All the news for Wednesday 9 September 2015
Hockeyroos clinch series
Slattery & Nance seal 2-0 in third game of Korean series
Kathryn Slattery helped seal the series victory
Kathryn Slattery’s deflection four minutes into the second quarter and Gabrielle Nance’s first international goal helped the Hockeyroos seal a 2-0 victory over Korea in their final match of the series.
Dominating their attacking half in the first quarter, the Hockeyroos created themselves valuable opportunities, however, struggled to break through a robust Korean defence with goalkeeper Ji Soo Jang denying Australia’s firepower.
Switching up the play in the second quarter paid dividends for the girls in green and gold. Four minutes after the quarter time siren, Western Australian Kathryn Slattery arrived on the penalty spot and deflected the ball past Jang high into the back on the net, setting the Hockeyroos up with a 1-0 lead.
Following three minutes later, Hockeyroos forward Gabrielle Nance found herself eliminating Korean defenders which opened up a valuable opportunity to shoot from the edge of the circle. Her powerful strike was unwittingly deflected into the goal by the Korean defender to hand Nance her first international goal.
In the third quarter, the Hockeyroos received their first penalty corner opportunity in the 33rd minute. At the top of the Hockeyroos battery, recent debutant Madison Fitzpatrick fired a powerful drag flick, however, Korean substitute keeper Heabin Jung stretched out denying her access.
It was the Korean forwards keeping Australian goalkeeper Ashlee Wells on her toes in the final 15 minutes of play. Cool, calm and collected, Wells blocked several oncoming opportunities from Korea, after they broke through a lapsed Australian defence.
Running into the circle with minutes remaining on the clock, Kathryn Slattery’s intentions were clear, however, the pressure from the Korean defence had her struggling to keep the ball under control.
Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens said, “It was excellent that we got the result but I think we were a little bit loose in the back. They [Korea] created too many chances for my liking.
“There were some really good pieces of play and we were unlucky not to score a few more than we did, which is positive. We just need to tighten up some things in the back and then we’ll have a pretty good team performance.”
Reflecting on the national women’s camp and Korean series over the past week, Commens added, “It’s been a great couple of weeks. We saw 36 young players that are coming through and then from those 36 we’ve used 23 of them in this series. It’s a great opportunity for those players to play against a quality international opponent and to see where they sit in terms of their selection in the lead up to the Olympic squad selection at the end of the year.
“I’m really happy with what I’ve seen. There’s a number of young players that have taken a big step since the start of the year and certainly we’ve got a great batch of youngsters coming through. They’ll be vying for those valuable spots for the Olympic spots in Rio.”
The Hockeyroos will now look towards the Oceania Cup in New Zealand in October, where they will face trans-Tasman rivals the New Zealand Black Sticks, Fiji and Samoa before heading across to Argentina to play in the 2015 World League finals in December. Before then, Australia’s players will return to play for their home state and territory teams in the Australian Hockey League in Sydney, which begins 25 September.
Hockeyroos v Korea, Match 3 of 3
Perth, Western Australia
HOCKEYROOS 2 (0)
Kathyrn Slattery 19 (FG)
Gabrielle Nance 22 (FG)
KOREA 0 (0)
Hockey Australia media release
Indian junior hockey eves await China test
Indian Junior women hockey team captain Rani Rampal (Right) celebrates wiith a teammate. Rani Rampal scored four goals including hat-trick as India started their campaign at the seventh women’s Junior Asia Cup on a resounding note by humiliating DPR Korea by 13-0 in Changzhou on Saturday.
After registering two easy wins over North Korea and Singapore, India will be tested to the core when they face China in their third Pool A match of the seventh Women’s Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday.
India hammered the Koreans 13-0 and followed it up by scoring a dozen against Singapore. However, they face a strong China team that also warmed up well with 11-0 against North Korea.
“We have played supremely well in the last matches and hope to continue the momentum in the next clash against China. Each match of the pool phase is important as it will help us to perform more confidently in the knock-out phase,” India coach Baljeet Singh said on Tuesday.
