Sports Commentary: "A Call to Sticks"

UD FH vs Kent state
Andrew Kuczmarski/THE REVIEW
Managing Sports Editor Jack Cobourn calls on former field hockey players to pick up their sticks. Above, Esmée Peet accepts a pass against Kent State.


After another CAA-winning season for the Delaware field hockey team, I was longing for the chance to play the sport that I have covered for so long. I bought my stick ($3 at Goodwill), had my shin guards from soccer and bought a ball. I was ready to play. However, I discovered the sport had been dropped from the intramural program’s listing of spring sports.

A quick conversation with my friend, Assistant Director of Recreation Services Adam Jines, answered my question about why it was dropped. He said that of the 90 people who signed up last spring, only two ever appeared on a regular basis to play and not many more showed up.

So this is my plea to all of you high school field hockey stars: come play in the spring. You know your competitive instincts are burning as you read this piece, so go get your sticks when you go home for winter break and join me at Carpenter Sports Building when the weather gets warmer.

Don’t you miss the sport you once played? I’m assuming you paid a small fortune for all of the equipment that is now just collecting dust in your parents’ garage…why not use it again?

The format of the intramural field hockey program is straightforward. Come with your equipment and get placed on a team, playground-style. There’s no ranking points to be won, no need for aggression if one of your teammates is not doing their jobs and most importantly, no coaches yelling at you if you miss a shot or let a ball get by you. It’s meant to be pure and simple fun.

As much as I enjoy playing a solitary sport like tennis, where the onus (and pressure) to win is all on me, I do enjoy being a part of a team and being a part of an overall effort to win.

And guys, if you’re concerned about how this sport isn’t “manly” enough, just watch international men’s field hockey on YouTube. It’s as exciting as the NHL, as it requires skills and fitness like soccer and is as tough as dodgeball. And if your friends give you a hard time that you’re playing a “girl’s sport” in their eyes, obviously they just don’t get the excitement, so drag them along for a good time.

Head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof said at hockey clubs in the Netherlands, there is a family atmosphere of fun and enjoyment over a weekend spent playing field hockey. He said entire families spend all day playing field hockey, mingling and generally enjoying one another’s company. I hope that this kind of feeling can be replicated with the intramurals.

So remember, if you want to have a lot of fun by being part of a team, play intramural field hockey. Go home, get your equipment and come out to Carpenter Sports Building this spring and enjoy yourself. I hope to see you there.

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