Four USA Representatives Move Up in FIH Official Ranks

Oct. 05, 2017, 9:04 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – October 5, 2017 – A week ago, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced more upgrades to the International Umpire, Technical Officials and Umpire Manager Lists. The reformat came in March when the Committee and Panel structures that oversees the management and development of the sport changed to align with the Hockey Revolution strategy. USA Field Hockey is pleased to state that umpire Gus Soteriades was promoted to the FIH World Development Panel and umpire Maggie Befort to the FIH Promising Umpire List. Steve Horgan, USA Field Hockey’s Director of Umpiring, also was promoted to a Grade 1 Umpire Manager and Lurah Hess was upgraded to a Category 2 Technical Official. All upgrades are for outdoor hockey.

The FIH Umpire Rating process consists of five tiers, including International, Promising Umpire List, Grade 1, World Development Panel and World Panel. Soteriades’s promotion puts him one step closer to the top level of international umpiring.

"While this might show as an individual honor, it could not be achieved without the help of those that helped me begin my career - Catherine Brown, Pat Hayes, Barb Carreiro and Roque Viegas, and also all of those that I've been privileged to work with on and off the pitch," commented Soteriades. "It's not something that I could have ever achieved alone. My immediate and Big Fat Hockey Family has definitely helped me to step to the level. I can't explain how lucky I am."

I feel honored and privileged,” said Befort. “Umpiring has been a surprisingly great way to stay involved with the sport I love. I must credit this milestone to the many people who helped me get here andI look forward to making the most of this excellent opportunity."

The FIH Umpire Managers rankings go from Potential for International, International, Grade 1 to World Panel. Horgan’s promotion places him as the only USA representative in the Grade 1 Umpire Manager category. Dean Wenrich currently sits in the Potential for International group.

“It’s a great honor and privilege to represent USA Field Hockey and PAHF as an Umpire Manager,” said Horgan. “Many thanks to everyone who has helped me in this process. It is a continual learning experience and I hope that I can give back to both organizations with the education achieved.”

The FIH Technical Officials list entails five categories, starting with Category 5 for Promising International Technical Official up to Category 1 for Technical Director FIH World Level Events. Hess’ upgrade makes her the only USA representative on the Category 2 FIH Technical Officials list and only Pan American Hockey Federation woman sitting in Category 2.

"I'm honored to be a part of such a strong group of USA Umpires, Umpire Managers and Officials,” commented Hess. “Promotions represent hard work, a bit of luck and a strong group of people who provided invaluable support to help you grow along the way. I'm thankful for the support I received from Roque Viegas as I began technical officiating, Steve Horgan and USA Field Hockey for providing opportunities along the way. Rachael Bloemker and Nigel Traverso for providing a program within Junior Premier Hockey where technical officials can develop, and so many others from the hockey community who continue to share invaluable lessons."

In July 2017, Maggie Giddens and Suzi Sutton were both promoted to the World Development Panel and Grant Hundley moved into Grade 1. Back in April 2017, Mary Driscroll was promoted to the Promising Umpire List.

For a complete list of FIH Official Upgrades and Placements, click here.

FIH Umpiring Committee Representation in the USA (as of September 2017):

Outdoor Hockey

  • World Panel – Amy Baxter (W)
  • World Development Panel – Gus Soteriades (M) & Maggie Giddens, Suzi Sutton (W)
  • Grade 1 – Saleem Aaron, Grant Hundley (M) & Stephanie Judefind (W)
  • Promising Umpire List – Maggie Befort & Mary Driscoll (W)
  • International – Ridge Bair, Benjamin Peters, Lance Sarabia (M)

Indoor Hockey

  • Grade 1 – Gus Soteriades (M) & Stephanie Judefind (W)
  • International – Maggie Giddens (W)

FIH Tournament Directors/Technical Officers Representation in the USA (as of September 2017):

  • Category 2 – Lurah Hess (W)
  • Explanation: TD FIH World Level Events (Tier 2 Properties/CF Championships/Qualifying Tournaments for World Level Events
  • Category 3 – Rene Zelkin (W)

FIH Umpires Managers Representation in the USA (as of September 2017):

  • Grade 1 – Steve Horgan (M Outdoor)
  • Potential for International – Dean Wenrich (M Indoor)

FIH Video Umpires Representation in the USA (as of June 2017):

  • International – Grant Hundley (M) & Amy Baxter (W)