FHBC staff working remotely

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and following public health recommendations from the Provincial and Federal Government, Field Hockey BC staff will be working remotely until further notice.

We will continue to provide support to our members via email, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any inquiries you might have.

FHBC would like to remind you that the Train to Compete Regional Girls Championship in Duncan April 2-5, 2020, is suspended, as well as all in-person educational courses and meetings. Our online Community Umpire course remains open.

Field Hockey BC is currently considering a COVID-19 response to all of its planned programs, events, and services for the spring and summer. Updates to this effect will be made in the days and weeks to come. Please, stay patient whilst we all work through this challenging time.


You can stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information by visiting the BC Government website and the Ministry of Health website.

Here you can access the latest advisory from the Canadian Sport medicine Advisory Committee.

Further information about the novel coronavirus is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

Please stay safe and healthy, and remember the recommendations for reducing the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Practice other good hygiene habits: do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with your hands and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces
  • Maintain good general health (eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation)
  • At this point, stay home as much as possible
  • Contact 8-1-1 (HealthLink BC) or your health care provider for questions about your personal health situation

Decision to Suspend the Train to Compete Regional Girls Championship (April 2-5, 2020)

Dear Field Hockey BC Train to Compete Athletes, Coaches, Officials and Families,

The Field Hockey BC (FHBC) Board this morning took the decision to suspend the Train to Compete Regional Girls Championship in Duncan April 2-5, 2020. Such a decision follows the directive from the Provincial Government to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people, effective March 12, 2020:

“Effective today (March 12, 2020), we also directing all event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events. This threshold has been selected, as it is much easier to maintain important social distancing to prevent transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, the safety and wellness of our players, coaches, officials, parents, fans and all other community members is our first priority. This is disappointing for all of us, but in the circumstances the FHBC Board came to feel that such a decision was in the best interests of everyone.

FHBC is actively pursuing possibilities of rescheduling this Championship to the calendar month of May but may well decide in the interim to cancel the event for the 2020 season. In true field hockey spirit, we hope you can support us with your continued patience and understanding.

Field Hockey BC will remain in close contact with Provincial Government Agencies, the Canadian Sport Medicine Advisory Committee, School Districts, Parks Boards, and with Field Hockey Canada, and will provide updates relative to all Field Hockey BC events, programs, leagues, and camps as soon as they become available. As the status progresses with the COVID-19 response within Canada, FHBC will continue to follow all government recommendations and adjust our approach to managing field hockey participation accordingly.

FHBC BOD March 13, 2020

Message regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Field Hockey BC (FHBC) and various member clubs have received a number of inquiries relating to the coronavirus and field hockey events, training environments, and camps in BC.

FHBC remains in close contact with Field Hockey Canada, the Canadian Sport Medicine Advisory Committee, Provincial Government agencies, School Districts and Parks Boards regarding protocol and next steps, and will provide updates as soon as they become available.

As the status progresses with the COVID-19 response within Canada, FHBC will continue to follow all government recommendations and adjust our approach to managing events accordingly.

At this time, Field Hockey BC is waiting on further government recommendations regarding mass gatherings in BC. As always, the safety and wellness of our players, coaches, officials, parents, fans and all other community members is our first priority.

You can stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information by visiting the BC Government website and the Ministry of Health website.

Field Hockey BC will also be posting regular updates from the Canadian Sport medicine Advisory Committee, the latest of which (March 11, 2020) can be found at the following link:

http://www.csipacific.ca/advisory-on-covid-19-from-smac-sport-medicine-advisory-committee-mar-11-2020/

Reminder on steps to reduce risk and exposure

As a reminder, Field Hockey BC would like to share the BC Centre for Disease Control recommendations for reducing the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands frequently (it is the single most effective way of reducing infection spread).
  • Practice other good hygiene habits: do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with your hands and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces.
  • Maintain good general health (eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation).
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Contact 8-1-1 (HealthLink BC) or your health care provider for questions about your personal health situation.

Further information about novel coronavirus is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website at the following link: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)

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

FHC Masters 55+ Team looking for players for the Masters World Cup in South Africa

The much anticipated 2020 Masters World Cup is just around the corner! The Canadian Men’s 55+ age group is now beginning its talent identification process which will take place from April 10-12 in Vancouver. Please sign up as soon as possible so that you can be considered to be chosen for this amazing event! Important deadlines include:

  • Nomination of Names and deposit deadlines:  February 22, 2020
  • Master World Cup: Sep 19 to Sep 28, 2020, Cape Town, South Africa.

