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Archive for August 7, 2018

Aug. 7, 2018 — And the cost

This morning, the newest calculations for the FIH womens world rankings were released.

With the United States’ fourth-place finish in the 2014 World Cup now out of the equation, and with the States’ third-place finish in the 2017 Pan Am Cup and the awarding of 14th-place points from the most recent World Cup, the United States are the biggest droppers in the Top 35, down five places to twelfth. Indeed, they fell four points below China, which finished 16th and last at this World Cup.

But there a possible silver lining to this cloud. That comes with the start of the FIH Hockey Pro League early in 2019. Four teams currently ranked above the Americans — Korea, Ireland, Spain, and India — are not part of the Pro League, and won’t receive rankings points from this competition.

I don’t think this particular fall from the Top 10 is going to affect the Americans’ chances to play in the second HPL in 2021, at least not on paper. We don’t know, for example, the severity of the economic penalty that the United States Olympic Committee will exact on USA Field Hockey’s budget.

Since the reign of Norman Blake started punitive budgeting for athletic competitions that do not succeed, there has also been the USOC’s penchant for mining medals in individual competitions at the expense of team sports.

This cannot be good for field hockey — women’s or men’s.

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