USA Field Hockey

Jun 17 USA Field Hockey Weekly Report

June 17, 2014, 2:12 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of June 16, 2014

Hockey World Cup Closes as Team USA’s Potential Continues to Open
It is over, the FIH’s 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup, and it was a magnificent experience for the USA. The expectation for Team USA coming into Holland was to gain international experience and to demonstrate the incremental improvement the squad has experienced under Coach Craig Parnham’s leadership. The end result was a 4th place finish, close to a podium placement, and the newly won international respect gained by a tenacious, confident, unrelenting and skilled set of USA athletes. The rollercoaster ride was big fun as we experienced good periods and periods of challenge. Overall, our athletes are confident that they have stepped over a threshold and entered a new level of elite-ness.

USA Men’s and Women’s Masters Squads Display Marvelous Skill in Holland

The Masters World Cup ran parallel to the U.S Women’s National Team’s tour in the Netherlands. The second FIH Masters Hockey World Cup is an event that took place at the Hockey Club Rotterdam from June 5-13. Competing in the tournament were both women’s and men’s teams in age categories 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+ and 60+ (women only).

The event is deemed successful as well, bright with highlights, such as the USA Men's Over 50 first-ever victory with a win over Egypt. The Men’s Over-50 squad also finished the tournament 5th out of 14 teams, while the Men’s Over-40 team ended in 9th place at their first-ever masters competition. Team USA’s Ahmed Elmagrabhy (Balitmore, Md.) scored hat-tricks in three consecutive matches. It was the first Masters appearance for the U.S. since 1998 with the Over-40 and Over-50 women gaining exciting international experience.

The U.S. was represented at the 2014 FIH Masters World Cup by umpires as well with Rene’ Zelkin and Swampy Marsh.

We applaud all of our athletes and umpires for their dedication and longevity to the sport at a continued prestigious tier.

World Cup from a Director’s Standpoint
Throughout the tournament, I was communicating to the USA Field Hockey Board of Directors and others concerning the on-goings taking place at The Hague, where the Rabobank Hockey World Cup was held. I thought you would be interested in one of the reports that dealt with our bids recently submitted for FIH events plus interesting tidbits about the World Cup itself:

Yesterday was a rest day, a huge misnomer for administrators as dozens of meetings were ongoing consuming big chunks of the day. The FIH's Executive Committee met for the entire day and one of their items for consideration were the three bids submitted for the FIH Junior World Cup to be conducted in December of 2016. We were one of the nations submitting a bid. We were not successful in the bid for an interesting reason. Due to the time of year, we would be assured of only one turf's use at The Nook due to the potential of adverse winter weather. The availability of one turf would cause the tournament to be thirteen days in length plus training days - way too long for junior athlete availability. That seemed to be the exclusive issue contributing to our losing out. With the letter announcing our loss, Kelly FAIRWEATHER, the CEO of the FIH, assured us of the continued interest the FIH has in the United States, as there are possibilities of commerciality and because of our recent performances at the World Cup.

Speaking of commerciality, I was fortunate to be involved in several Commercial Managers’ meetings at the competition venue near The Hague (and, as it was a rest day, the place was a ghost town as contrasted to the day before when it was a sea of orange). There were some interesting facts that came out of that meeting and concerned the operation of the World Cup. The cost of the event exceeded 19m Euros, roughly $26,000,000. They have no expectation of breaking even, the implementation of the World Cup is primarily a brand building exercise. The Dutch currently have 240,000 members and anticipate a membership of 300,000 by 2020, hence their efforts at brand building. This event is the largest athletic event in The Netherlands in the past five years and will be the largest event held in the next five years. They expect a total of 220,000 paid tickets to be developed over the event's term. Eighty percent of all of Holland's CEOS from business and industry will be here over the weekend and will use the event for networking for Business to Business purposes. One hundred and thirteen IOC members will be present plus IOC president Tomas Bach. Overall, this is a Dutch Super Bowl.