“China is indeed a very strong team and the girls will have to stick to their strategies and continue to motivate themselves to play better from the last game played.”
The two teams met at the Volvo Invitational Under-21 tournament in the Netherlands in July where India lost to China 2-4.
However, ahead of the Wednesday’s match, the Indians have worked extensively at training to deal with China’s long passes and will aim to dominate the midfield to create maximum goal-scoring prospects.
India will depend on their captain Rani Rampal, experienced Poonam Rani and Anupa Barla in the attack, while vice captain Navjot Kaur, M. Lily Chanu and Lilima Minz will shoulder the midfield responsibilities.
Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo and Jaspreet Kaur are expected to play crucial roles in defence.
“I am really happy with the fact that we have won both the matches played till now. This has made us even more confident of playing the matches ahead. We intend to replicate the results in the next match against China,” Rani said.
“We aim for a better penalty corner conversion rate and make our attack even stronger in the m
Hockey coach Oltmans puts stress on defence
NEW DELHI: The Indian men's hockey team has a packed schedule in the lead-up to the Rio Olympics and keeping in mind the expectations, head coach Roelant Oltmans is working on different dynamics of the game which, he believes, will take the opponents by surprise.
"We want to be unpredictable and dynamic in our approach to play different styles. We are working on new strategies for different moments of the game with a variety of solutions...what that means for players on the pitch, their positioning during possession and non-possession situations," Oltmans said here on Tuesday.
The men's team is undergoing a three-week training programme at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium ahead of the Test series against New Zealand starting September 28. "We are playing the series to use different players at different moments and to see if the players have understood and are executing the game plan. Winning and losing is all part of the game," he said.
"For me, the result is not the most important thing. Of course, we always want to win. If we don't but still see improvement in key areas, I will still be a happy person," he added.
Oltmans said the team is working on its defence structure and showing improvement in every game was important. "If your defence is organized, one can attack much better. We are adding new parts to the defence in this camp," he said.
"The most important thing is to show progress in every game. After two matches against France and then Spain (in European Tour), the boys showed improvement. It was only in the final part of a dead game that we made a few wrong decisions that cost us goals," Oltmans, who is doubling up as the coach and high performance director after Paul van Ass was sacked by Hockey India, said.
Talking about the Hockey World League finals in Raipur from November 27 to December 6, Oltmans said India should enjoy the home advantage. "What is pressure? We are showing improvement and boys are enjoying what they are doing. The opponents will have to cope with different conditions. As a coach I have myself adjusted to such situations. So yes, it will be slightly advantageous but can't say anything about the results. It is a test moment for us," he pointed out.
"In India, we only look at the outcome. I always look at the process and at the end of it is the outcome and that is where we need to finish in Rio," he added.
Commenting on training under different coaches, Jasjit Singh Kular said the team was familiar with Oltmans and that it didn't lead to any drastic change. "There is not much change since the team had worked with Oltmans before. Yes, he has brought in defensive structure and counter-attacks," Jasjit, who made his debut in the 2014 World Cup, said.
Junior player of the year, Manpreet Singh, who is playing in skipper Sardar Singh's position, said the team has enough time to prepare for Rio. "I am playing centre-mid. This position requires a lot of patience, control and responsibility. We have 11 months, which is enough time to prepare for Rio," he said.
The Times of India
Oltmans says robust defence important for hockey team
NEW DELHI: India's men's hockey chief coach Roelant Oltmans on Tuesday said that a well-organised defence will hold the key for the team's fortunes in next year's Rio Olympic Games.
Oltmans, who is doubling up as High Performance Director and head coach after the ouster of Paul van Ass, said that he was working on building a solid defence and switching to different styles of play in different situations.
"Organisation of defence is very important. If your defence is well organised you have confidence while going for attack. If your defence is not well organised you can be in trouble in counter attacks," Oltmans said.
The Indian men's team is here for a three-week training stint till September 27 before leaving for New Zealand for a hockey Test series.
Asked about other areas which he would want to improve in the Indian team, he said, "We want to be unpredictable and dynamic, to be able to play in different styles according to different situations."