Please circulate this around to everyone that you know might be keen to be part of this team and they can contact Preet Sidhu, FHC Masters 55 + Team Manager, via email at preetsid@hotmail.com.

PCE Fundamentals Coaching Course at UVic in March

The Victoria Junior Field Hockey Association will be hosting Field Hockey BC’s PCE Fundamentals Coaching Course in March.

This course is intended for:

  • coaches working with under 12 age groups
  • coaches that are themselves an under 18 player who has an interest in coaching in the Junior League
  • a parent volunteer who is new to coaching and to the game of field hockey

Course Details:
It is mandatory to attend both sessions
Wednesday March 4 – McKinnon Building Room 150 from 6 to 9 pm (Victoria)
Sunday March 8 – UVIC Turf #3 from 2 to 5 pm

The Victoria Junior Field Hockey Association encourages Junior League Coaches who have no or minimal coach training to take this course.  There is no cost to attend.

The course is 6 hours in length split up into 3 hours each of theory and practical learning. You will learn the basics of of how to deliver safe, fun and effective practice sessions, how to incorporate fundamental movement skills and review field hockey fundamental skills and tactics from facilitators who have coached in the junior league and helped design the practice sessions for the junior league.

The course will be facilitated by certified learning facilitators Ali Baggott and Milena Gaiga.

SIGN UP ONLINE:
http://vjfha.victoriajuniorfieldhockey.ca/forms/22286-2020-FHBC-Fundamentals-Coaching-Course-FREE-Course

Deadline to register is Monday, February 24, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact Milena Gaiga at mgaiga@shaw.ca.

2020 FHBC AGM – Election (BOD) and Motion Notice

Dear FHBC Members

In advance of the production of minutes for the 2020 FHBC AGM and in an effort to inform the membership as to the outcome of elections to the FHBC Board of Directors and formal motions from last night’s meeting, please find below an associated supporting document (PDF file here). Every document related to the AGM is available on our “Documents” page.

Field Hockey BC Annual General Meeting
Monday 10 February 2020

Election (BOD) and Motion Notice

Election of Officers to the
Field Hockey BC Board of Directors (BOD)

President
Andrew Dewberry (by Election)

Finance Director
Jasbir Tatla (by Election)

Coaching Director
Gurjit Sidhu (by Election)

Umpiring Director
Narinder Sangha (by Election)

Business Development Director
Mark Vaughan (by Acclamation)

Non-Bylaw Motions

The following motions were approved by the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors on Monday 27 January 2020:

Motion 1 – That the Audited Financial Statement to August 31, 2019 be received

Rationale: AGM Motion required under Field Hockey BC bylaw 3.1.1 (b)

Proposed: Joanna Mukai, Finance Director
Seconded: Megan Robertson, Umpiring Director

CARRIED

Motion 2 – That the Auditors for Field Hockey BC for 2019-2020 be Burgess Kilpatrick Chartered Professional Accountants

Rationale: AGM Motion required under Field Hockey BC bylaw 3.1.1 (d)

Proposed: Joanna Mukai, Finance Director
Seconded: Margaret Johnson, Vice-President

CARRIED

Motion 3 – That there be no change to the Field Hockey BC Membership Fee schedule for the membership year 2020-2021

Rationale: AGM Motion required under Field Hockey BC bylaw 3.1.1 (e)

Proposed: Brian Groos, Marketing Director
Seconded: Margaret Johnson, Vice-President

CARRIED

 

The following motions were presented by the Field Hockey BC membership on Monday 27 January 2020:

Motion 4That Field Hockey BC amend its Selection Process to no longer require participation in its Train to Train (U15) and Train to Compete (U18) Regional Programs as a condition of selection for the corresponding Provincial Programs, that it provide equal opportunity for all eligible athletes to be selected to its Provincial Programs, and that it clearly communicate this policy change to all eligible athletes beginning in the 2020-2021 season. Field Hockey BC will create a group to study how to make this change fair to all athletes.

