The sport of field hockey is growing. Over 3,000 years ago a simple form of field hockey originated in England with just a ball and stick. Since then the sport has modernized and grown vastly throughout the world. Field hockey is one of the most popular and widely played sports in the world, enjoyed in 137 countries.
Field Hockey is an Olympic sport for both men and women, and it is enjoyed fairly equally among men and women throughout the world. Field hockey became an Olympic sport for men in 1908. India dominated in the 1928-1956 Olympics earning 6 gold medals in a row. They then went on to win two more gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals. Field hockey was brought to the US in the early 1900’s, and field hockey spread rapidly throughout women’s colleges in the East and continues to grow everyday. Field Hockey became an Olympic sport for women in 1980. In 2017, there were 284 colleges and universities with women’s field hockey programs: 78 Division I schools, 37 Division II, and 169 Division III, with these numbers growing each year. Many field hockey lovers around the world are doing what they can in order to spread exposure to this competitive sport. In recent years, former first lady, Michelle Obama, promoted her Let’s Move! initiative by inviting Olympic and Paralympic athletes to encourage the idea of getting active and trying out new sports which is exactly what USA Field Hockey is aiming to endorse.
USA Field Hockey, the national governing body (NGB) for the sport, is a membership based organization dedicated to growing the game, serving members, and succeeding internationally.
USA Field Hockey’s Grow the Game campaign is devoted to fueling growth of the sport all over the country, and promoting and developing the game for future generations to enjoy. Through this campaign, they aim to add playing and development opportunities, establish new clubs and help existing clubs grow,, recruit and educate coaches and officials, and encourage more children, men and post-collegiate athletes to play. They also work to open the sport in underserved communities. Through this campaign they have created many programs and initiatives that will help them accomplish their goal.
FUNdamental Field Hockey is an equipment grant program dedicated to spreading the love of field hockey across the nation. According to Sally Goggin, USA Field Hockey National Development Director, “USA Field Hockey has given away over 25,000 field hockey stick and balls to clubs and individuals for grassroots development since the FUNdamental Field Hockey program, sponsored by Citi and Harrow, was established in 2012.” USA Field Hockey encourages kids and adults to reach out to them if they want to introduce field hockey in their school or community. Each year, USA Field Hockey awards 250 FUNdamental Field Hockey grants of free equipment and easy-to-follow curriculum guides so children everywhere have a chance to join in on this widely loved sport. Any adult, regardless of field hockey experience, can create a new FUNdamental Field Hockey program for his or her community.
Applications are available online at https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Field-Hockey
Foundation Courses are free education courses provided to schools and organizations to teach PE teachers and interested adults with no prior field hockey experience about the game, how to play it, and how to teach it. USA Field Hockey hosts free Learn to Play Days in conjunction with many field hockey events and tournaments. And, USA Field Hockey offers Coach and Umpire Education for new and experienced individuals.
You can play your part in this growth by introducing field hockey to friends and family and sharing your love of the exciting sport online for others to see! Contact USA Field Hockey at email@example.com for more information.