Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Feb. 4, 2021 — A trailblazing umpire’s whistle falls silent

Mary Jane Zimmerman died last week. A Hall of Fame athlete from East Stroudsburg University, a former goalkeeper within the U.S. women’s national field hockey team system, and the former head coach of Lebanon Cornwall (Pa.), she served the American field hockey system for decades.

But perhaps her longest-lasting contribution was as an internationally-rated umpire. According to the text of her obituary, she was one of the first 35 game officials to receive an international ranking within the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations.

As such, her work as an international official represented progress for world field hockey.

You see, when the game of field hockey came to our shores, there wasn’t a ready-made pool of field hockey game officials. Think about that for a moment: what kind of people could you find and train up in the intricacies of arcane field hockey rules if you were trying to organize a game in the early 1900s?

Zimmerman would later marry and have a family, one which extended to three generations by the time of her passing last week. She leaves a long legacy, one which should be celebrated.

1 Comment»

  Pat Rudy wrote @

I am pretty sure that Mary Jane Zimmerman went to Slippery Rock not East Stroudsburg.

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