Rationale: The current Field Hockey BC selection policy effectively requires athletes to become year-round field hockey players if they wish to compete in the Provincial Programs. This excludes multi-sport athletes who choose to compete in other sports through the fall and winter, and encourages early specialization. This runs directly counter to Field Hockey Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) pathway, which “actively discourages early specialization since premature specialization contributes to imbalanced physical development, overuse injuries, early burnout, and inadequate development of movement and sports skills.” 1

While the Regional Program may still remain the preferred player development pathway, the Field Hockey BC selection policy should provide an equal opportunity for all athletes with the skills and desire to compete for this province, regardless of whether or not they participate in the Regional Program.

1 Source: http://lthd.fieldhockey.ca/en/whatisltad

Proposed: Taylor Curran, West Vancouver Field Hockey Club
Seconded: Ranbir Kahlon (Elite FHC), Gary Sangha (India Club), Jasbir Singh Saran (Surinder Lions Field Hockey), Andrew Dewberry (Vancouver Hawks)

CARRIED

Motion 5 – That Field Hockey BC immediately amend its Athlete Attendance Policy to require all athletes to prioritize club hockey during Spring League and to attend their club commitments in the event of any conflicts with Field Hockey BC programs during this period. This motion is to be implemented and take effect before Field Hockey BC’s 2020 Provincial Programs but should not apply to the 2020 Regional Tournaments.

Rationale: The current Field Hockey BC Athlete Attendance Policy has resulted in a high level of game forfeitures and cancellations, reduced registration numbers, and a diminished Spring League experience that does not support the development and growth of the sport. The effects extend beyond the players that are directly participating in Regional and Provincial Programs to impact coaches, umpires, other players, and clubs across the region:

  • Regional and Provincial Program players are unable to compete for their clubs and play with their friends.
  • Games are cancelled or forfeit because of conflicts with Regional and Provincial Programs.
  • Teams are left to compete without many of their best players.
  • Coaches and administrators are scrambling to try to reschedule games or find enough players to field a team.
  • Umpires are frustrated and inconvenienced by frequent game cancellations and forfeitures.
  • Players are opting to train with the Regional and Provincial Programs rather than participate in Spring League.

The clubs of the GVJFHL are prepared to work collaboratively with Field Hockey BC to reduce conflicts between its Regional and Provincial Programs and Spring League. These efforts notwithstanding, because of the short duration of Spring League and its central importance to field hockey in this province, we believe that participation in Spring League must take precedent over all other field hockey commitments for its duration.

Proposed: Jasbir Singh Saran, Surinder Lions Field Hockey
Seconded: Gary Sangha (India Club) Andrew Dewberry (Vancouver Hawks), Mark Vaughan (West Vancouver Field Hockey Club), Ranbir Kahlon (Elite FHC)

CARRIED

Motion 6 – That, beginning with the 2020-2021 season, Field Hockey BC schedule all Regional Tournaments before the start of April to eliminate conflicts with Spring League.

Rationale: Over the past few seasons, the practice of scheduling Regional Tournaments during the Spring League season, like the Field Hockey BC Athlete Attendance Policy discussed in Motion 5 above, has resulted in a high level of game forfeitures and cancellations, reduced registration numbers, and a poorer Spring League experience that has impacted players, coaches, umpires, and clubs across the province.

Spring League is an extremely short season that is fundamental to the growth and development of field hockey in BC. To prevent it from being disrupted and diminished, Field Hockey BC should schedule all Regional Tournaments before Spring League. In support of this motion, the clubs of the GVJFHL are prepared to work with Field Hockey BC to provide it with the field bookings necessary to run its regional tournaments during this period.

Proposed: Andrew Dewberry, Vancouver Hawks
Seconded: Brian Bryson (West Vancouver Field Hockey Club), Ranbir Kahlon (Elite FHC), Gary Sangha (India Club), Jasbir Singh Saran (Surinder Lions Field Hockey)

CARRIED

Motion 7  That Field Hockey BC, beginning with the 2019-2020 season, in conjunction with host clubs, organize annual Club Championships in the U12, U14, U16, and U18 age divisions and schedule them for the final four weekends of the Spring League season.

Rationale: We believe that Club Championships should be the capstone of the Spring League season and a celebration of field hockey in BC.

Holding Club Championships during the final weeks of the short Spring League season will provide sufficient time for players to develop technical skills, tactical knowledge, and team camaraderie. This is particularly important for the many players who are new to the sport or only play field hockey during Spring League, and for the many teams who only play together during Spring League.