Hopefully, if you watched the stream of the competitions, the streaming folks may have scanned the expo area. It was adjacent to the two competition venues. The expo area was a city of everything imaginable and the Dutch were out in force during the event’s entire term. Someday, maybe, we will find ourselves in the same boat. For the Dutch, hockey is the country’s second most popular sport next to soccer with winter based speed skating as a distant third.

Ignite your dreams with Olympic Youth Camps
This August, Men’s and Women’s National Team athletes are hitting the road and coming to communities near you to coach USA Field Hockey Olympic Youth Camps. Olympic Youth Camps are designed to teach boys and girls 7-13 the fundamentals of field hockey in a fun environment with some of the top players in the country. Don’t miss your chance to learn from the best of the U.S., register for a camp today!

Celebrating the Olympic Games and members of Team USA
In celebration, we honor all athletes who have represented the USA in The Olympic Games, Pan American Games and FIH World Cup. Today, an email was sent to each man and woman athlete (that we could find in our database), that goes like this:

“Let’s Celebrate Hockey”

USA Field Hockey Lifetime Memberships Extended to all USA Olympians, World Cup and Pan American Game Team Members

Dear USA Field Hockey Olympians, World Cup and Pan American Game Team Members,

We are thrilled with the outcome of the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, which recently concluded with Team USA finishing in fourth place, behind the 2010 World Cup Champions and 2014 bronze medalists Argentina. Coming into the tournament, the US was ranked 10th in the world. Their exceptional performance in The Hague will elevate them in the rankings and serve notice to the world that we are on the rise! In honor of our recent accomplishments on this world stage and your part in Team USA’s success, USA Field Hockey would like to honor all of you and your contributions to our teams in the past, present, and future. “Let’s Celebrate Hockey” was the theme of the 2014 Hockey World Cup and we would like to ‘celebrate hockey’ with you, our former athletes.

On Saturday, June 28, we will honor a number of significant hockey players, coaches, umpires, and those who have served us in administrative and/or governance roles. Our USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony and inductions will take place at the Home of Hockey at The Nook in Lancaster, PA.

As part of this celebration, we also want to recognize your commitment and dedication to USA Field Hockey representing Team USA as Olympians, World Cup and/or Pan American Game Team Members. Being a member of Team USA requires tremendous passion and long, hard hours of unrelenting work. Like the men and women on today’s USA National Teams, you dedicated your life to our sport and our country. 

The criteria for eligibility for complimentary Lifetime Memberships is reserved to all USA Olympians, World Cup and Pan American Game Team members, recognizing that these athletes competing in these prestigious tournaments have reached the pinnacle of our sport. To honor you, the men and women who have represented the United States on the playing field, we are honored and privileged to provide you with a Lifetime Membership within USA Field Hockey. Included in the membership will be a lifetime subscription to FH Life, the hockey high-end magazine. The alumni network will connect you with former teammates and friends, as well as the current men and women wearing the red, white, and blue! You will also receive timely information from USA Field Hockey about our grass root programs, our men’s and women’s national teams and adult and masters’ field hockey opportunities both domestically and internationally.

Welcome to a lifetime of USA Field Hockey and “Let’s Celebrate Hockey” together!

GO USA!!

Steve Locke, Executive Director, USA Field Hockey

Rene Zelkin, Chair, USA Field Hockey Board of Directors
Pam Stuper, Chair, USA Field Hockey Foundation

If you are a USA athlete that has represented the USA in hockey at The Olympic Games, The Pan American Games and/or the FIH World Cup, we would enjoy hearing from you to provide your lifetime membership, to keep you updated regarding your fellow athletes and to hear more about what has happened to you in life since your participation. Please contact Emily Thomas of USA Field Hockey at ethomas@usafieldhockey.com.

Late Show with David Letterman: “You know who is in financial trouble? Radio Shack. But I love going into Radio Shack. And the reason I go there is to ask directions to Best Buy.”

Have a great week!!

Steven Locke
USA Field Hockey
Executive Director

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