Club of the Week Wednesday: Fog City
by USA Field Hockey
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On Wednesdays throughout 2021, USA Field Hockey will highlight an active club from one of the nine regions around the United States to shine a spotlight on what makes Member Clubs unique. From coast-to-coast, clubs big and small will be featured to increase awareness of field hockey across the country, and administrators and coaches will have the chance to talk about initiatives, training and favorite parts of the game. This week from Region 11 is Fog City.
Club Name: Fog City
History: Founded in 2011-12, Fog City was developed to spread the love of field hockey to young and old, from novices to experienced in the Bay Area. The mission is to get people playing in a fun positive environment, rekindle or establish their love for the game, and with achieving that funneling athletes into clubs like the Bay Area Field Hockey Association and Northern California Field Hockey Association, or even get selected to represent the Bay Area's at the United States Field Hockey League Adult National Club Championship with the Olympic Club.
Fog City plays year-round, usually on Tuesday evenings for about an hour. Since 2018, there has been a group of four to five regular, dedicated members who handle specific aspects from field booking, fees, socials and more, and all the tournament teams are organized by volunteers.
Their membership numbers have steadily grown from initial 4v4 evening games in the rain to 25 to 35 people on a relatively consistent basis.
The name comes San Francisco being synonymous with fog, it seemed appropriate for the organization to be named after it.
Most Recent Events: Fog City participates in most of the local tournaments around the state, with California Cup being the highlight of their calendar year. They even traveled to Seattle and Chicago and have aspirations for adventures abroad.
Pullman on Club Life:
Pullman, Fog City club administrator, said they have become a lot more than just a pick-up hockey group. San Francisco is a very transient city with many athletes from abroad or around the country who may not have social support when they arrive and for some, Fog City is a great introduction to life in the Bay. People have commented that they may not have stayed in the Bay for as long as they did if it was not for Fog City, which is great feedback.
Fog City is made up of some young stars with parental guidance, present and post collegiate athletes from across the country and club players of all levels from all over the globe. A handful of former national team athletes even made appearances to play with them.
The event that Fog City supports the most in terms of community involvement and outreach is the annual Solace House, Suicide and Self-Harm awareness walk on the Golden Gate. Since their involvement, they have had people walk in the last three events.
Pullman said operating during the pandemic was an adjustment. Aside from not being able to play weekly, the athletes missed the socialization. Fog City does have some creative individuals who hosted virtual award and quiz nights that kept the club together.
For Pullman, as someone who has seen the club grow in all its ebbs and flows, is really about the sport which happens to be the tie that binds. There are so many friendships, teammates and relationships that have grown out of Fog City and continue and although some are still near and a lot are far away, it is a real connection in this digital time. It is a great reason to reacquaint yourself with that tie and there are always great, fun stories to tell.
“We were really happy to be able to have the chance to play some field hockey while we were visiting San Francisco. The Fog City field hockey group was nice enough to let us join their pick-up game just for the day, and everyone was super welcoming and encouraging. It was a great opportunity to play lots of competitive field hockey but in a fun, low stress environment.”
“There was definitely a strong sense of community and we loved to see how many people came out to play!” – Madison
“I hadn’t touched a field hockey stick in 12 years, but seen the Olympics made me search for a local club. Fog City field hockey was really welcoming. I had never played on a co-ed team and was a bit intimidated at first, but after warming up, I saw that people were there to have fun. As a Bay Area local, I’ll definitely keep coming back to play and meet new people. It was cool to see people all over the United States and from different countries coming together to play and have fun. – Arai
“I just moved to San Francisco in the past month, so I’ve been looking for ways to meet new people and spend time outdoors in the temperate Bay climate. I stumbled upon Fog and was so happy that I did. Everyone was friendly and excited to have me as a newcomer despite a couple years away from hockey. I loved getting to play for a full hour with other folks who are excited about hockey and having fun. We played hard while still joking and laughing around with one another. Coming from the East Coast, I was worried about finding hockey opportunities in the city, but Fog did not disappoint! You can’t beat a welcoming, supportive, hockey-loving community. I’m already looking forward to the next session!” – Norah