TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

May 26, 2015 — Advocating a win 

This evening, the school board in Loudoun County, Va. voted to change the athletic structure for the schools under its purview, allowing for not only fully-funded varsity programs, but also self-funded varsity programs as well as athletic endeavors not sanctioned by the Virginia High School League (VHSL).

In a separate vote, the Board brought in field hockey as a varsity sport as early as the fall of 2016.

The vote will trigger one of the largest expansions of the sport in the U.S. since at least the early 1990s. As many as 15 new programs, from one of the fastest-developing regions in the United States, could join the ranks of varsity teams in the VHSL.

As we detailed in “The Civil War” a few years ago, the sport has been growing on the club level, with Potomac Field Hockey qualifying teams to the National Club Championship. More recently, there has been league play between the schools’ club sides.

There is certainly more work to do when it comes to bringing varsity field hockey into fruition. A couple of schools have not yet shown the interest to form a team, and a couple of others have yet to fully form their club sides.

There will be issues when it comes to field access; artificial turf pitches at these schools are not lined for the sport, and there may have to be some reallocation of competition surfaces in situations where schools cannot simply “build out.”

Still, tonight’s vote is the capstone of a lot of hard work. All of this wouldn’t have happened without not only the organizers of Potomac Field Hockey, but it also took parents and players who bought into the idea of varsity field hockey, as well as the umpires who took on the extra work.

A hearty “well-played!” from this corner.

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