Framework Creation and Approval for the ‘Second Stage’ of Responsible Return to Play – Communique #6

You can access the PDF version of this document here.

Second Stage’ – The “Cohort” Model

Dear Field Hockey BC Members

On behalf of the Field Hockey BC (FHBC) Board of Directors and following the announcement earlier this week from the BC Provincial Government, I am pleased to report that work has begun in earnest to complete due process towards an approval of a Second Stage Responsible Return to Play Framework for field hockey in BC. This second stage return for the organized sport sector across BC takes place within phase three of BC’s COVID-19 restart plan (apologies in advance for any confusion here), and offers the opportunity for sport to assess the viability to progressively loosen the physical distancing protocols to allow for modified or standardized game or competitive play.

The second stage responsible return to play introduces the “cohort” model which put simply allows for a progressive game play return involving greater permissible participant interaction on the field of play. Such a cohort model also allows for the same level of participant interaction in a training or recreational context. Although the framework will provide more detailed information on adherence to safety protocols, it is important to note that greater participant interaction is strictly restricted to the field of play during this second stage return and physical distancing protocols are in effect outside of the field of play boundary (especially pertinent when utilizing field infrastructure such as team benches and technical areas which is now a permitted progression from stage one). Field Hockey participant activity numbers will be progressed from stage one guidelines but will be restricted to the provincial health office ‘group of 50’ rule (allowing for up to a maximum of 49 participants on a single field facility at any one time).

Mindful that a great many of our members have already enquired as to why field hockey cannot immediately move to second stage implementation, FHBC is required to follow due process and formally approve a second stage responsible return to play framework (as was the case with the stage one approval protocol). To this end, the FHBC Board of Directors will meet formally to consider such an approval on the evening of September 3, 2020. Once approval has been obtained, the second stage responsible return to play framework will be sent to the provincial government agency viaSport for public posting and will also be posted and available for download from the Society website. Thereafter, Local Sport Organizations (LSO’s) will be able to develop, refine, and approve their second stage safety plans and move to practical implementation. It is important to note that LSO’s can choose to move towards implementation at whatever speed is most appropriate and can continue to develop responsible return to play safety plans utilizing stage one or stage two guidelines.

For those members considering a return to play, I would politely remind you to remember to register your membership prior to stepping on the field of play. It remains essential that all active participants have a valid and paid FHBC and Field Hockey Canada (FHC) membership. The online registration portal is available in the normal way from the FHBC website (

In closing, it is evident and understandable that many of us are eager to move to the second stage of responsible return to play and I once again ask for your patience and consideration as we navigate due process to achieve this end. For many of us who have experienced the journey to date in helping to navigate the BC sport sectors COVID-19 response, it is on the one hand surprising that our sector has been given the flexibility to consider a second stage return to standardized game play, but on the other hand this provides for a return to club and league game play at a time when I’m sure most feared a winter season may have been lost. Such a fantastic opportunity comes with an even greater responsibility to do so as safely as possible for all involved and we wish everyone the very best for an exciting and optimistic opening to a new season.

Yours in sport,

Mark Saunders
Executive Director
Field Hockey BC, August 28, 2020

Provincial Pathway Review Project: Communique #2 – Club Feedback Questionnaire

Earlier this month, Field Hockey BC announced the launch of the Provincial Athlete Pathway Review Project.  The main purpose of the project is to review and evaluate the current FHBC athlete pathway and program model to ensure the Society is meeting the needs of the field hockey community and providing BC athletes with the best available high performance training environment, competitions and opportunities. In order to improve Club-PSO-NSO alignment, the review will examine how FHBC can work collaboratively with the existing club and league structures in BC, as well as seamlessly integrate with the national program pathway.

To gain a better understanding of the perspective of member clubs, Field Hockey BC has sent each member club in the province a Club Feedback Questionnaire.  The purpose of the questionnaire is to obtain specific feedback regarding performance stream programming offered directly through the Society that will inform the development of a new FHBC Provincial Athlete Pathway and FHBC Athlete Program Model.

FHBC believes it is important that every club in the province is given an opportunity to be heard and bring forward their ideas. We encourage any FHBC member who would like to share their feedback with club officials to reach out and provide their input. FHBC has asked each club to complete ONE questionnaire per club that reflects the views of the club as a whole. The deadline for clubs to submit the Club Feedback Questionnaire to the FHBC is May 8th.

FHBC would also like to take this opportunity to introduce and thank the following Provincial Pathway Working Group members who are generously volunteering their time to assist with this project:

Project Lead: Jennifer Taylor, FHBC Athlete Program Director
Project Team Members: Ali (Lee) Baggott, Ben Fecht, Caitlin Evans Erickson, Carys Swan, Chris Tyrrell, Erin De Sousa, Gavin Bains, Geoff Matthews, Jenn Beagan, Kent McKinnon, Michelle Savich, Robin D’Abreo and Thora Rae.
FHBC Staff Support: John Sacré, Donna Cumming and Krista Thompson.

