Thursday, August 2, 2012

Observations from the Couch 8.2

I crawled out of bed on three hours sleep today to watch the U.S.A. vs Australia field hockey game only to have high school flashbacks. I played hockey for six years and one of the worst places to play was a private school in Lancaster County, PA, Lancaster Mennonite. I never really understood where the Mennonite part came in because it is a very expensive school to attend. It was the worst place to play because it had a blue turf field that was so much faster and harder than the grass I always played on. I was always sore when we played there. So I turn on the game this morning and there it was, blue turf surrounded by pink like some sort of garish sporting nightmare.

I was wondering why nobody around here seems to be as excited about Olympic hockey as I am. Having played for so long I sometimes forget how limited in scope the sport is in this country, nowhere near as popular as soccer, and men's field hockey is nearly non-existent. Field hockey has grown at the college level because of Title IX which in 1972 mandated colleges fund comparable men's and women's sports programs. But even in the NCAA field hockey is dominated by a select few schools basically in the Big10 and ACC conferences. In the last ten years only three teams have won the NCAA Div I title, Maryland (5), Wake Forrest (3), and North Carolina (2). All three are ACC schools and half the members of the U.S. Olympic team went to one of these schools.

But for this post I'm going to narrow it down even farther. Of the sixteen members of U.S. national team nine are from Pennsylvania and seven of those nine are from eastern Pennsylvania. Eastern Pennsylvania just seems to be the heartland of field hockey in the United States but that may be about to change and not for the better. This year the PIAA. the body that governs high school sports in PA, will no longer sponsor a spring girl's soccer season in the eastern part of the state. This means girls will no longer be able to play both field hockey and soccer. The only reason given for the move is to unify the sport as it's the only sport in the state without a state champion or full state playoff.

Now that I answered my field hockey question I have a new one. Why don't they play lacrosse in the Olympics? Lacrosse, that sport invented by the Iroquois, played mainly in the eastern United States.

Never mind.


  1. They're so hot, I seriously don't understand why more people don't watch it.

  2. lol! oh really? how shall we rank them? fh, soccer, beach volleyball, the Brazilian volleyball team, and and and ....

  3. I gotta be honest, swimming and beach volleyball are the only two sports I've watched, and not a lot of those really. I really enjoy the beach volleyball outfits, but the ladies on team USA don't do much for me.

    You should do a post on the hottest and rank them.