Executive Director Weekly Report

Sept. 24, 2013, 1:06 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of September 23, 2013

United States Olympic Committee CEO asks for questions. Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), is asking our constituents for questions revolving around the USOC and the National Governing Bodies (USA Field Hockey is the national governing body for field hockey in the USA). The questions will be posed to Scott as well as Larry Probst, chair of the USOC’s Board of Directors and recently appointed International Olympic Committee (IOC) Board member (very significant), and the entire USOC Board of Directors during the annual Olympic Assembly which will be held in Colorado Springs early in October. The Assembly is the annual gathering of all constituents of the USOC including NGBs, Olympic and Pan American Games athletes, community based organizations, and etcetera. There are normally around 700 people in attendance. If you have a question it is to be submitted to Chris Sullivan of the USOC at chris.sullivan@usoc.org by Thursday, October 3. Please see Scott’s note to the CEOs/EDs of the NGBs below:

“In an effort to create more meaningful dialogue between the Assembly attendees and USOC leadership, Larry and I are going to shorten the general address in order to create some time for a more substantive Q&A with the whole board (including Larry and me). We would like to ask each of you to reach out to your members and give them an opportunity to submit questions by October 3rd. We will answer all of the questions—those that we do not get to during the open session we will respond to separately after the Assembly.”

Our Members Services Committee has been working diligently throughout the year. Last Thursday at a Special Board Meeting the committee presented the summary of their work across a number of areas.

Membership continues to grow at a healthy clip which is promising. We are committed to exploring ways of both increasing the size of our membership as well as the quality of the service we provide to members. Let me share with you an update:

·     It was approved that Lifetime Members wishing to umpire or coach at events will be able to upgrade their membership with no additional fee. The previous $30 fee will be eliminated. A background check will remain a requirement so the upgrade process will remain the same expect there will be no additional financial transaction. Our Lifetime Members are a cornerstone of our organization and represent passionate field hockey folk. We felt it was important to ensure their membership experience and ability to participate fully in all things USA Field Hockey was easy, straightforward and without extra cost.

·     For all those individuals who have represented our Men’s and Women’s National Team, earning at least one cap, we will be honoring and recognizing with a unique experience. Going forward all Team USA alumni will receive a unique and very special Team USA card, a customized experience on our website and will receive FH Life magazine every quarter. Many of our USA players made tremendous sacrifices on their journey to and with the National Teams and we are delighted to offer Team USA alumni for life this privileged recognition.

·     Members who both umpire and coach received much discussion. It was agreed to keep the categories separate. Individuals may only hold one membership so each must select her/is primary membership. However, going forward, we will provide additional functionality for Umpire Members and Coach Members to select a secondary area of interest i.e. ‘coaching’ if they are an Umpire Member. This will allow us to better ensure we are providing the right information to the right people.

·     Finally regarding Adult Members, the only membership category that is not growing, the work undertaken by the Adult Task Force and the resulting recommendations which are now being acted on will in time reverse this trend as more opportunities are offered for adult players, locally, regionally and nationally. Additionally, the Members Services Committee recommended that we explore further initiative of providing a digital version of membership to all Futures athletes who go on to play DI, DII and DIII hockey with the goal of keeping these young adults engaged on all the broader opportunities around the game.  This is in hopes that as these college athletes graduate they are better informed of how to stay in the game as a player, umpire, coach, volunteer or fan.

So all in all, great progress continues to be made and these initiatives will be rolled out over coming months. I would like to thank the Members Services Committee - ably led by Chair Susan Nottingham, assisted by fellow Board Members Tina Reinprecht, Carrie Lingo, Kate Kinnear and Rene Zelkin, as well as our Membership and Events Coordinator Emily Thomas. By definition, we are a membership organization and we are committed to listening to and providing excellent service for all Members. If you have any further thoughts on membership, please do reach out to Emily (ethomas@usafieldhockey.com) or myself (slocke@usafieldhockey.com).

The USA Women’s National Team is up and running in Mendoza, Argentina. Competition started on September 21st with the USA facing Mexico and then on Sunday against Chile. Today at 3 p.m. ET the Women’s National Team goes up against Uruguay and then it will be on to the semi-finals and finals on Thursday and Saturday. Thus far, we have prevailed in each game, and the team has been enjoying the opportunity to compete. The remainder of this week will be highly entertaining and challenging as we face more Pan Am region competitors. Be sure to follow Team USA’s progress via our Twitter account @USAFieldHockey for live updates. 

Although the addition of the most recent FIH Hockey Insider from its CEO Kelly Fairweather makes this report lengthy, I thought it would be worthwhile for you to have a look at hockey from a global perspective. Please click here to review the most recent newsletter edition.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: “Two guys in New Hampshire were arrested after they tried to rob a group of people playing Bingo. Cops became suspicious when they saw a car driving away from the Bingo hall going more than 10 miles an hour."

Have a great week!

Steven Locke
Executive Director 
USA Field Hockey