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USA Field Hockey

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report

March 18, 2014, 12:29 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report - Week of March 17, 2014

Last week’s test series between the U.S. Women’s National Team and the Canadian Women’s National Team was the first international contest held at the new Home of Hockey located at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The entire series was terrific and the USA swept Canada. But, that wasn’t the point as both teams are young and developing, and both coaches were pleased to provide rotations for all players on their squads in preparation for upcoming events. We were so pleased that Canada came down and we will look forward to further contests and collaborations with the Canadians.

A lot of credit should go to the folks at Spooky Nook Sports and the USA Field Hockey staff that did the setup for the event. Sam Beiler’s staff was on top of things providing an excellent venue under the Dome at Spooky Nook Sports. Our staff branded and provided operational support throughout the tournament. On the ground for USA Field Hockey were Simon Hoskins, Steve Horgan, Kelly Knapp, Laura Darling, Kait Mitchell, Kat Manderino and Simone Attles.

For this first time event, we provided access at no charge principally to give our players and support staff the opportunity to perform before their family and friends. Many more than just family friends showed for each of the matches and filled the stands. We received a wonderful letter from the father of one of the Women’s National Team athletes and he wrote to Coach Craig Parham saying:

I am unsure whom this email should go to but I am sure you will be able to direct the Thank You to those whom would appreciate it the most.  

Here is a simple fact, shortly after receiving an email that indicated there would be a modest cost for tickets to the competition, all the tickets for the USA vs. Canada series became free. 

For some, that fee becoming free may have seemed somewhat nominal, but for us it was a wonderful gift.  We were able to invite family and friends that the extra few dollars allowed them the expense money to make the journey, and I can assure you they all truly appreciated the chance to watch the Team USA play. 

In addition to being more than affordable, it was the first time a national game was close enough so that many could watch their, grand-daughter, niece, aunt, high-school goal-keeper, college team-mate, take the USA field hockey pitch and represent her country. They were so excited and proud. 

I know the games won't be free in the future but none-the-less they were this time and I want everyone to know we were very grateful - Thank you!

Please let all the owners, staff, and support personnel, both with USA Field Hockey and with the Spooky Nook Group, that from a spectator’s (and parent's) view the tournament was well run and something they can all be very proud off.  

Everyone was so helpful, friendly, and it truly felt like a USA Field Hockey Home – not just an Amazing Field Hockey Field. 

These are the sort of notes that are gratifying and make the incredible amount of work associated with putting on an event worthwhile.

Know of an astounding individual who deserves to be recognized in the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame? Tomorrow is the final day to submit nominations to mconnolly@usafieldhockey.com. For more information and for nomination forms, click here

Learn from our National Team athletes! This summer our Women’s National Team is ‘hitting the road’ the week of July 28th and is looking forward to working at an Olympic Youth Camp near you. Bring your game to the next level with personal, player-specific instruction from the very best in the nation! This will be an annual event.  For the first year our camps will be focused in New York, Maryland, Delaware, the South and a few special programs in satellite areas. The camps are designed to give the young athletes (7-13 years olds) firsthand experience with our Olympic and National Team athletes. Our Olympic and U.S. athletes are very excited to work with our youth.  Olympic Youth Camp locations will be announced shortly.

The Master’s level game is really taking off internationally. Recently the men Over 40 and 50 squads had tryouts and 60 men showed on a 22 degree Fahrenheit day on the East Coast. Peter Jones and Simon Gray, among others, are organizing tryouts, trainings, and everything Masters related for the men. Yale’s head women’s hockey coach Pam Stuper is doing the same for US Women’s Masters. Here is a short message from Simon Gray with further information:

I received an email (copied below) and attachments today from Adrian Stephenson of the World Grand Masters Association (WGMA currently governs Masters 60+) about the new FIH Masters Panel covering both Masters and Grand Masters. I suggest you share these with the USFHA Board (and perhaps post some of this information on the USAFH website) as it gives a detailed view of what is happening and is planned for Masters Hockey now as it is coming more and more under FIH auspices. It might be of interest to the Board and our constituencies to see the scale of what is going on worldwide. This year’s Masters World Cup in June (to which we are sending 2 men’s and 2 women’s teams at O-40 and O-50) requires the use of 7 pitches for 8 days of all-day international competition!

