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USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of January 24, 2011

Jan. 25, 2011, 12:52 p.m. (ET)


Week of January 24, 2011

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of January 24, 2011  


It is a critical year for the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team.
The year is starting off well for the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team as they have successfully completed a sweep of the Canadian national team in a match series conducted last week at Chula Vista, California’s Olympic Training Center. The composition of the team has changed somewhat from last year’s team as national team coach Lee Bodimeade is striving to fill some holes principally oriented toward upgrading offense (i.e. scoring goals). In this first round of competitions, the new composition proved successful. It is early in the year and critical matches lie ahead. The most critical of the year will be the Pan American Games to be staged in Mexico this October. The gold medalists from those games will automatically qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. That would be a huge relief if the USA comes home with the gold. If we are not successful at the Pan American Games, the final qualifying effort would be an Olympic qualifier that would be staged subsequent to the Pan American Games in early 2012.
Overall our impression with this team is one of confident team members who are willing to go all out and take risks. That is what sport is all about, and I am/we are looking forward to the progress of this group throughout the rest of the year.

February 1st National Clubs Championship Application Day Looms Ahead. USA Field Hockey’s new signature event, the USA Field Hockey National Club Championship for U19 and U17 will accept club applications beginning on Tuesday, February 1st at 10 am MT (12 noon EST). The event will take place on July 21-24th at Richmond, Virginia’s SportsQuest.  This year’s entries will be accepted on a first come/first served basis. We anticipate much interest so get your entries in promptly. The process will be highlighted in our website later this week and also in next week’s report.

And, it is a two way street. Last week I reported on an incident of an umpire being pinned against a wall by an unhappy parent. I received quite a number of responses regarding that episode. Most were decisively concerned about civility in sport and that each constituency within sport be accorded respect. However, there were several who wanted to voice a viewpoint that there is a two way street in most situations. Consistency in calls seems to be the biggest concern from parents and coaches. Regardless of the perspective of our various groups the fact remains that civility and respect must be maintained during contests. Most often it is the parents that seem to generate the majority of the acrimony. Believe me, being a parent and watching a child perform and thinking the child is cheated by a call or by a coach not inserting that child into the game can arouse a lot of emotion. I get those calls every week. However, regardless of what disgruntles a parent the competition arena is no place for harassment of any sort.
To help ameliorate these concerns, USA Field Hockey is taking a huge step in contracting a National Umpire and Technical Manager with responsibility to recruit more umpires, to train (to help achieve consistency in rule enforcement), to mentor umpires and develop umpires up through the various umpire certifications. In addition, this person will help provide professional protocols and guidelines for a safe environment for our umpire group.  

In next week’s report, we will announce the person selected to assume that role. 

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: “A 30-second trailer for Justin Bieber’s new movie is going to air right after the Super Bowl. Incidentally, “Super Bowl” is also the name of Justin Bieber’s haircut.”

Have a great week!

Steve Locke

Executive Director

USA Field Hockey