SAINT MICHAEL, Barbados – USA Field Hockey is excited to announce that four umpires and technical staff members have been appointed to the 2023 Junior Pan American Championships. Taking place April 10 to 18 at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Saint Michael, Barbados, this is the most USA representation at this junior men’s and women’s qualifying event since 1997.
Appointed as a technical official is Aaron Dudek and as an umpire manager is Steve Horgan. Set to have a whistle in hand is Allie Mikelson and Brian Tyson.
“It’s fantastic to see USA Field Hockey so well represented in the technical officials department,” said Sean Rapaport, USA Field Hockey’s Head of Umpiring. “Allie and Brian, as two of our most promising young umpires, get an opportunity to make their mark on the international stage. If the talent, hard work and dedication displayed by them to get to this point are anything to go by, they will kick on for many years into the future. Steve and Aaron bring a huge amount of experience to the table and are phenomenal assets at any tournament they attend. We wish them all great success at this very important event.”
Dudek started umpiring in 2002 after learning how to play the sport. Since then he has been involved in all aspects and levels of the game, officiating at USA Field Hockey’s National Events, United States Field Hockey League, California Cup, AAU Junior Olympic Games, Junior Premier Hockey events, high school and college matches, and various other tournaments.
In 2016, Dudek had his first opportunity as a technical official at the Big Apple Indoor Tournament, and a year later he received his initial international appointment at the 2017 Indoor Pan American Cup in Guyana. This was followed by selection to the 2018 FIH Hockey Series Open in Mexico, 2019 and 2022 FIH Hockey Pro League (judge), 2021 Indoor Pan American Cup in Pennsylvania, 2022 Pan American Cup in Chile, 2023 Rohrmax Cup in Austria, and many regional events and international test series.
Dudek holds several certifications including being USA Field Hockey Level 3 Indoor and Outdoor Umpire rated, International Hockey Federation (FIH) Level 1 and 2 Technical Official and Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Level 1 Technical Official certified.
"I'm excited to have this opportunity to go to Junior Pan American Championships as a technical official with a great technical and umpiring team and see the next generation of players compete," commented Dudek.
A field hockey official since 1983, Horgan has worked virtually every level of the game from club and high school contests to the Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He also has umpired NCAA contests at every division. On the international stage, he has officiated 85 contests, which include World Cups and the Pan American Games in addition to the Olympics Games. He has been an umpire manager for every season of the FIH Hockey Pro League so far.
Horgan worked for USA Field Hockey as a rules interpreter in 2008, went on to be the part-time director of umpiring in 2011 and became full-time in 2012. In July 2022, he retired from his position after dedicating more than 14 years to the organization.
"It is always a great honor to represent USA Field Hockey at an important international tournament,” added Horgan. “This tournament will also allow our young up and coming umpires to experience a very high level of competition and intensity, helping them to advance up the international umpiring ladder. To be able to work with our umpires over the years has given me much joy. It will be a pleasure to help guide Allie and Brian along their journey."
After playing collegiately at the University of Delaware, Mikelson started umpiring at her local club, Firestyx, back in 2015. Her first experience officiating at the elite-level came in March 2022 when she was picked to umpire at the CanAm Indoor Series between the U.S. Men’s National Indoor Team and Canada. A month later she was appointed as an official at the women’s 2022 Central American and Caribbean Games in Bermuda.
Mikelson is currently an NCAA official at all levels.
“I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to represent USA as an umpire at the Junior Pan American Championship and want to thank all of those who have mentored me and continue to support me in this journey,” commented Mikeson.
Tyson is an emerging umpire on the international scene, having experience at many of USA Field Hockey’s Regional and National Events, and at the high school and college levels. He first picked up a whistle when he was 15 years old, doing middle school and junior varsity games. A few years later he found himself officiating throughout the high school season and was appointed to the Virginia High School Association and Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association State Championships. In 2022, he had his first taste of NCAA officiating, doing many top collegiate matches and being assigned to the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Already in 2023, Tyson officiated during the Junior Premier Indoor League and Big Apple Indoor International Championship. Certified as a USA Field Hockey Level 2 Indoor and Outdoor Umpire, this event will be his first international competition.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to represent USA Field Hockey at the Junior Pan Am Championships,” said Tyson. “I look forward to meeting a new community of umpires while attending the championship."
For more information regarding the 2023 Junior Pan American Championship, visit the event page.