Furthermore, aligning the Club Championships age divisions with the GVJFHL age divisions will better allow teams that play together in Spring League to compete together at Club Championships, particularly on the boys’ side. It will also reduce the severe disruption and large number of Spring League forfeitures that occur as clubs pull players from two Spring League age divisions to field a single Club Championships team.

In support of this motion and our vision for Club Championships, the clubs of the GVJFHL are prepared to provide additional support to Field Hockey BC in hosting these events.

Proposed: Gary Sangha, India Club
Seconded: Andrew Dewberry (Vancouver Hawks), Margi Spooner (West Vancouver Field Hockey Club), Ranbir Kahlon (Elite FHC), Jasbir Singh Saran (Surinder Lions Field Hockey)

CARRIED

Registration is now open for the 2020 Vancouver International Tournament (VIT)

Welcome to the 2020 Vancouver International Tournament, The VIT! Held traditionally over the May Long Weekend, the VIT has enjoyed over twenty years as one of the largest social field hockey tournaments on the West Coast. This year promises to be no different as we once again look forward to welcoming new and old friends alike.

2020 sees Burnaby Lake West Complex play host as our main tournament venue; three artificial field turfs and a beer garden await, rain or shine. There are five tournament divisions this year including once again a women’s masters division for the over 35’s. FHBC looks forward to welcoming you all to what promises to be another hugely enjoyable tournament.

Information and Registration

All players must be currently active FHBC members, or teams can purchase for an additional $90. If your team wishes to do this, they can indicate along with their registration form, and add $90 to their team’s registration fee.

Tournament Dates:

Saturday, May 16 – Monday, May 18, 2020
Deposit Deadline to secure your bid: March 31, 2020
Final Entry Deadline: April 12th, 2020
Team List (Roster, including FHBC #’s) Deadline: May 4th, 2020

Tournament Venue:

Main Venue: The Burnaby Lake Complex – Three ‘field turf’ artificial surfaces

Tournament Schedule: 

The 2020 Playing and Umpire Schedules will be posted following the event entry deadlines

Tournament Rules: 

2019 VIT – Information and Tournament Rules

2020 FHBC AGM: Message from the Board of Directors to the Vancouver Women’s FHA

DATE: February 7th, 2020

TO: Vancouver Women’s Field Hockey Association

FROM: Field Hockey BC Board of Directors

ISSUE: Impact on the VWFHA of the GVJFHL’s Proposed Changes

 

BACKGROUND:

In 2003, the BC Women’s Field Hockey Federation (BCWFHF) conducted a gap analysis which identified the need to increase the opportunity for female athletes within the recreational, developmental and high performance streams, and especially in inspiring a greater number of young female athletes within the U13 to U18 age range. Such an assessment led to the creation of the BCWFHF Regional High Performance Athlete Program and an extension to the existing Provincial High Performance Program. This was the founding structure to the FHBC high performance athlete pathway in existence today, following the amalgamation of the BCWFHF and the BCFHA (Men’s Association) under the FHBC banner in 2005.

During this time, FHBC female membership numbers have remained consistent year-to-year within the U13 to U18 membership category. What is most significant is the number of junior female athletes in these age groups that are now making the choice to be field hockey first athletes, which shows the increased value of field hockey participation. This is significant in that field hockey during the 2000’s was very much considered an affordable secondary choice for many multi-sport athletes in BC.

Another significant change is the transition of junior athletes to senior participation is growing. Today approximately 23% of players in the VWFHL are juniors. The female adult playing population continues to rise and that there are currently record numbers of adults playing field hockey across BC. FHBC supports the adult playing population in both event based opportunity (e.g. Vancouver International Tournament, BC Masters Tournament, senior international hosting assistance) and in further investment in coaching (e.g. Provincial Coach Education) and officiating.

