Safety, Health and Well-Being. Teams and Teamwork. Inclusion & Accessibility. Educated & Engaged Parents. Trained & Certified Coaches. Fun & Learner-Centered. These are the core values of USA Field Hockey, underpinning everything that is enjoyed and loved about the sport, and summarizing the organization’s aspirations for the life lessons taught, learned and embraced. For the sport to thrive, all must work together to uphold these values, to prioritize good sportsmanship and ensure that all involved are welcomed, safe and respected.
Field hockey, like other sports, is facing an umpire and coach shortage that threatens the game play and ability to grow. Sports are supposed to be fun. They are not fun when umpires, coaches or athletes are threatened, disrespected or feel endangered. They are not fun when anyone – an athlete, coach or umpire – gets out of line and acts inappropriately. And it’s really not fun when sports can’t happen or have to be canceled.
The problem of bad behavior in sports has reached a tipping point. Sports, including field hockey, are facing a shortage of umpires and coaches, causing games to be rescheduled and even canceled. USA Field Hockey has seen a similar decline in the number of umpires attending the Regional and National Events. The No. 1 reason cited by field hockey umpires for putting down their whistles? Bad behavior by coaches and fans, and sometimes even athletes. Great sportsmanship needs to become the norm.
USA Field Hockey is proud to partner with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to help launch and amplify the #BenchBadBehavior campaign. Let’s make field hockey the gold standard of fun, sportsmanship and safety.
Help Bench Bad Behavior in Field Hockey
How Can You Help Encourage Sportsmanship and Bench Bad Behavior in Field Hockey?
- Help spread the word! USA Field Hockey and the NFHS have a #BenchBadBehavior toolkit with content you can print or send digitally to raise awareness and encourage good sportsmanship.
- Watch your own behavior and hold yourself to the highest standard of sportsmanship. Support and show appreciation for the athletes, coaches, umpires administrators and other fans. Thank them for the roles they play in allowing games to be played and enjoyed.
- Encourage good sportsmanship among your team. Promote good behavior and make it the norm. If you see bad behavior, respectfully and safely address it before it gets out of hand.
- Become a field hockey coach, umpire and champion! Coaches, umpires and leaders are needed at all levels of field hockey; they are essential and can have tremendous influence on the lives of others. USA Field Hockey has tools and resources to help individuals new to the sport – and those with experience – get started and develop as coaches, umpires and field hockey champions, on and off the field.
Together, we are Team USA. Together, we can #BenchBadBehavior in field hockey and all sports!