Hello Parents and Players!
New Canaan Youth Field Hockey strongly encourages our athletes to keep a stick in their hand once the fall season ends with winter indoor hockey, spring outdoor hockey or both! We are lucky to have many Clubs in our area, and most offer a variety of teams depending on the athlete's skill and intensity/commitment level. Most offer some version of Elite and Academy travel teams (some attend local tournaments and some attend national tournaments) as well as clinics (which focus on skills, with no tournaments). All Clubs want to help players develop their skills and grow their love of the game, and will help your athlete progress. Winter indoor Club tryouts start in the end of October – so we encourage you to sign up on their websites soon!
TYPES OF OFF-SEASON PLAY:
- Winter indoor field hockey (November - March) is played indoors on the wooden gym floor with 5 players plus a goalie. The indoor practices on gym floors are fast paced and help improve athletes’ stick skills due to the swift nature of the surface. Here is a Women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup Video so you can see the indoor game. Club teams compete to play in the USA Field Hockey National Indoor Tournament.
- Spring outdoor field hockey (April – June/July) is a great time for athletes to improve their 11 vs 11 outdoor game on turf. Spring is actually the “in season” when USA Field Hockey hosts the Regional Club Championships and the National Club Championships for the Club teams to play against each other and secure USA Field Hockey National Club Rankings. You will notice PA is the hotbed for Field Hockey, but CT Clubs are starting to break into the top 10. We need more CT girls playing from a younger age!
- USA Field Hockey Futures Program - The Futures Program is dedicated to developing the top athletes in each region, identifying the most talented athletes in the nation and cultivating the Olympic athletes of tomorrow. Girls that are middle and high school age can join the Futures Program through an individual trial or a USA Field Hockey Partner Camp.
Some players just do winter or spring or futures, and some do all in addition to youth field hockey in the fall. The indoor game is very different from the outdoor game, as it's played on a smaller court and has fewer players; so playing both actually gives the players a lot of variety throughout the year.
We suggest that you research each Club program, talk to other parents, and determine the best-fit program for your athlete. The list below should be used as a starting point for your research. It’s never too late to try indoor… a lot of our 5-8th grade players are trying it for the first time this year. We are trying to set up an intro to indoor session but are having difficulty securing gym space in NC and are looking at alternative locations.
- Indoor Stick (thinner and lighter since you don't hit the ball, just push and flick on the wonnden surface)
- Left (and Right) Gloves (NEW: advanced glove example)
- Court Shoes (example)
- Mouth Guard
- NO GOGGLES
USA FIELD HOCKEY
- FACT SHEET (See page 6 on Indoor)
- See NCYFH Players competing in national USA Field Hockey Events / Tournaments. (Please send more photos and names to add to this preliminary list!)
We are happy to talk with you about the process for selecting a Club and some of the considerations, but encourage you to reach out to the Club leaders directly to help understand their expectations for the season and to other parents who have players in the programs to see what will be best for you and your athlete.
We hope many girls continue to explore the fun of indoor and off-season hockey for the 2019/2020 season.
NCYFH Board President and Program Director