"In France and Spain (where the team toured recently), we tried to implement these things. We have very good players in attack who scored some very good goals like the one by Akashdeep and Ramandeep. We have rooms for improvement in attack. It's good to have some series in line so that we can see how we can apply these changes."
Asked if the Indian team was progressing in the right direction with less than a year left for the Rio Olympic Games, he said, "In India people always looked for results but we cannot always think about the result. The process is important.
"I am happy because I see the players improving everyday. They are learning new things and they are doing different things everyday.
"We are in the process of preparing ourselves for the end result. The end of the process is 11 months from now (Rio Olympics). All these tours and tournaments are just part of the process of preparing ourselves."
The Times of India
Oltmans wants strategy coach, and GPS technology
Demands strategy coach, match analyst, GPS tech to remove flaws
New Delh - With just about a year to go for the Rio Olympics, Roelant Oltmans, India’s hockey chief coach, has demanded an addition of key personnel to the support staff and the introduction of GPS technology to assess players’ fitness and stamina during match situations. The Dutchman recently approached Hockey India (HI) with three demands – the appointment of a full-time strategy coach, a match analyst, and a GPS system before the Hockey World League (HWL) Finals in Raipur in December.
Interestingly, Oltmans has already zeroed in on the candidate he wants as a strategy coach; the individual is from his own country, the Netherlands. “He will assist me in preparing a gameplan before the important tournaments. As a coach, I can’t always keep track of what’s happening around me. If I am going wrong somewhere, he would always come up with plan ‘B’ or ‘C’. His appointment is important, especially with just 11 months left for the Olympics. I’ve already shortlisted the name, I will soon approach the SAI and, hopefully, get him appointed,” Oltmans told The Tribune on Tuesday.
Talking about the match analyst, Oltmans said the candidate would be an Indian coach, and he would be required to provide much-needed information to video analyst, coaches and players through his statistical and performance-based intelligence.
On top of his wish list, however, is the GPS system. The inferences drawn through the system would help the players and the coaches in high-intensity tournaments like the HWL Finals and the Olympics. Oltmans has submitted his demand to the HI to provide all necessary GPS equipments as soon as possible. “All top hockey-playing nations have been using GPS technique to understand the physical abilities of their players. In today’s hockey where rolling substitution is prevalent, the GPS tracker will help me understand the physical abilities of our players better. More importantly, this will help us decide the duration for which we can keep a particular player on the field in the high-intensity matches,” he said.
Indian hockey’s main problem over the years has been that of conceding late goals. “That is because sometimes we fail to judge the fatigue factor of our players and concede goals towards the end of the game. The GPS training system can help us avoid that,” Oltmans added.
Oltmans said it would help him in achieving a “realistic aim” of finishing among the top-6 nations at the Rio Games. But for that to happen, a well-organised defence will hold the key. “I am working on building a solid defence and switching to different styles of play in different situations. We want to be unpredictable and dynamic.”
The Dutchman informed that Tushar Khandekar has replaced Jude Felix as the assistant coach of the national side. The Indian men's team is in the Capital for a three-week training stint till September 27.
No cake walk for hockey boys in Sultan of Johor Cup
By Aftar Singh
India, last year's winner of the Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament.
KUALA LUMPUR: It’s going to be a real test of their pedigree when the National Junior hockey team compete in next month’s Six-nation Sultan of Johor Cup.
With teams like India, Pakistan, Australia, Britain and debutants Argentina in the mix, Malaysia could find themselves facing a similar finish as last year - fifth with just one win.
India will be the favourites to retain the title, which they won after edging Britain 2-1 in the final.
This year’s tournament, the fifth in the series, will be held at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru from Oct 11-18.
Malaysia are also likely to use this tournament to gauge their strength against the likes of India and Pakistan for the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan from Nov 14-22.
The Kuantan tournament is the qualifying meet for next year’s Junior World Cup in New Delhi. Malaysia must finish in the top four to book a place.
