USA Field Hockey Weekly Report

Oct. 29, 2013, 12 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of October 28, 2013

An interesting twist in philosophies: Over the years, we have heard on a fairly regular basis that the U.S. lags behind other countries as we do not have sports programs to introduce young athletes (like those in the 6-13 age strata) to the fundamentals of the game (e.g. drag flicking, dribbling, tackling, etcetera). It is a problem we recognized and two years ago USA Field Hockey developed and provided a new program calledFUNdamental Field Hockey to, at least, get the process underway by placing sticks in the hands of thousands of young kids so to get a taste of the game. It is a valuable facet of our organization and we are experiencing a good return as many programs and clubs have renewed plus many new regions are going to have an inaugural program for the 2014 year. They all see the worth of youth development.

So, after experiencing success with our program, we are starting to see some other sport national governing bodies take a step in a different emphasis. Specifically USA Hockey (the other hockey fashioned on our game) and US Lacrosse are now approaching young athletes with a philosophy that kids should not exclusively focus on their sports, but should get experience in numerous sports. The logic behind that approach is that if kids focus exclusively on one sport early-on that there is a significant burn-out factor. Some studies will represent that kids that experience many sports in their developmental years are more successful as athletes in a sport that they focus on as they become older and generally as human beings in all endeavors that they follow (and, I know that is a pretty broad sweeping statement). So, what does that do to our concern that kids of a young age in our country are not developing the fundamental skills of field hockey? I’m unsure, but I/we would certainly like to hear opinions from you. If you have an opinion and would not mind my publicizing it in a subsequent weekly report, please send it along to me at One final thought, and that is when I was in high school and even prior to that time, sports seemed to have very distinct seasons. We played the sport during the season it was held and then moved on to the next. In my example, it was cross country in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track and field in the spring. Is that is how it still today?  

Tournament Rules Committee Advert: During the years, and the numerous events developed by USA Field Hockey, Tournament Rules and Regulations have been written and published by the National Office staff. These statutes have successfully shaped and further developed the game for all ages to enjoy. As we move into 2014, USA Field Hockey is setting up a Tournament Rules Advisory Committee to help in keeping up with the trends and needs of our members from all perspectives. We are looking for two coaches, two players (one adult and one youth preferably 16-18 years old), two umpires and two office staff to be part of this committee. The commitment to this committee would be three to four one hour conference calls per year. We do cherish the input from our constituency and are looking forward to making all of the USA Field Hockey tournaments, ‘premier events.’ If you are interested in being part of this Advisory Committee, please send your request or questions to

As the high school Fall season draws to a close the year’s champions are crowned, new records are created and memories are made. On behalf of USA Field Hockey I want to congratulate all our field hockey high school athletes and coaches for a fantastic year of play. Regardless of the outcome of your final matches take the pitch with heart and pride knowing you left it all on the field. In doing so, no matter the score, you’ll walk off victorious, and to those in the play-offs I wish you all the best as you give it your all.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: “Halloween is just over a few days away now. When it comes to candy bars, the term fun-sized is misleading. There is nothing fun about your candy bar being 1/8 the size of a regular bar. You should call them what they are: “disappointment-sized.”

Steven Locke
Executive Director
USA Field Hockey