Also note that the 2016 Masters World Cup is likely to be in Australia. We have previously expressed interest in holding a future Masters World Cup, but given the growth and size of the event we don’t have a facility/club large enough as yet. One thing we are thinking about is to hold an off-year event much as Ireland did last year, i.e. we could hold a USA Masters Open. It wouldn’t be on the scale of a World Cup, but if we could manage it as a two pitch event  as the Irish did it is possibly viable. The two Masters Committees will no doubt start thinking about it.

As some of you may already be aware, FIH have established an FIH Masters Hockey Panel and invited representatives from WGMA and IMHA to sit on this Panel. Peter and I were invited to Lausanne to help establish the terms of reference of the Panel earlier last year and have subsequently attended two formal meetings in July 2013 and in January 2014. 

A Press Release was issued last month and there is now a Masters hockey page on the FIH website http://www.fih.ch/en/mastershockey.  We have asked for a few corrections and also a link to our own tournament website for The Hague. 

No doubt there will be discussion at our Congress at The Hague about the Panel but in the meantime I thought you should see a copy of the Press Release, the Terms of Reference of the Panel and the minutes of the first meeting last July. We are still waiting for the minutes from our meeting last month but will share these with you as soon as we receive them from FIH. We should all be delighted that FIH are now taking a serious interest in Masters hockey and will now lend their support to encourage National Associations to promote the development of Masters and Grand Masters hockey throughout the world. 

We have been assured that their intention is to facilitate and promote what is happening in Masters hockey, to support and to encourage but not to take on any management or delivery role. They are happy that WGMA and IMHA continue to operate and to manage their own events as will be the case at The Hague and Rotterdam in June.  

If you have any queries please come back to me.

Kind regards

Adrian 

Simon’s and Adrian’s memos are full of promise for the future in the world of Master’s hockey. We will be working with Simon, Pam and Peter toward establishing significant events at our Home of Hockey located at The Nook in Lancaster, Pa. and other locales. This is really what the sport is about…the establishment of a lifestyle sport.

Now is a perfect time to sign up for the Fundamental Field Hockey Program before the end of spring! If you are interested, please e-mail USA Field Hockey’s Sport Development Senior Manager Liz Tchou at ltchou@usafieldhockey.com.

A big thanks to Harrow Sports for continuing to help us 'Grow the Game' in 2014. The program has assisted in the strengthening of recreation, youth programs, MSO's (Multi-sport Organizations) and elementary and middle schools programs throughout the country. It's been a highly enjoyable couple of years working with Harrow and their staff, Alli Tanner and Sinead Loughran. Not only have they helped with Fundamental Field Hockey program logistics, we have also worked together on different community service projects that have generated inspiration amongst all of us. 

"This is what youth development is all about,” said Tchou. “It’s a combination of good will between all parties and exposure of the sport to kids of all ages. The unbelievable outpouring of passion, support, education and opportunities for the game will result in sustainability.”

Samuel Roberts of the Central Florida Field Hockey Association is a prime example of the passion and dedication involved in the FUNdamental Field Hockey program. Thanks to Roberts and the many like him, our sport is growing across the country. Roberts has been traveling around the Orlando, Fla. area to various middle schools, introducing USA Field Hockey’s FUNdamental Field Hockey program to local students. Most recently, Roberts visited with Avalon and Corner Lakes Middle Schools, teaching students the fundamentals of the game and exposing them to a great way to have fun and stay healthy.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: “Best Buy will start selling solar panels in an effort to promote energy conservation. Best Buy says you can find the panels right next to the 300 flat-screen TVs they leave on all day.” 

Have a great week!!

Steven Locke
Executive Director
USA Field Hockey
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