Malaysia, powered by three national players – midfielder Meor Mohd Azuan Hasan and forwards Mohd Shahril Saabah and Mohd Samsul Haziq – will open their campaign against Britain on Oct 11.
National Juniors coach A. Arulselvaraj said the Johor tournament would give him the opportunity to test his players’ strength in preparation for the Junior Asia Cup.
Arulselvaraj said that his boys have been attending trainings every week from Mondays to Friday despite playing in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
“I’ve been pushing them hard in training and I must commend them for their commitment and dedication,” said Arulselvaraj.
“The final squad of 18 players will be named after a friendly against Britain on Oct 9.
“Our initial target is a podium finish,” added Arulselvaraj, who picked India and Britain as the title favourites.
The Star of Malaysia
AHL to be live streamed
All 48 games from men's and women's AHL competitions live online
In a first for Australian hockey, every one of the 48 games at this year’s men’s and women’s Australian Hockey League (AHL) events will be streamed live online.
In partnership with live streaming company Hockey Zone, which is owned by Brisbane Hockey, and thanks to the support of the eight state and territory hockey associations and their respective sponsors, 2880 minutes of live AHL hockey will be streamed from Darwin and Sydney between 25 September and 2 October.
It is the first time that live coverage of both competitions has been available in full.
In addition to the full match coverage, which will be available to watch on the Livestream platform, highlights of every goal from every day will be available to watch on Facebook each night after the end of the day’s play.
Amongst the early highlights, fans will be able to see defending men’s champs, Tassie Tigers, go head-to-head with 2013 Premiers Queensland on day one and the grudge match between Queensland Blades and NSW Waratahs on day two.
In the women’s competition, 2014 winners and hosts NSW Arrows face Canberra Labor Club Strikers on day one with Victoria’s Vixens and the NT Pearls getting things underway in the tournament’s opening clash.
Day one fixtures
Women’s AHL, Sydney
1:00pm AEST – VIC v NT
3:00pm AEST – QLD v SA
5:00pm AEST – WA v TAS
7:00pm AEST – NSW v ACT
Men’s AHL, Darwin
2:00pm ACST (2:30pm AEST) – NSW v SA
4:00pm ACST (4:30pm AEST) – TAS v QLD
6:00pm ACST (6:30pm AEST) – WA v VIC
8:00pm ACST (8:30pm AEST) – NT v ACT
Download the women's fixtures for the entire competition.
Download the men's fixtures for the entire competition.
Hockey Australia wishes to acknowledge the support of the state and territory associations and Brisbane Hockey through Hockey Zone in making this possible.
Hockey Australia media release
Harbour remain Ramesh Patel Shield leaders
North Harbour remain in control of the Ramesh Patel Shield standings after the opening two rounds of the Ford National Hockey League.
Harbour consolidated top spot on 84 points thanks to the North Harbour Men and Women going through two games undefeated.
The title is still up for grabs though, and will be decided after the Ford National Hockey League with Canterbury (76 points) and Auckland (67) hot on Harbour's heels.
CLICK HERE to see the full standings
The Ramesh Patel Shield was first introduced last year to recognise the best performing region over the three annual high performance tournaments – U21, U18 and the Ford National Hockey League.
Auckland took out the Ramesh Patel Shield In its inaugural year.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Racing face tricky opener in Lyon
Racing Club de France will begin their French title defence with a tough away trip to Lyon this Sunday for what is usually a tough fixture on the schedule.
They do so off the back of a short preseason with their full panel due to the recent European championships in London but they were boosted by a 4-1 win over Paris Jean Bouin in their latest warm-up match.
Maxime Cheron scored twice while there was also goals for Christopher Peters-Deutz and Nicolas Martin-Brisac while there was an impressive debut for Dylan Dominik, a new addition who made his French debut last June in a game against Japan.
Olivier Sanchez has moved on for work reasons and will play in Antibes in the French second division while Jean-David Koch, the highest scorer in France in two of the last three seasons, will focus on his law exams until November before potentially rejoining the panel.
Saint Germain start their campaign away to Paris Jean Bouin while CA Montrouge meet Le Touquet and Wattignies face Lille in the other opening games.
