Field Hockey Added as an Official LCPS Sport for Fall 2016

Field Hockey Added as an Official LCPS Sport for Fall 2016

Written by Managing Editor Carl Huber and Business Manager Trey McCleary, Woodgrove Outlander

Field Hockey is becoming an official sport in Loudoun County in the fall of 2016 after the School Board changed its athletics policy. Currently, Woodgrove and Loudoun County High School have a combined club field hockey team with players ranging in age from middle school to high school.

Freshman Rachel Lambert, a current player of Woodgrove’s club team, thinks that the addition of field hockey as a varsity sport will attract more players to play.

“I think that they are trying to get the word out that there is a new sport and that they are looking for players,” said Lambert.

As a varsity sport next year, the field hockey team will be provided with practice time every day to get ready for games. The current club team belongs to the Loudoun County League, which schedules their practices and games, but they only get one practice per week to prepare for their Saturday games.

“I feel like an opportunity is being taken away from me as an athlete who would like to play Division I Field Hockey in college,” said junior member of the team Isabel Thompson. “All the surrounding counties have a field hockey program where they practice everyday.”

Thompson agrees with the idea to make field hockey a varsity sport in Loudoun County, saying that it would allow female athletes to better represent their school by providing more opportunities to participate in a fall sport.

The School Board’s only hesitancy to make field hockey a varsity sport is funding, but their new athletic policy should change that. According to WTOP News, Loudoun County schools will no longer be required to fully fund their varsity sports for the teams to compete under their school name.

The situation with field hockey is different than anything Athletic Director Mr. Lowery has been involved in at Woodgrove.

“This is the second implementation of a new sport that I’ve been a part of; the last one was swimming,” said Mr. Lowery. “The difference between swimming and field hockey is that the swimming program was fully funded by the School Board.”

The School Board’s new policy includes a new three tiered system, which deals with how the different school sports can be funded. A sport classified under ‘Tier One’ receives full funding and benefits while a sport classified as ‘Tier Three’ must rely on the individual’s own funding. Field Hockey is being classified as a ‘Tier Two’ program and is only partly funded by the county.

For a ‘Tier Two’ program like Woodgrove Field Hockey, the parent association will be informed of the estimated activity’s cost before the season begins. The parent association will be responsible for reimbursing the school for costs relating to coaches and officials, league registration fees, and transportation. They will also be responsible for costs of uniforms and equipment.

Other programs that the School Board has considered for varsity athletics in Loudoun County include Boys Volleyball, Crew, Equestrian, and Ice Hockey.