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Archive for December 3, 2018

Dec. 3, 2018 — BULLETIN: Pacific to fold its field hockey tent, a major setback for the sport out West

The state of California is the sixth largest economy in the world. Yet, somehow, it has trouble in this modern age supporting a competitive league for varsity collegiate field hockey.

Today, it was announced that the University of the Pacific would be discontinuing the sport to save a million dollars from its athletics programs. Field hockey, according to a press release sent out by the school, is the only sport which is being affected at the Stockton, Calif. campus.

There have been rumblings on social media for a couple weeks about this impending move, and there may yet be a successful fundraising campaign designed to keep the sport afloat.

But as we posited a few weeks ago, the road (and road trips) for both field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams west of the Mississippi are difficult ones. Without a major conference to back the participating teams, there is no automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, something which will be happening in 2019 with field hockey and 2021 with women’s lacrosse except for the fortunate sides which are in the Pac-12.

Truth be told, however, so much of what is going on with teams currently playing these two sports is completely dependent on the landscape of college conferences which have gone from regional to national footprints.

And, that being said, why is it that many of these schools can afford to send 85 football players and a large coaching staff to road games two time zones away, and yet can’t sustain a group of 20 women who want to play?