Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Mar. 26, 2017 — The ugliness spreads

We’re less than a week out from the scheduled start of the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

But the host nation, the United States, may not be able to field a team for the opening game against Canada.

Members of the U.S. women’s elite pool are boycotting the tournament in a search for equitable pay, but there is an entrenched group of members of the USA Hockey Board of Directors who voted down a proposal at a meeting last week that would have significantly increased pay and benefits.

As a result, USA Hockey has reportedly been contemplating a team of strikebreakers. These would include Division III athletes, other college and high-school players, and postgraduates.

Yet, according to numerous sources, these players have rejected the initial overtures of the USA Hockey selectors. While many of the potential strikebreakers have expressed an unwillingness to get in the middle of this dispute, and others have talked about their relative inexperience at this level, there’s one easy reason why USA Hockey doesn’t have a wisp of a chance to recruit replacement players: no incentive.

Think about it: if the U.S. team is only paid $1,000 a month in the six months leading into an Olympics and nothing at any other time, strikebreakers wouldn’t be getting any more than the striking players — which is nothing.

The U.S. women’s national hockey team is also getting some interesting and powerful allies in their boycott: elite U.S. men’s national team players and members of the United States Senate.

Stay tuned. This could get interesting.




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