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Archive for June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021 — What USA Field Hockey can learn from a USA Lacrosse broadcast

This evening, on the boutique Lacrosse Sports Network, a broadcast from Sparks, Md., originally billed as an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. women’s national lacrosse team during its training camp turned into something else.

The “Behind The Dream” broadcast was, in essence, a telethon (without the telephones, mind you). The show featured interviews with U.S. candidate players like Taylor Cummings, Charlotte North, Marie McCool, and Izzy Scane, as well as figures within USA Lacrosse such as assistant coach Joe Spallina. The action on the pitch was secondary; there was no play-by-play of what was going on; the broadcast was heavy on the fundraising end.

The show raised about $14,000 in the first hour, with another 19 days left in the fundraising period.

This is something that USA Field Hockey has never done. They have fundraised with silent auction and with golf tournaments. But they’ve never put a fundraiser on TV, either cable or streaming, to reach a wider audience.

Too, I picked up on something that USA Lacrosse chair Sol Kumin said during his sideline interview. He said, “Our national team is our most valuable asset.”

That is something you do not hear from the people who run field hockey in this country. Instead, it seems to me as though the asset given the greatest priority are the players from 17 to 22 years of age who matriculate from the Futures and/or Nex-US program into the high-performance pool.

Once these players leave college, they can either be on the U.S. women’s national roster, or they will drift off into the world of coaching or the working world, never to return. There is no post-graduate national field hockey league for potential national team players or Olympic hopefuls.

Perhaps a little fundraising, or outreach to organizations to Athletes Unlimited, is in order here.