USA Field Hockey

Jan 14 USA Field Hockey Weekly Report

Jan. 14, 2014, 10:49 a.m. (ET)

The men’s Junior Olympic Tryout Camp at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center was held Thursday through Sunday of last week. The Under-18 male athletes were invited from regional selection camps in December to attend this Youth Olympic Games (YOG) selection opportunity. The tournament will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico Feb 4-8. The top two teams from this tournament will gain qualification to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August.

The camp consisted of mostly tactical elements due to the new outdoor Hockey 5's format of the YOG. This new game with boards running from goal posts to sideline and along the entire sideline adds a dynamic which only ice hockey players may be used to. The field dimensions are close to a half-size field with the ball rarely leaving the field of play and adding a very exciting and tactically new style of play.

Over the course of the camp the players developed an understanding of how to maximize the boards as extra players and make decisions with appropriate speed and style of play that is very different to typical indoor or outdoor hockey. The dynamic this game adds only enhances the skill and development of the players which will benefit their game across indoor and outdoor Hockey 5's, and eleven-a-side. The players certainly enjoyed the new demands of this game. Best wishes to the team and their endeavors to qualify for the YOG. The squad will be announced in the coming days.

Our Men’s National Team began training for 2014 year at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Cali. The players currently based in the centralized training program are currently going through physical and technical testing as well as regular training preparing for matches in February against UBC and building towards CalCup where the new national squads will be selected at both the junior and senior levels. We thank the USOC for their continued assistance and providing support services that allow the team to make the necessary improvements in their performance.

Women’s National Team (WNT) to train at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in California. Craig Parnham, the WNT and staff have embarked to Chula Vista this week to begin the training protocols Craig has developed and compete in a series of test matches between Great Britain and New Zealand. The warmer climates of Chula Vista provide great training opportunities as the facilities at Spooky Nook Sports are going through their final stages of preparation (see the article below). The team will be in place in the San Diego area until mid-February. The preparations are meant to provide a good base for the WNT’s major competitions of 2014 which include Champions Challenge and the FIH World Cup. For those of you in the Southern California region (and for others who may wish to travel to watch the team in action), a schedule of test matches will be posted on the USA Field Hockey website. They all will be held at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center and admission will be free of charge.

Status of facilities at the Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The development of the new facilities at the Home of Hockey is moving along nicely. The first turf was installed some time ago and has been used by the WNT for the last several months. The second turf will soon be installed after the underlayment (e-layer) is complete. In the midst of the e-layer installation, a dome is being installed concurrently (it is just a massive piece of venue equipment). The footers for the dome were put into place several weeks ago and now the dome is expected to be complete by mid-week this week. Upon the completion of the dome, it is projected that the turf will take another two weeks for its installation. Fire suppression equipment is also being put into place in accordance to fire marshal requirements.

Sam Beiler, the owner of Spooky Nook Sports, has spared no expense in the development of this facility for hockey and we are beyond grateful. Once you see it, you will be astounded at the size of the entire complex and at the immensity of the hockey provisions! 

Most of you probably know a handful of boys or adults that enjoy playing field hockey and love to compete. We need your help in encouraging them to sign up for the 2014 National Indoor Tournament! Last year, we had a record number of 56 athletes compete in our boys division and this year we aim to beat that number.

In conjunction with the U-16 NIT on March 7-9 in Virginia Beach, there will be U-15 boys, U-21 boys, 21+ adult men and 19+ adult women divisions for all skill levels. This is a great opportunity for boys to get a taste of what indoor field hockey is all about and adults to get back in the game! If you would like to form a team, please send your full roster to Liz Tchou at ltchou@usafieldhockey.com. Otherwise, all individuals will be placed on a team before the tournament begins. Athletes can click here to register or visit usafieldhockey.com.

And to finish, I wish to share something with those of you who have not seen this already. It is the spot Proctor & Gamble (P&G) is running in the build up to the Winter Olympic Games. For us, it captures what we all in USA Field Hockey are about, and when I say that I mean all of us, coaches, umpires, athletes, administrators, volunteers and of course Moms. We exist to provide a platform for young athletes to live their dreams. P&G again have done a wonderful job in showing us what this means for all of us in the Olympic family, and I would like to recognize P&G again for their wonderful support of our Fundamental Field Hockey programming for which we are greatly appreciative – please do enjoy by clicking here. This message runs true for all of us in sport “For teaching us that falling, only makes us stronger. Thank you Mom”.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: “In advance of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Russian government announced that, contrary to popular belief, people in Russia will be allowed to protest. But only in a special protest zone — known as "Siberia."

Have a great week!

Steven Locke
Executive Director
USA Field Hockey

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