 

GVJFHL’s PROPOSED FHBC AGM MOTIONS: 

FHBC first became aware of the GVJFHL’s concerns in September 2019. An immediate effort was made to set up a meeting shortly thereafter, however, no response to the meeting invite was received. Eventually, on December 8th representatives from FHBC met with approximately 10–12 representatives from the GVJFHL to discuss the concerns brought forward. From FHBC’s perspective, the meeting was productive and a plan to work together collaboratively was agreed to. A series of follow-up meetings were scheduled in January 2020 designed to facilitate collaboration between the GVJFHL and FHBC on scheduling and Club Championship issues. Representatives from the GVJFHL attended one meeting on January 8th but failed to show at a subsequent meeting. FHBC asked the GVJFHL to nominate individuals to participate on a province-wide working group to review the Provincial pathway, and to-date no names have been put forward. On January 8th the GVJFHL advised FHBC that Tamanawis Field was no longer available to host the Train to Train (U15) Festival in April 2020 (booking was confirmed November 2019) due to a conflict with Spring League. FHBC staff have since spent considerable time and effort trying to locate an alternate host site with an incremental cost of approximately $15,000.

The GVJFHL has requested FHBC agree to the following 3 points:

  • Instruct FHBC players to prioritize club over FHBC Regional and Provincial program participation for the duration of the Junior Spring Season
  • Reinstate the Club Championships as the pinnacle of the junior season
  • Remove the requirement for athletes to enroll in the Regional Program in order to be selected for their provincial team

The GVJFHL has put forward four motions in support of the points listed above. In support of the GVJFHL proposals, the Vancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club and the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club have developed a Pathways to Change document.

 

IMPACT OF PROPOSED GVJFHL CHANGES: 

Contrary to what some VWFHA members might think, the proposed GVJFHL changes would have a significant impact on women’s hockey. The FHBC Board of Directors would like to provide the VWFHA with information regarding the potential impact in order to ensure its members understand the consequences and risks associated with the proposed changes.

 

  • Club Performance Stream Programming Impact on Smaller Clubs and Player Numbers

The shift away from FHBC performance-stream programing to the clubs could have a negative impact on smaller clubs without the player numbers and resources (coaching and facility) to support a high performance stream. Larger clubs could potentially draw players from other clubs and/or other areas, creating even larger clubs. Smaller clubs may lose players and could potentially lose a critical mass needed for retention and future club viability. Such an impact could also cause a gradual reduction in female players transitioning to adult participation if the value of the services at a lower level are not maintained, thereby creating a risk to the growth of women’s hockey in BC.

 

  • Club Performance Stream Programming Impact on FHBC Revenue and Grants

Changes to FHBC’s Regional Program could significantly reduce grants received and program investment amounting to $210,000+ per year. Over 50% of such revenue is currently invested directly in technical leadership and HR delivery of programming. As a result, a reduction in FHBC HR support is likely. This will potentially have a direct impact on the level and most significantly the quality of service provision to female athletes, coaches, and officials. Some examples include reduced funding available for coach education, umpire education, and fewer FHBC high performance coaches coaching at the club level. FHBC has begun to conduct due diligence on reviewing the athlete Provincial pathway and is interested in working collaboratively with a diverse range of representatives from the field hockey community to review the model and put forward recommendations for improvement. Such a process requires due diligence and consultation with all key stakeholders across the province.

 

  • Club Performance Stream Programming Impact on Current Community Stakeholders and FHBC Resources

If the GVJFHL’s motion to require FHBC to immediately amend its selection process to no longer require participation in its Train to Train (U15) and Train to Compete (U18) Regional Programs as a condition of selection for the corresponding Provincial Programs is approved, there is every likelihood that we will see a significant percentage of the 400+ stakeholder parents write formally to FHBC with concerns and complaints, not perhaps at the time of initial communication post AGM, but most certainly following the potential for open selections to provincial programming. The Board is very concerned about the implications to the commitment made by current community stakeholders to FHBC performance stream programming. Such a change would also have a significant impact on FHBC staff resources existing athlete policies. The FHBC Board of Directors will have to rescind most, if not all, eligibility policies for the Regional Program to allow for non-regional program athlete participation and selection, and consider the impact to policy application around this summer’s Provincial program.

 

  • FHBC Administration of Sanctioned Leagues (e.g. GVWFHL, GVMFHL, and GVJFHL) Impact on FHBC’s HR Structure and/or Membership Fees

Leagues are autonomous entities and league structures would have to change significantly in terms of governance to allow for anything remotely resembling this. With an all-male GVJFHL slate being put forward, the VWFHA is at risk of ceding control of its league to a group of men focused on junior boy’s development. Such a change would require a significant investment and/or change to the Society’s HR structure. Current consideration estimates the required investment at 3 members of staff and $150K+ in revenue. Such a change would require FHBC’s membership fees to double or an internal HR restructure to align existing resources to this identified need, thereby reducing or eliminating existing programs and services.