Euro Hockey League media release
Beerschot vs Dragons to be broadcast live
Belgium hockey fans received a big boost for the new Audi Hockey League season with the new that Be TV and Play Sports platforms will both broadcast matches from the upcoming season.
The first game on the agenda is the Antwerp derby between defending Belgian champions Dragons against Beerschot on Sunday, September 13 on the opening day of the season.
The tie is currently scheduled to be broadcast live on Be Sport 2 from 2.50pm (CET) on Sunday with a repeat of the game on Be Sport 1 at 9.30pm on Sunday evening.
On Play Sports, the game will be broadcast live on Sports 3 HD on Sunday afternoon.
It promises to be an exciting Belgian season with regular live broadcasts on the two stations in the pipeline while many top stars have returned to the Belgian league with Tom Boon, Thomas Briels, Simon Gougnard, Loick Luypaert and Elliot van Strydonck among those back from spells in the Netherlands.
Euro Hockey League media release
How Pakistan clicked at India’s first pro league
"They were crowd pullers, fans of the team having Pakistani playrs hero-worshipped them" - AFP/File
KOLKATA: The Indian sports management professional, who gave India its first inter-city pro league featuring a raft of foreign recruits, says players from across the western border were “crowd-pullers” at the event.
“Spectators cheered every move of Pakistani players, [made] either individually or in combination with their Indian teammates,” says Sabyasachi Dasgupta of the now-defunct Premier Hockey League (PHL), which he conceptualised and breathed life into.
“They were the crowd-pullers, fans of the team having Pakistani players hero-worshipped them,” Dasgupta told this correspondent. “I could not have visualised the league without the presence of these players.”
PHL was India’s first successful professional league across sporting disciplines when launched in 2005 – three years before cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) took off and became a phenomenon.
Not many remember this.
Perhaps even fewer remember that Pakistan accounted for the maximum number of overseas players in PHL – every year for the four-season tournament – totalling 24 in the end, when PHL stopped because of administrative problems within the Indian federation split.
By the time the PHL, comprising seven inter-city teams, folded up in 2008 – ironically in the same year that saw IPL’s lift-off – it had proved beyond doubt that home-grown sports managers were capable of running pro leagues.
Till then, in India as in the rest of the subcontinent, national sporting events were synonymous with the respective federations.
“PHL was the first professional, inter-city league not only in India but South Asia as well,” boasts Dasgupta, founder-managing director of the Kolkata-based Leisure Sports Management, one of the first such firms in the country.
“Show me another league, in any sport anywhere in South Asia … either here in India or in Pakistan, or elsewhere in the subcontinent … which had city-based teams with foreign players before 2005.
“I will give you the answer – there wasn’t any.”
PHL drew players from almost all major field hockey nations including Australia, the Netherlands, Spain and Argentina – apart from the two South Asian rivals.
Dasgupta recalls the scepticism he had faced when he proposed the league. “People told me it wouldn’t work in India, that there would be no takers for hockey at a time when cricket was so entrenched.”
That made him realise he needed to spice up his ideas if he wanted to make hockey a marketable sport. It was then that Dasgupta had a brainwave: why not induct foreign players, including Pakistanis?
In his view, “world hockey had no value” without these two neighbours. “An Indo-Pakistan ‘battle’ was considered not only royal but also the most crowd-pulling in any part of the world,” he says.
So to give his “vision a reality”, Dasgupta says he went to Lahore to meet the sport’s Pakistani administrators. “They were overwhelmed with the idea of the League and participation of their players,” he says.
Many of the Pakistani players represented army teams, and the federation officials “actively” worked to get them to play in the league. “Quite a few officials, like Naveed Khan who is now with football, remain close friends.”
Dasgupta also introduced several innovations to make the league a viewing spectacle. For instance, each game was split into four quarters of 17.5 minutes each instead of the standard two halves. This format also allowed more advertising time on television.
Similarly, third umpires and time-outs were introduced to liven up the game. The winner within the stipulated time was awarded three points, while the team winning in the extra time shared the points 2:1.
