News

USA Field Hockey, FIH & PAHF Promote Hockey5s at The World Games

by USA Field Hockey

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The World Games (TWG) 2022, an 11-day international multi-sport event comprising of 30 sporting disciplines not contested in the Olympic Games, ended on Sunday in Birmingham, Ala. Although hockey (called field hockey in North America) is an Olympic Sport for men and women, and one of the most popular sports in the world, the new small-sided hockey competition format called Hockey5s is hoping to be added to the official program line-up at The World Games 2025 in Chengdu, China. Hockey5s is fast-growing and is fun and fast to play and watch. It utilizes a smaller field and lower number of players, making it more accessible for urban and developing areas and demographics.

USA Field Hockey, working in conjunction with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) demonstrated the sport of hockey and the Hockey5s format throughout TWG. During the first week, more than 1,000 individuals - spectators and team delegations alike - picked up a stick and knocked the ball around. Not only have athletes and coaches from other sports come to give hockey a try, but also the field has been very popular with visitors to TWG, with a steady stream of eager participants, including a large number of children from 6 to 12 years old.

 

“It has been inspiring and satisfying to see so many people encounter to try hockey for the first time and have an incredibly positive experience,” said Chip Rogers, USA Field Hockey’s Board of Directors Member and Miami University Assistant Coach. “It’s a sport that will draw you in and welcome you, and then hook you for life, and I’m hoping that the smiles and the laughter generated by so many new initiates to the game here will carry over as we continue to share the sport with as many new areas as possible.”

 

“This experience at The World Games is very impactful in so many ways,” added Rogers, who is also the chair of the Grow the Game Committee. “Not only are we demonstrating the sport to another international sports organization with the intention of getting it included in the next quad, but also we have gained the benefit of introducing it to a new area of the country, which can form the base for a subsequent opportunity for Sport Development. We have been able to reach the grassroots level as well as the international elite level, touching many points in between.”

 

Marc Bakerman, USA Field Hockey’s Boys Development Manager and U.S. Men’s Foundation Board Member, assisted Rogers and Sally Goggin, USA Field Hockey’s National Development Director in working with the attendees. “It has been so much fun to introduce hockey to so many boys and girls – men and women – who had never played it before,” stated Bakerman. “Everyone who picks up a stick loves hockey and we are honored to be part of The World Games.”

 

Goggin added, “We’d like to thank the city of Birmingham and The World Games staff and volunteers for welcoming, hosting and helping us be part of this incredible event. Congratulations to all participating athletes and organizers, and a special thanks to all those who discovered field hockey as part of our exhibit. We hope you’ll keep playing!”

 

The final demonstration on Saturday, July 16 featured athletes from the Atlanta Field Hockey Club.

 

If you want to learn more about Hockey5s and The World Games and USA Field Hockey’s plan to get it added by 2025, please email sportdevelopment@usafieldhockey.com.

 

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