Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for September 6, 2011

Sept. 6, 2011 — … but is this 4-0 result enough to set off the panic button?

Today’s Game of the Day
Denver Cocalico (Pa.) at Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.)
The winner of the 2009 PIAA Class AAA championship takes on the second-place team from the 2010 PIAA Class AAA final in what should be a good early tuneup for a couple of teams expected to go deep in the tournament again this year.

It’s one month before the Pan American Games begin in Guadalajara. And in a series of home Tests, the U.S. women’s national team has dropped consecutive matches to New Zealand, including a 4-0 defeat yesterday.

I think it was Mike Tyson who one said, “Everyone has a plan, until they get hit in the mouth.”

The overall plan for improving the American field hockey effort on the world stage has certainly felt that way in recent months, and, to be quite frank, the folks at USA Field Hockey have hit the same kind of obstacles that U.S. Soccer has over the last 20 years in trying to build a competent and effective men’s national team to go along with its women’s team.

The obstacles are the same: multiple sets of rules within the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations.

But there is a big difference. You didn’t have the Barcelona Polo Club lure Katie O’Donnell to playing European club hockey at the age of 16 like a young Leo Messi. Hockey is still very much an amateur sport worldwide.

India, in trying to professionalize the sport through the India Hockey Federation and a series of games being prepared for 2013, is seemingly being penalized for tying to raise the profile of the sport. Yesterday, the world governing body of the sport moved the 2011 men’s Champions’ Trophy out of India because the IHF is being seen as a competing national governing body of the sport alongside Hockey India, which is in charge of the national team.

“It is a fundamental and non-negotiable requirement of the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes that there is only be one governing body for any one sport in any country with exclusive authority and responsibility to govern, organize national competitions and to enter national teams in international competitions,” an FIH statement says.

Of course, given the NCAA’s de facto leadership in terms of developing field hockey players, I wonder if a strict interpretation of these requirements puts the United States at odds with the FIH as well.

What do you think?