To My Hockey Family

by USA Field Hockey

After dedicating more than 14 years to USA Field Hockey, Steve Horgan will officially retire at the end of this week. Horgan began as a rules interpreter for the organization in 2008, went on to be the part-time director of umpiring in 2011 and became full-time in 2012.

Upon Steve’s retirement I wished to share our immense gratitude for all he has given to the sport and to USA Field Hockey, and specifically to the many umpires of every experience level” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director. "His passion and commitment to the sport and to helping all officials is so admirable. All the best Steve in your retirement!"

Read more on Steve's journey.

To My Hockey Family,

The time has come for me to say goodbye to all the members of USA Field Hockey as I begin the next phase of life. As the umpires have heard on many occasions, “If I cannot be with my immediate family, this is the family I want to be with.” That has always included umpires, club administrators, coaches, parents, players and staff of USA Field Hockey. Through all the good and all the challenges, I would not trade the past 40 years being part of this family for anything in the world. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the USA and USA Field Hockey on a number of levels. If I may…


To the Umpires: Remember you are part of the show, but not “THE” show. The best way to keep the focus on the players in the show is to work as hard as possible to continually educate yourself on the game and the evolving trends. Learn the game and do not expect anyone to tell you how to umpire…it is a learned art. Treat yourself as an athlete, if you want to progress in your umpiring, you must have an athletic lifestyle of eating, sleeping, training and practice to be the best you can be.


To the Coaches: We all have passion for the game from different perspectives. Remember the same as umpires, you are only part of the show. Decisions on the field and in the moment may not always be perceived as correct, but this is sport, everyone is human and perceived mistakes will happen. Any distraction from the field of play that impacts or influences the game only takes away from the positive environment created by our game and the enjoyment of the game for our players. Players and parents feed off of you as you are seen as their authority on the game. You all do great work in teaching our players not only about hockey but life skills as well. Please continue to promote the positive aspects of our game to everyone you come in contact with.


To the Club Administrators: Thank you so much for establishing your clubs and working diligently to give our athletes the opportunities that you have to help them become not only better hockey players but also the best they can be as the future of our game and the world. Remember they will eventually take over for all of us and the positive environment you have created is setting them up for success.


To the Parents: YOUR CHILDREN ARE AMAZING! I have said many times, “We almost never have an issue with the players”. They are respectful, understanding and even inquisitive when appropriate. As they are closer to the play than anyone else, they know when a call is correct or not, but they mostly respect the game and the officials by moving on to the next step even if they do not agree. You all have taught them that. They know not everything will always go their way and life is not always fair, but you have given them the tools to cope with that and still be the best that they can. Your children will know more about this game than you. Please accept that fact and be part of the positive environment by encouraging your children and not attempting to coach them or influence the game and the umpiring from outside the lines. They love showing off for you, enjoy every moment as the time will go by very fast.


To the Players of all ages: Hockey is a game for life. Just ask our U.S. Masters Teams who are going to South Africa, Japan and England later this year. My hope is you stay part of the hockey family no matter where life takes you. You have created so many friendships over the years which are also for a lifetime. Thank you for the respect you have shown our umpires for the job that they do. You all realize it is not easy, but the umpiring crew would love to have you on their team once your playing days may be done. Good luck to all and remember even if you step away from hockey for a while, you are always welcomed back to our family.


Lastly and certainly not least, to the staff of USA Field Hockey: I could never be more proud to be associated with this group of friends; yes co-workers but friends. No one can comprehend the hours and challenges of being part of this staff unless you live it. Your passion and dedication to creating the best positive environment possible so that the thousands can play our game is astounding. From the bottom of my heart…thank you all for your kindness, patience, and understanding over the years. I know my passion sometimes got the best of me and you all were very gracious in that understanding. I will miss you all dearly.


In closing, I hope this is not a true goodbye, but a see you later. Just as we are a family and family turn up at the most unexpected time, I will look to see many of our family at a future USA Field Hockey event somewhere in the country. It would take me another 40 years to thank everyone who has been part of this journey, So I will say one big THANK YOU to all and all the best for the bright future of hockey.