 

  • No Female Representation from GVJFHL Board Nominees

The GVJFHL has nominated the following members to join the FHBC board:

o              Andrew Dewberry, Vancouver Hawks, standing for President

o              Jasbir Tatla, Surinder Lions FHC, standing for Finance Director

o              Ronald Prins, Sea to Sky FHC, standing for Coaching Director

o              Narinder Sangha, India Club, standing for Umpiring Director

o              Mark Vaughn, WVFHC, standing for Business Development Director

When FHBC met with the GVJFHL December 8th, 2019 all the GVJFHL representatives in attendance were male, except for one. In addition, all of the GVJFHL representatives nominated for an FHBC Board position are male and all represent the men’s league and youth development. The FHBC Board believes equal representation of both male and female board members is a very important consideration in FHBC governance and it is essential to have Board members with interests in the female athlete context.

 

FHBC CLARIFICATION – VHFHC COMMUMUNITY MEETING:

At a recent Vancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club community meeting, a number of concerns were brought forward. The FHBC Board of Directors believes some of the information presented at the meeting is not accurate and therefore clarification is needed.

Concern #1 – FHBC doesn’t do enough to support turf advocacy – City of Burnaby West Complex turf example used. 

FHBC Clarification

FHBC provides letters of support for all projects, provides information on turf type, broad-based cost projection, and plays an active role when invited to do so. For the City of Burnaby turf application, FHBC was invited to play a role in both the assessment and strategic process instigated by the City. FHBC also offered its assistance to Burnaby Lake FHC, provided letters of support, played a role in the development of a five-year usage plan, and proposed a partnership where FHBC could assist the club to deliver year three outcomes in year one. FHBC was both mindful and respectful to the fact that the club wished to play point and offered its support according to club direction.

Langley Campus – FHBC was instrumental in having field hockey included in such a project. Considering the impact of field hockey in both the township and city, this was a major coup. FHBC was required to sign a confidentiality agreement preventing FHBC from sharing this project with community members. An outdoor water-based FIH tier one stadium pitch with permanent stands, a second water-based turf, a full size indoor facility with seating, and a shared dorm and sport science facility are just some of the highlights for field hockey. This was a three and a half year active project which is now frozen due for the most part to a change in provincial government and now a minority federal government.

Concern #2 – FHBC does not promote field hockey at the schools grass roots level. 

FHBC Clarification 

FHBC runs the elementary and middle schools program and offers financial support to clubs for doing the same. Over the last five years, FHBC has delivered the elementary and middle schools six week development program to a total of 9889 male and female students. Over the last two years, this number is only 1095 male and female students due to staff transition in 2017-18 and having to reallocate staff resources to the WV Academy in 2018-19.

Concern #3 – FHBC’s decision to not enter into a formal agreement with the WV School district for a field hockey academy for the 2019-20 academic year. 

FHBC Clarification 

Having agreed a break-even operational budget with the school district (based on 30 athletes participating in 2019-20), and having agreed that such programming can no longer be run at a net loss to FHBC – the WV Academy ran a net loss amounting $6,000 in 2017-18 (shared between FHBC and the school district); and began the 2018-19 academic year with a projected net loss of $9,000. Given that FHBC had made a commitment to the school district to run this program in 2018-19, FHBC was forced to move a full-time employee into the WV Academy for the entire academic year in order to offset coaching costs. The net for the WV Academy for 2018-19 does show break-even but it pays no consideration to the employee cost contribution for coaching – the rationale for not entering into a joint agreement with the WV school district for 2019-20 was a budgetary forecast net loss amounting $33,000 to FHBC. At the athlete registration deadline for 2019-20, nineteen athletes had registered with a forecast loss amounting $33,000.

Concern #4 – FHBC has not explored establishing a field hockey academy beyond the North Shore. 

FHBC Clarification 

Following both the first and second year delivery on the North Shore, discussion took place around a potential partnership with Eric Hamber Secondary School and the Vancouver SD but did not gain traction. FHBC has reached out to the Burnaby SD and the Delta SD and investigated where the Surrey SD sits relative to the Academy modelling. The only SD to express interest in this case was the Burnaby SD and an assessment into timetabling, facility access, and athlete population was initiated. The athlete population is insufficient to make a Burnaby SD academy currently viable.

