With their help, we think we have the program developed in a comprehensive fashion and a program that is the absolutely right thing to do to protect athletes within this sport and, as our program is repeated in other sports, to protect all athletes. In subsequent weekly reports, and in other USA Field Hockey communications, the program will be explained along with its specific goals. I think you will approve of this important effort.

Registration for the 2014 Futures Program is officially open! With the new season of Futures comes the unveiling of a brand new program curriculum. Athletes who participated in the 2013 Futures Program or who were recommended by a Partner Camp will receive their electronic invitation this week.

Trials for the 2014 Futures Program must be completed and submitted by October 25th. All athletes who did not participate in the program last year or did not receive a Partner Camp recommendation must register for and participate in a trial in order to be eligible for the 2014 program.

Don’t miss out on your chance to take your game to the next level. Register here for a 2014 Futures Trial before time runs out!

Save the Date for our inaugural Winter Ball Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 6 p.m.  USA Field Hockey cordially invites you to our inaugural Winter Ball Fundraising Dinner at our new Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Pa.  Join us for a special meet-and-greet with the U.S. Women’s National Team, athletes, coaches, Olympians, parents and friends of hockey as we celebrate the many accomplishments this year!  Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. immediately following dinner. Event includes a sit-down dinner, tours of the facility, entertainment, silent auctions and much more! Full registration details will be sent out at a later date. Please contact our Fundraising Manager, Meg Connolly at if you have any questions. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!

The National Indoor Qualifier online application process has seen over 300 team registrations in the past week. During the application process, Clubs select their top three Indoor Qualifier locations per team, similar to year’s past. This year, both the Under-16 and Under-19 Indoor Qualifiers will qualify the top 40 percent of teams to attend the National Indoor Tournament in March of 2014. This is a 10 percent increase from last year for the Under-16 division. The application period closes on October 28, 2013.

2014 Regional Club Championship Host applications have been sent out to past Hosts and other interested parties. If you are interested in organizing the RCC in your region, please contact Emily Thomas at for the application. The host applications are due at the end of the month.

I wanted to give you an update as USA Field Hockey continues to build our staff team to support our programs and national teams. We are delighted to appoint Katie Naughton to the position of Commercial Manager. With her background in sales and in field hockey (University of Iowa) and her passion for the sport we are confident she will be a huge success and an integral part of our team. I am also thrilled to formally confirm Kait Mitchell as our Communications Manager. She managed the role on an interim basis successfully over the past two months as we anticipated she would and now takes on the communications tasks permanently. Kaitlin Piosa moves to the role of Communications Coordinator, she has made a positive impact on the organization in her Futures role and is an asset to USA Field Hockey. The Futures Coordinator role is now open and recruitment is underway. For full job description and to apply, please click here.

Another exciting promotion to announce is Emily Thomas recent transition to Membership and Events Manager position. She has been outstanding in her Events and Membership roles. We have grown our events and related membership business significantly in the past cycle with record highs being set in Disney, at Festival, in the NITs; we have added 10 sanctioned events, and we have reached a new all-time Membership high. To help continue to deliver these programs with excellence, and sticking to our mantra of ‘premium’ we will now begin the recruitment process for a new Membership and Events Coordinator. For full job description and to apply, please click here.

Late Night with David Lettermen: 
Starbucks is offering something called the duffin. It's a combination of a donut and a muffin. Who says America has lost its exceptionalism?

The Nobel Prize for physics went to two guys from overseas — one from Britain, one from Belgium — who discovered mass subatomic particles. And while they were working on mass subatomic particles, what were we working on? The duffin.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Steven Locke
Executive Director
USA Field Hockey