Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Nov. 27, 2006 — Field hockey on the frozen tundra?

Saw a segment on SportsCenter last night about the football team at Barrow High School in Alaska, parts of which you can see and read through this link.

But there could be an even more amazing sport introduction in the offing if the right resources come together.

When it was pointed out that the Juneau public schools were out of Title IX compliance a few years ago, a poll was distributed to female high-school students in the Alaskan capital. The sports on the ballot included the game of field hockey, which, given the fact that a day field hockey camp was available at one local facility for the first time over the summer, might have given hope that the sport would take root in our 49th state.

The female students’ first choice was snowboarding. But logistics and costs (realistically, how many high-school officials know how to judge a frontside 540 off the inside edge?) forced the Alaska School Activities Association to pick an alternative. That choice? Girls’ flag football.

The first season saw some excitement amongst the players and new experiences for female athletes who may not have had a chance to play a varsity sport which requires quick changes of motion, speed, and skill — even though there are no scholarships for flag football in college.

Which makes you wonder if there is room for field hockey — a sport which does offer  opportunities to play after high school — in Alaska schools.

Of course, in places as far-flung as Barrow, it may be impossible to get the game organized. There is no grass — even artificial grass — in some places north of Anchorage. But with the number of installation of artificial competition surfaces nationwide, you wonder if someone will get the notion to get the sport going in Alaska.

It could happen.

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