If you would like more information regarding the Club Feedback Questionnaire or the Provincial Pathway Review Project, please click on the following link: Provincial Pathway Review Project.

IMPORTANT: COVID-19 Consideration and Planning (March 20, 2020)

You can access the PDF version of this document here.

As the Organized Sport Sector in BC responds to the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, Field Hockey BC continues to monitor the potential impact to our team sport environment. Given the growing and unprecedented uncertainty surrounding this health pandemic, Field Hockey BC is directing all members and affiliated clubs and associations to suspend all sanctioned field hockey activities in the province until further notice.

This decision will be monitored daily and reviewed on a week to week basis by the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors, with the expectation that a next suspension update will be posted early in April. As new information is received from both Federal and Provincial Government agencies, Field Hockey BC will provide appropriate program and service updates that we hope over time will include a responsible and gradual return to play. Field Hockey BC cannot emphasize enough that the health and safety of all participants in the field hockey community in BC is of the utmost importance and is central to any decision-making process.

To ensure the health and safety of the players, coaches, officials, volunteers, and fans in BC, Field Hockey BC recommends that all affiliated Leagues, Clubs, and Associations communicate to their members that they will cease all sanctioned field hockey operations immediately and until further notice. Field Hockey BC sanctioned field hockey activities include, but are not limited to, all indoor and outdoor competitions, leagues, training, practices, matches, in-person coach and official education, and formalized club group activities. The intent of this suspension is to limit situations of physical contact.

Whilst the entire Field Hockey Community in BC continues to work hard on contingency planning for the possibility that restrictions may be lifted over time, please stay patient as we collectively consider ongoing environmental implications. Field Hockey BC’s operational continuity plan is for Society staff to work remotely and all staff are equipped to continue their daily functions. Electronic media will be utilized to maintain lines of communication, with community members able to connect via phone and/or email in the normal way.

Field Hockey BC thanks you for your patience as we do our part to support all of the unprecedented steps taking place to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information by visiting the BC Government website and the Ministry of Health website. Our thoughts are with all of you and your families during this challenging time.

FHBC BOD, March 20, 2020

Vancouver International Field Hockey Development Camp in May

Sea to Sky Field Hockey Club invites all female field hockey players aged 14-18 from across Canada to join the first Vancouver International Field Hockey Development Camp. This camp is open to all skill levels and will provide world class coaching to players over three days of intense drills, skill development, and games.

Date: Saturday, May 16​th​ to Monday, May 18​th​ from 9 am – 5 pm each day.
Location: Rutledge Field, West Vancouver

Registration fee is $450 CAN for the three-day camp, which includes training, games, learning sessions, snacks & drinks. Register early, space is limited.

Click here for more information

Letter to FHBC Members from the FHBC Board of Directors

Dear Field Hockey BC Members,

Please find below a letter from the desk of the FHBC President, sent to the FHBC Membership on behalf of the FHBC Board of Directors. You may also download the letter as a PDF file here. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Thank you in advance for the time taken in consideration.

Alan Waterman
Field Hockey BC 

Hello fellow FHBC Member,

I write to you on behalf of the Board of Field Hockey BC to address issues of urgent concern to many members as we approach the Annual General Meeting scheduled for February 10th.

These concerns have been documented by member clubs of the Greater Vancouver Junior Field Hockey League, and most revolve around conflicts between junior leagues and High Performance sessions. The FHBC Board has been working collaboratively with the GVJFHL for several months, and continues with further meetings scheduled even this month, in an on-going effort to alleviate the points raised. Those points can be found in this public club posting:

To address the points individually, the collaborative meetings with the GVJFHL have already produced results in:

  • Working together to reduce/eliminate scheduling conflicts
  • Working toward greater emphasis on Club Championships
  • Discussing best methods to select and train athletes for provincial teams that would also be inclusive for those outside the Greater Vancouver region

In a nutshell, the FHBC Board has heard loud and clear that some aspects of High Performance programming have been detrimental to league play and club activity. And we are determined to work toward beneficial solutions that alleviate the situation while still developing our players and our sport to the highest level for all ages, all abilities, in all regions of the province.

Also circulating is a document from GVJFHL clubs entitled, Pathway to Change:

The Board feels the articles in this document need to be addressed to bring clarity and understanding for our members to the nuances of working under provincial and national sport circumstances.

