Executive Director Weekly Report
USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of September 16, 2013
USA Field Hockey’s Futures 2014 program is the first step in the Olympic Development pipeline. The Futures program is made up of 27 hours of specialized training. Field hockey athletes go through the specialized drills while being coached by USA Field Hockey accredited Level I, II or III coaches. This is a great program for athletes wanting to improve their skills and for athletes who dream about playing at a higher level. To become a Futures athlete, you must go through a trial with your coach. To find out more about the Futures trial process, please contact Caitie Tornes at email@example.com or go directly online to: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Field-Hockey/FUTURES/Futures-Trials.
Last year USA Field Hockey had 5,000+ athletes go through this program. From those 5,000, everyone had the opportunity to showcase and compete in a Futures Regional Tournament. From the Futures Regional Tournaments, 680 athletes were selected to compete at the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championship. A vast majority of those young women were recruited for collegiate team opportunities. Showcasing athlete talents for collegiate coaches has become a big emphasis for this organization. Largely the showcasing has come about as a positive consequence of our creating programs to help develop athlete enjoyment of the game through skill improvement, and to improve the pipeline leading to eventual Olympic team participation. No matter the outcome of the program (being on the Olympic team, gaining a scholarship or opportunity to go to one of the many fine colleges and universities throughout the USA offering hockey, or just for the enjoyment of competing and developing hockey skills) the Futures program has consistently shown positive outcomes for athletes through the years.
As an aside, USA Field Hockey is in the midst of updating the Futures curriculum. The purpose is to make the program contemporary with today’s athletes and to introduce some of the new major functionaries in the sport. The new curriculum is scheduled for completion for the 2014 year. Good stuff.
The USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team left for Mendoza, Argentina this past Sunday. They are competing in the women’s Pan Am Cup, one of several qualifiers for the FIH World Cup. The trip to Mendoza was extraordinarily difficult. It is a 22 hour adventure on a multi-stop flight. To top off the difficulties of travel to that country, we ran into a constantly changing set of requirements for entry. Visa documents costing $160 each plus the bureaucratic issues of dealing with a constant set of changing requirements to gain entry was indeed a struggle. It seems the government of Argentina is changing rules of entry without much prior notice. Thanks to the officials within the Pan American Field Hockey Federation and the Argentina Hockey NA, things were finally worked out. Traveling internationally often holds with it many challenges. We are glad the team made it and is now settling in. Courtney Tavener, of the USA Field Hockey staff will be serving as Communications Manager in Argentina. She will be tweeting and filing reports pre-during-and post games.
Team USA will face Mexico on Saturday, September 21 in their opening match. Next up, the team faces Chile on September 22, and then Uruguay on September 24. The Pan American Cup matches will be streamed live on panamhockey.org. Good Luck to Craig Parnham and the team on their Pan American Cup journey.
This past weekend, USA Field Hockey celebrated its 2nd annual National Field Hockey Day. This event was created to spread awareness of the sport, increase participation and celebrate each of our athletes, coaches, umpires, and fans across the country. We would like to thank everyone who participated and shared their experience with us through social media. We will be posting some of our favorite photos this afternoon. Awards for largest celebration, most creative and growing the game will also be announced later today on social media and our website. For more information on the initiative, please contact our Sport Development Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark your calendars! Next year’s National Field Hockey Day will be on Saturday, September 13th, 2014.
Just a reminder: the Club Affiliation open enrollment window closes in two weeks at 11:45 p.m. EST on October 1, 2013. The window is open now to allow Under-12 and Under-19 members to change club affiliation for the upcoming event year. Between August 1 and October 1, members can change club affiliation by logging into their member account on www.usafieldhockey.com and selecting ‘Change My Club Affiliation’ from the left side navigation bar. Outside of the open enrollment window, members are required to submit a completed transfer request form.
Applications for the Club Advisory Task Force need to be submitted by the end of this week, Friday September 20th. Any current member who would like to be considered for a one year term in the CATF (a task force in which we are recreating new short term goals), please email your name, email address, membership number and role within the field hockey world to Emily Thomas. Four positions are available.
Last evening, Steve Horgan, USAFH Director of Umpiring, conducted a 75-person clinic for umpires at The Nook. The clinic was hosted by the Lancaster Lebanon Chapter Field Hockey Officials. Other local umpiring chapters from Harrisburg, York and Berks County were also invited to attend. Topics covered were “Understanding the Rule Book", 21st century hockey versus old time old school hockey, positioning and anticipation of play for umpires as well as current applications of stick and body obstruction. Steve reports that the group was a very energetic and enthusiastic bunch with a wide range of experience levels. Also on Wednesday of last week, the same presentation was given to the BBOWS Umpiring Board in Baltimore, MD with about 60 in attendance. Steve Horgan really appreciates the opportunity to be invited to local chapter meetings so that he and other delegates can do their best to get a consistent message to everyone involved with umpiring hockey.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: “In Canada, a man was attacked by a polar bear and he scared it off with his cellphone. Apparently the bear got frightened when he saw the two-year contract.”
Have a great week!
USA Field Hockey