 

FHBC CLARIFICATION – PATHWAYS TO CHANGE:

The FHBC Board of Directors would like to clarify and correct some of the information described in the Pathways to Change document specifically relating to the description of the current field hockey landscape.

 

  • Governance is described as “Inconsistent development and lack of enforcement of standards and accreditation”

The facts do not support this statement. FHBC is considered a best practice model in organizational readiness and LTAD program delivery within the BC organized sport system and receives the highest funding allotment available in each case. FHBC does consider itself to be deficient in the area of coaching and coach education, and as a result the Society is making every effort to inspire club community involvement in both the coaching and officiating pathways. A new Provincial Coach Education Pathway (PCE) designed to speak to club needs, a transfer of officiating education to online delivery, and a significant financial investment to offset community candidate costs are just some areas FHBC has prioritized recently.

Following dissemination of such program information across our community, practical implementation at the club level remains a hurdle. There has been a severe lack of appetite by community clubs to comply with an enforcement of standards and accreditation. Community clubs can expect both the provincial and federal government to pass minimum standards for coaching and officiating. Mandatory minimum standards are coming and will be applied across the entire BC sport sector. Field hockey athlete participation will be at risk when it comes unless we begin to phase in mandatory requirements, and it will be felt to the greatest degree in the area of coaching.

The recent hiring of an FHBC Sport Development Manager who will oversee responsibility for FHBC’s Coach Development Program and Officials Development Program is another example of how the Society is working to develop and implement certification standards. This position is also designed to be a primary conduit to the club community sector in both the identification and support for critical sport development drivers and in the planning and execution of the FHBC elementary and middle school athlete program. FHBC welcomes any ideas and/or suggestions that will help FHBC encourage clubs to support minimum standards for coaching and officiating.

 

  • Marketing and Advocacy is described as “Inconsistent promotion, low awareness of field hockey & lack of coordinated advocacy or lobbying”

The facts do not support this statement. FHBC currently receives $416K in Provincial Government Funding (Ministry, viaSport, and Community Gaming), which represents nearly 28% of the total revenue into the Society. At the time the BCWFHF and BCFHA amalgamated under the FHBC banner in 2005, $137,000 was received from the provincial government, and only nominal program grants were attributable to the BCFHA Men’s Association. The BCFHA was a strictly member-funded organization. The total annual revenue into the Society has grown from $650K in 2005 to a high of $1.7M in 2018. The progression in advocacy is clearly evident and is not possible without significant effort.

During this time, FHBC has also been elected to the Provincial Sport Organization leadership council and has sat on the viaSport Innovations Team, the BC Multi-Sport review team, the Sport BC strategic planning committee, and the BC sport sector multi-sport games expert advisory committee. FHBC has been a competition review advisor to the Sport for Life Society, and a presenter, panel member, and speaker at the Sport for Life National summit.

 

LOOKING AHEAD:

FHBC agrees communication and consultation are important. Field hockey is a relatively small sport in Canada and we all need to work together for growth and development to occur. Responsibility for communicating and working collaboratively is mutual and the FHBC Board and staff are committed to working together to resolve issues.

When FHBC Directors learn second and third hand, months and years later that members don’t like a particular element, we can’t do anything to change the past. As a PSO, FHBC doesn’t have a huge capacity to suddenly roll out new programming and adjust to clubs that might speak the loudest. The governance and operational structure mean that things take time.

FHBC has expanded its HR focus with a new role – the Sport Development Manager position. This role is all about growth, communication, and collaboration. FHBC is also trying to work collaboratively with the GVJFHL to reduce/eliminate scheduling conflicts between FHBC programming and spring league, create greater emphasis on Club Championships, and set up a working group to review the Provincial pathway and make recommendations for improvement that would also be inclusive for those athletes belonging to smaller clubs and/or outside the Greater Vancouver region. As a community we also need to work towards better communication and cooperation between leagues on issues such as coaching certification, field scheduling, umpiring assignments, etc.

As we approach the Annual General Meeting scheduled for February 10th, we ask you to please take some time to reflect on the future of field hockey across this province, then gather your hockey proxy votes for representatives attending the AGM so that what you feel is right for you and for is expressed at this meeting.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Alan Waterman, FHBC President at waterman@vjview.com.