USA Field Hockey NEWS A New Chapter

A New Chapter

By Keely Tamer, USA Field Hockey's Michigan State Chapter President | Sept. 02, 2020, 10:10 a.m. (ET)

In collaboration with USA Field Hockey, we are very excited to launch the Michigan State Chapter, a pilot program. We are a group of field hockey enthusiasts who live within the state and are passionate about this great sport. Like in the other State Chapters such as California and Kentucky, the sport here at home has been slow growing. The goal of the State Chapters is revving up to shift that pace into a higher gear.

At the Michigan State Chapter, we have been focused on how the tools that USA Field Hockey provides can be utilized to grow field hockey in our state. High school coaches have talked about growth for many years, but without a formal organized structure, the effort often fizzled out. Early enthusiasm and creative sparks gave way to busy work schedules, team management, lack of support and direction-less work. By partnering, we have been able to create structure, divide tasks, understand the process of growth and re-energize the passions within our field hockey community.

Below is a glimpse at the plan for Michigan. California and Kentucky will be developing their own volunteer boards, identifying their own needs, creating their own action plan and executing on their own timeline. Several needs will overlap with the work being done in Michigan, while other tasks will be state specific. The power of the regionalization plan will provide a necessary connection between board members and committees in each state while also creating a clear link to USA Field Hockey for resources and support.

Accomplished since January:

  • Established and approved a board and committee chairs.
  • Began strategic planning.
  • Established timeline, goals, vision and metrics.
  • Worked with USA Field Hockey to design a logo.
  • Developed youth development survey for Athlete Directors about Recreation/Middle School programs.
  • Started creation of a website.
  • Gauged interest in adult play.

While the Board has spent the first quarter of 2020 in the planning phase, we look optimistically to the final three quarters of the year when the work will begin.

Plans:

  • Convening committees to effect change in the state, bring more energy to the movement and allow for expansion to happen at a quicker pace. Look to increase committee members. Committees will work on boys programming, scholastic growth, recreational growth, youth Lifetime Engagement programming Umpire Development and Coach Development.
  • Jump-start recreation and education programs. With oversight of three different board members plans were made to begin recreation programs in three areas of the state. These locals all have high school programs but the feeder system is either non-existent or in need of more programming.
  • Formation of an adult league - plans to launch an adult league in Brighton, Mich. soon. This centrally located facility made sense for the adult field hockey community in Michigan.
  • Sponsoring/developing scholastic athlete celebrations and recognitions.
  • Working with umpires in the state to enhance umpire identification and education utilizing American Development Model (ADM) resources to develop coaches at the recreational level.
  • Utilizing ADM resources to work with physical education teachers to add field hockey to intermediate and middle school curriculum.
  • Partnering with school districts that sponsor high school field hockey
    to create middle school programs where needed and welcomed.

Our overall plan includes a 5-year vision for the future of Michigan field hockey. Here is what we’d like to see happening by 2025.

Vision for 2025:

  • Active Lifetime Engagement.
  • Growth of high school programs along the I-96 corridor that connect East and West, within already established leagues, and in neighboring/rival schools.
  • Growth of the college field hockey community.
  • In addition to the growth of the sport in numbers, the level of play in the state will have risen and will be recognized by continued selection of Michigan athletes for Junior National Teams and All-American programs.
  • Michigan Teams will succeed at national tournaments.

Our goal is to achieve widespread growth. We want to see more people, more localities and more school districts in Michigan offering and playing field hockey. Our ultimate dream would be to see boys, girls and adults playing in leagues all over the state and in tournaments across the country.

We recognize that the finish line will be long coming. But we are optimistic that our 5-year goals are achievable with focused and consistent effort. We would love to have your help with our initiative in making field hockey a mainstream sport in Michigan. If you have ideas, suggestions and/or if you live in Michigan, and would like to be part of a committee, please email us at michigan@usafieldhockey.com.

If you have any questions about the Michigan Stage Chapter please contact Keely Tamer, President of the Michigan State Chapter, at michiganpresident@usafieldhockey.com. If you have any questions about State Chapters in general, please reach out to Sally Goggin, USA Field Hockey's National Development Director, at sgoggin@usafieldhockey.com.

This article was featured in the Spring 2020 issue of FHLife magazine. To read more inspiring, knowledge-packed and fun features revolving around hockey, fitness, healthy eating and how to strengthen your game, subscribe to our quarterly publication or to order additional copies, clicking here.