There were others too, and the International Hockey Federation has since then adopted a few.
PHL also introduced a few corporate practices in Indian sports. First, a separate company was floated for the event, with broadcaster ESPN and the Indian Hockey Federation as stakeholders.
Then, TV promos were launched with Bollywood stars and playback singers roped in. In the second edition, leading music label T-Series cut an album of the PHL signature song; back in 2006, this was a novelty.
As the buzz around the new league gathered steam outside, and teams found sponsors including remittance leader Western Union, the zing on the field was added by the Pakistani players, most of who Dasgupta says were known in India.
“The relationship shared between players from both sides of the border was extremely cordial and therefore I knew that playing alongside each other would be thoroughly relished,” he says.
Dasgupta recalls several Pakistani players, and specifically mentions Sohail Abbas, Rehan Bhatt and Salman Akbar as being “known well in India”.
“Sohail was a hit among female fans in Chandigarh,” he says.
“It was so heartening to see how fans of a team at the stadium got involved and cheered every move of the Pakistani players. It was a matter of pride for the supporters if they played well.”
The Pakistanis were paid between $2,500 and $3000 (between PKR 260,000 and PKR 310,000 in today’s rates), but as Dasgupta says, “back then, it was a lot of money for hockey players”.
There was no opposition from any political party, though after ESPN agreed to underwrite the costs for 10 years, and the Indian and world hockey bodies gave their nod, Dasgupta says he was certain the league would have taken off with or without the Pakistani players.
“But with them there, PHL was given a true global flavour.”
The writer is a Kolkata-based journalist covering the corporate sector and the business of sports.
Penn State field hockey’s Katie Dembrowski wins Big Ten freshmen of the week
Midfielder Katie Dembrowski (33) defends the ball against Temple's forward Maris Stern (20) during a 2-0 win at Penn State's Field Hockey Complex on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Glenn Watson
In just her third game playing for Penn State, freshman midfielder Katie Dembrowski scored the game-winning goal in the Nittany Lions’ first win of the season, a 2-0 shutout win against Temple.
In light of her performances, the Big Ten awarded her freshman of the week honors in the Lions’ second week of action this season.
After losing eight of 11 starters at the end of the 2014 season, new players were going to have to step up and produce early on for Penn State to be successful and the conference recognized Dembrowski for doing just that.
The Lions will be back in action Friday night at 6 p.m. with a home game against California as they seek their third-straight win.
The Daily Collegian
Sought-after field hockey standout Myers settles on Penn State
Arrowhead senior had many college offers
By Chuck Delsman
Arrowhead’s Abby Myers is one of the top field hockey recruits in the nation. She’ll play at Penn State next year.
For many years, Arrowhead High School has been blessed with many top athletes. You name the sport, somebody was being named first-team All State or earning a prestigious NCAA Division 1 scholarship.
This year is no exception. Ben Bredeson and Johnny Duranso are two brilliant football players and Kelly Jacob excels in the swimming pool. On the tennis court, the duo of Sara Geschke and Kali Flesch are one of the best doubles teams in the state.
But one of the most talented athletes in the school pretty much flies under the radar when it comes to making headlines. Senior Abby Myers is not only one of the most gifted field hockey players in school history but one of the best high school players in the country.
While field hockey is a club sport in Wisconsin, many outstanding players have come from Arrowhead and the area to play in college.
"Abby is an excellent field hockey player with great skills," said Arrowhead coach Melissa Brengosz, whose daughters Jordy and Carly rank with the best players ever at AHS along with Skylar VanNatta and Greta Banholzer. "She probably has some of the best skills I've seen in my 15-plus years of coaching."
Headed to Penn State
A four-year starter at Arrowhead, Myers has already committed to play college field hockey at Penn State. The Nittany Lions placed fifth in the national collegiate tournament last year.
Myers, a center midfielder for the Warhawks the last three seasons, chose Penn State over Richmond, Louisville, Bucknell, Yale, Columbia and others. She made her commitment last March.