Programming: The model envisioned would work well for clubs with a large core group of members and infrastructure. The danger is that many clubs would see their junior players gravitate to larger clubs resulting in the creation of super-clubs, with the smallest clubs potentially disappearing or reduced to seniors-only. Outside the Lower Mainland a strong level of success is not envisioned for this model.

Competition: There are misconceptions within this article. While most leagues are sanctioned by FHBC for insurance purposes, they are otherwise independent entities. To relinquish control to FHBC would require a dissolution of each league by league membership vote. FHBC cannot dictate this outcome. For FHBC to take over the running of leagues, a cost analysis has shown the requirement of an additional three full-time positions at an estimate of <$150,000/year. These calculations come from the current weekly hours of paid league administrators and volunteers. There would also be the need for an additional online platform with substantial capital costs. In all, this budgetary item would be roughly the equivalent of total FHBC membership fees. In essence, it would be doable if members approved a doubling of fees or severe cuts to programming (such as coaching, umpiring, and technical official education/certification).

Development: This is largely addressed in the comments under Programming. It should be noted that frameworks, pathways and curricula already exist for athletes, coaches and officials (see Governance below).

Strategy: The FHBC Board agrees that consultation and communication to members and member clubs can and should be improved.

Governance: Sections on guidelines, governance and certification are available online at Coaching standards are set nationally by the NCCP (coaching) and FHC (coaches, umpires and technical officials). Additionally, FHBC created the Provincial Coach Education Pathway and Courses to specifically target community-level, grassroots coaches.

Marketing & Advocacy: The Board also agrees that we can always do better in marketing our sport. This past year has seen a greater emphasis on social media posts that are not necessarily focused on elite athletes but everyday members, with an eye to driving more people to the main website and all aspects of field hockey in BC. When it comes to lobbying for resources, FHBC is in constant contact with, and under constant scrutiny by the provincial government. Their own auditing processes deem we are punching above of our weight and consequently funded better than the vast majority of sports our size. There is a concern, though, that should self-funding High Performance programs be removed from our overall budget then FHBC would drop below the threshold for our current provincial grants, resulting in cuts to other programs.

Much of the discussion in this letter has revolved around junior athletes and, for more than a decade, FHBC’s approach to the development of our juniors has resulted in greater numbers of well-trained BC athletes at the elite level, an alignment with Field Hockey Canada’s NextGen Program and National Championships, and now emulation by other provinces. All of this is a synergy we would hate to lose and one that, with collaboration and mutual goodwill, we can all continue to nurture.

To be clear, this letter is not about my position or any other Board Member’s position in the upcoming AGM. I very much welcome the engagement of more people in the governance of our sport and the infusion of fresh ideas.

With that in mind, please take some time to reflect on the future of field hockey across this province, then gather your proxy votes for representatives attending the AGM so that what you feel is right for you and for hockey is expressed at this meeting.

Proxies can be as simple as a written or electronic document that contains your name, email address, and FHBC membership number. Junior members under the age of 18 must designate a senior member in good standing, who must be over 18 years of age, to vote on their behalf. More details on voting procedures at the AGM can be found at

If you have any further questions about the above points or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Alan Waterman
President, Field Hockey BC

Job Opportunity: West Vancouver Field Hockey Club is looking for a General Manager

West Vancouver FHC has a job vacancy for a General Manager position. The General Manager is responsible for successful leadership, management, and delivery of the
programs, services, policies, and initiatives supporting WVFHC’s operations and growth as a club. The GM is expected to manage the organization’s risk, human, and financial resources effectively and in a responsible manner, using strong leadership, administrative, communication, and people skills.

The ideal candidate will dive into the details to execute current programs while also maintaining a bird’s eye view on the club in order to progress WVFHC strategic goals and long-term priorities. These responsibilities are dynamic and vary throughout the year so the GM must be flexible and adaptable.

This position may appeal to those looking for flexible working arrangements who wish to work on the North Shore. It may also appeal to candidates entering a 2 nd career and looking for an exciting challenge. Much of the role may be done working from home, with certain tasks or meetings at Rutledge Field and similar locations. The role is for a 30-hour a week position. However, it is important to note that this is not a strict 9-5 position.

Click here to see the full job description.

There will be scheduled collegial review of the role at 2 months and at 6 months, and on an annual basis thereafter.

Salary minimum of $55,000/yr
Must receive resumes by November 25th, 2019.
Please email resume and covering letter to:

Jokers Field Hockey Club is looking for players

Located in Vancouver, Jokers Field Hockey Club is registering for experienced male and female adult players for this 2019-20 season. Goalies in particular are in high demand.

Come and join Vancouver’s fun and social club.

Great people, great community and with a clubhouse located in Stanley park, we have the best deck in Vancouver for off-turf socialising. See for more info