USA Field Hockey is excited to announce a new mixed-team structure for the 2011 National Futures Championship in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to the Under-14 teams, the Under-19 and Under-16 tournament teams will now be mixed nationally. On each team will be at least five regions represented by both field players and goalkeepers.
USA Field Hockey decided to make the National Futures Championship a mixed team tournament for several reasons. The Futures Program is the foundation of our Olympic pipeline system and the National Futures Championship serves as an instrumental part of our junior athlete selection process. To evaluate each player fairly, it is best to try and create equal teams in all of the age divisions.
“Philosophically, Futures is geared for individual development and not team development. Fairness in performance is best assessed when the playing field is level for all,” said Terry Walsh, USA Field Hockey Technical Director. “Additionally, the mixed-team format provides each athlete the opportunity to play with other athletes from across the country and get exposure to different coaches.”
USA Field Hockey will also be initiating a new selection process for the coaching staff at the National Futures Championship. Level II developmental and higher coaches will be invited to apply to coach at the tournament. Only coaches with a USA Field Hockey coaching accreditation will be considered for the positions at the National Futures Championship.
The teams for the National Futures Championship will be selected from the Regional Futures Tournaments held in May and June. From the National Futures Championship, athletes may be selected for Olympic Development, Futures Elite and Junior Olympics (Under-16).