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Archive for January 31, 2022

Jan. 31, 2022 — Thoughts heading into our transition

Tomorrow, we start emphasizing our lacrosse coverage as Division I universities and southern high schools begin play in February.

As we do this, we can try to gain a sense of perspective as to what has happened in field hockey the last seven months or so.

While we’ve seen a number of records fall in the scholastic game, we had a situation in the U.S. college game that we haven’t see before. North Carolina, which seemingly had a shot at a fourth straight national championship, didn’t qualify for the Final Four. Even with virtually the same offense, the Heels, having to absorb everything that their opponents threw at them in terms of tactics and strategy, could not answer every challenge.

Ultimately, what we were left with, in the last week, was the failure of the U.S. women’s national team to qualify for the FIH World Cup, the second consecutive major tournament for which the U.S. has failed to qualify. Since women’s field hockey became an Olympic sport, putting World Cups and Olympics on, generally, an every-other-year schedule, the U.S. has never failed to qualify for two consecutive major tournaments, whether the World Cup or an Olympics.

Indeed, the only other time the U.S. did not play in two consecutive majors, the States fell short of qualifying for the 1981 World Cup just after the Western boycott of Moscow 1980. Since then, the Applebees have qualified for 15 out of the next 21 major tournaments.

I have posted on Unfiltered what I have thought of this development. These videos speak for themselves; go see them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

As this site heads into Year 24 for field hockey in August, I see a broken and discouraged sport which needs some kind of remediation and the need to do something counter to what has been done before in terms of how the sport is run at the high-performance level.

And it says here that not even the promise of a multi-million-dollar sports science factory in Kannapolis, N.C. can help.