USA Field Hockey Statement In Regard to Olympic Selection

USA Field Hockey would like to provide facts to set the record straight regarding the Olympic Selection policy.

As is required of all National Governing Boards for Olympic sports, USA Field Hockey is required to publish and follow an Olympic Selection criteria process prior to any athletes be considered for the USWNT. Under the selection criteria, there are two paths for potential inclusion in the athlete pool. First, a number of athletes were invited to tryout in early 2023 for consideration into the pool of centralized athletes, who would be up for selection to the Olympic qualifier and Olympic Team. The second qualifying route is by “ongoing observation” by the USA Field Hockey selection committee. We are not permitted under the published Olympic Selection process to deviate from the selection criteria or invite in a player who does not meet the qualification requirements.

Erin Matson did not meet the qualification requirements and requested a special exception to the published Olympic Selection Process policies. This came after the team qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and in the final stage of preparing the team for Olympic level competition. Erin was invited by USA Field Hockey to tryout in early 2023, but turned down the opportunity, which established the main pool of candidates for potential selection. Subsequently, Erin has not played in national or international competitions necessary to be evaluated on an ongoing basis since the original selection of the centralized athlete pool in early 2023. It was not possible for the selection committee to fairly evaluate the inclusion of Erin. As a result, Erin did not qualify under the mandatory terms of the selection criteria that all athletes had to follow for possible inclusion on the team.  

USA Field Hockey’s commitment to the integrity of the selection procedures will not change. Our duty is to the team, the culture of the USWNT and all athletes. In fairness to the athletes who have made incredible sacrifices in their Olympic journey, we remain committed to our process and are entirely focused on providing the best possible platform for the USWNT to prepare, without distractions, for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The USWNT qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a set of amazing performances in India in January. The athletes of the USWNT who all followed the published Olympic Selection procedures, continue to commit to each other and to Team USA. This came at no small sacrifice to them, as members of the team gave up jobs, delayed family obligations, took time away from college and their teams, and uprooted and moved to base themselves in Charlotte for the past year. They train daily in a vigorous, high-performance environment – as the demands of international hockey is on a vastly higher level to that of the college game. Throughout the past year they have traveled across the world competing for Team USA, culminating in the incredible moment of securing Paris 2024 qualification.

USA Field Hockey is excited to support and follow the USWNT at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as they represent Team USA!