"I'm very happy to know that after my high school career is over, I'm going to get the chance to play college field hockey," Myers said. "I've been thinking about college field hockey for the last three or four years. As soon as I started playing field hockey, I had a sudden passion for the game. I was 13 when I knew I just wanted to concentrate on field hockey."
As a center midfielder, Myers runs both the offense and defense. She's a connector between the two. She has very good speed, outstanding stick skills and distributes the ball as well as anyone.
"At her midfield position, her skills are a huge asset to the team," Brengosz said. "She has great vision on the field and is a very unselfish player. She will look to pass and get her teammates the goals before herself."
Myers was recently named by Max Field Hockey as one of the Fab-5 in the country. That group recognizes five of the best players in the country each week.
Myers has been a first-team All State selection the last two years and seems a lock to being named again this fall.
"Hopefully we can finish this year by winning the state championship," Myers said. "We've got a good team again this year, and once this season ends, I'm really looking forward to playing at Penn State. It's something I've been dreaming about for a long time."
Lake Country Now
‘Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.’ – Kenyan Proverb
by Boys Hockey Hub
March 2015 – VCRD and ECHP Test Matches at WC Eagles Training Center in Spring City, Pa.
Only second to soccer in world popularity, field hockey is played by more men than women. Yet, headlines about boys in the U.S. who want to play field hockey continue to read ‘boy shut out’, ‘boy kicked off’ or ‘boy faces uphill battle’. So what is this all about?
Dedication and resolve. These are the boys who believe they have the opportunity to affect a change in not only the thinking, but also the trajectory of men’s field hockey in the U.S. These are the boys who dream of being competitive in the game of field hockey, boys whose ultimate goal is to be selected for the U.S. Men’s National Team and who dare to hold Olympic aspirations.
What does hockey in America look like for boys?
Most boys in ‘hockey families’ grow up playing with friends and family on the sidelines at their sister’s high school hockey games. When parents decide it’s time for their sons to ‘start playing a sport’, hockey is hardly ever a consideration for a variety of reasons – stigma of playing a perceived ‘girls’ sport, lack of access to training and/or opportunities to play through the high school years.
The purpose of the Boys Field Hockey Hub (BFHH) is to support and increase awareness and opportunities for boys to play field hockey in the U.S. The Board of the BFHH is comprised of representatives from the U.S. Men’s National Team coaching staff, National Field Hockey League (collegiate clubs), USA Field Hockey, club coaches, college coaches and parents. The Boys Field Hockey Hub has identified and communicated with over 70 clubs and organizations in the U.S. who are able/willing to train boys. Currently the Boys Field Hockey Hub posts information on Facebook about clubs, camps and tournaments where boys are invited to join. The BFHH Facebook page also posts field hockey content, skills videos and player biographies for boys who are currently playing hockey in the U.S. In the future, the Boys Field Hockey Hub will launch a website which will provide region specific access to hockey for boys as well as fundraising and funding opportunities (grants) for groups who wish to ‘grow the game’ for boys.
USA Field Hockey is dedicated to creating inclusive opportunities and inspiring participation for all. To date, there are more than 1,100 boys and men who are active members of USA Field Hockey. This year, more than 20,000 people will pick up a field hockey stick for the first time in the U.S. The Boys Field Hockey Hub believes that continuing to ensure that the boys who pick up a stick will have a chance to train and play is an admirable goal. While it may not be easy, nothing ever worth doing is. The Boys Field Hockey Hub chooses to support growing awareness for the boys who want to play hockey and the men serving as the leaders and role models who are blazing the path and taking the difficult steps necessary to build acceptance of boys’ field hockey in the U.S.
‘Brand New Hockey Player’
About Boys Field Hockey Hub:
Boys Field Hockey Hub is geared toward fundraising and promoting any field hockey in the United States that supports boys and men – just waiting until we are officially a nonprofit to keep finance stuff straight. BFHH is in the process of building a fundraising platform for the U.S. Masters Teams heading to Canberra, Australia for 2016 FIH Masters World Cup. BFHH is also participating in fundraising efforts for boys teams wanting to participate in the Cal Cup.
USFHA media release