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Archive for November 9, 2006

Nov. 9, 2006 — A call for statistics

Howard Thomas, the director of public relations for USA Field Hockey, the national governing body of the sport, has assembled a pretty good historical record of winners of state high school championships (or league championships in the absence of a state governing body such as the Midwestern Athletic Association for greater St. Louis).

There are, however, some gaps. There are a number of competitions, independent from Federation play, which could be included, such as the winners of the New England Preparatory Schools Athletic Conference, the Independent Athletic Association of Maryland and the New Jersey Independent Schools Athletic Association.

Mind you, I know that this could open a sizable can of worms when it comes to the question, “What constitutes a champion?”

After all, there are several championships which are “nested;” the champion of the Independent School League can also play for the championship of the Virginia Independent School League unless that champion is located in Maryland or the District of Columbia. The New York Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association and the Women’s Western New England Preparatory Schools Athletic Association are among the competitive bodies who send their best teams into the NEPSAC tournaments. 

Others are just “league” titles without playing a single-elimination tournament, such as the Mid-Atlantic Prep League. Some tournament have been contested from just a very small pool of teams, such as the Philadelphia Public League (now District 12 in the PIAA), the Philadelphia Catholic League, the Inter-Ac and Friends School Leagues in suburban Philadelphia, and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

There is a lot of hockey history out there that is not on the State High School Champions’ page, as evidenced by the story I learned of Winston-Salem R.J. Reynolds (N.C.) which had won a state field hockey championship in 1926. Who won the titles before and after Reynolds? I’m sure there are lot of coaches and other figures out there with record books of some sort that could add an unprecedented depth and breadth of information. Follow the directions here and let Howard know how you can help.