Established in 1990, the Futures program is an effort to continually raise the level of field hockey in the United States by developing athletes for future consideration to the U.S. National Teams. Athletes train at their Futures site for 7 sessions from January through May. Futures athletes undergo elite-level training to improve their skills and develop a tactical understanding of the game.
At the conclusion of the Training Academies, each of the nine regions conduct a Regional Futures Tournament where the top athletes are selected to their respective Regional Teams for the Under 16 and Under 19 age groups. Under 14 athletes will be selected to move on to National Futures Championship and will play on mixed teams. The Under 16 and Under 19 Regional Teams will compete at the National Futures Championship. From the National Futures Championship, athletes will have the opportunity to be selected to various other elite programs, including the U.S. Junior National Teams and AAU Junior Olympics.
The inaugural Presidents' Day Showcase (PDS) held February 13-15 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., marked the first time Futures Program athletes could be evaluated at a tournament for possible advancement into a Level I Futures training site. USA Field Hockey’s selection team evaluated more than 100 athletes from across the country who had been recommended by their club team coaches. There was no cost to the athlete and all evaluations were done during regular pool play.
Based on the positive feedback received from the pilot program at PDS, the USA Field Hockey Futures Program has decided to offer similar selection opportunities at the 2016 National Hockey Festival being held in West Palm Beach, Fla. November 24-27. Details about those selection opportunities will be announced in the lead up to the event.
REGIONAL TEAMS (U-16 & U-19 only)
Regional Teams are be selected at the Regional Futures Tournaments. Some regions will have multiple teams per age group based on the number of athletes participating in that region. The Regional Teams are coached by the top coaches in that region and under go an additional weekend-long training (8 hours) before the National Futures Championship. At the National Futures Championship, the Regional Teams compete against one another.
NATIONAL FUTURES CHAMPIONSHIP
The Regional Teams compete at the National Futures Championship each June. Through athletes participation at the National Futures Championship they have an opportunity for selection to advanced USA Field Hockey Olympic Development Programs. The following selection opportunities are available directly from the National Futures Championship.
JUNIOR NATIONAL CAMP
The Junior National Camp is the premier camp for Under-21 athletes, comprised of the top 110 athletes selected from the National Futures Championship. Based on their performances from the camp, athletes may earn selection to additional USA Field Hockey programs including the U.S. U-17, U-19 and U-21 Women's National Teams.
AAU JUNIOR OLYMPIC GAMES
The Amateur Athletic Union’s premier multi-sport event, the AAU Junior Olympic Games bring together more than 12,000 athletes to compete in 24 sports. In the sport of field hockey, USA Field Hockey selects eight U-16 teams to participate in the annual event. The event provides U-16 athletes the opportunity to experience an Olympic-like multi-sport competition while enjoying the camaraderie and inspiration from other top athletes in other featured sports.
U.S. JUNIOR WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAMS
Following Junior National Camp, where athletes showcase their skills in front of National Team selectors, the U.S.
U-21, U-19 and U-17 Women's National Team head coaches name athletes to the U.S. Junior Women's National Teams. These athletes will have the opportunity to represent Team USA internationally and junior international competitions as well as at an annual friendly test series abroad.