Brief History of the United States Men’s Field Hockey Foundation (USMFHF)
The 1984 Olympic Games were hosted by Los Angeles. They were a great success, both in sporting and financial terms. By reusing many existing facilities, construction costs were contained and security expenditures were much less than seen today. The resulting profits were distributed to organizations that would support youth sports in the LA area, as well as a donation to each sport’s National Governing Body (NGB) of $1 million. Field Hockey was the only sport with two NGBs, the United States Field Hockey Association (USFHA) which administered the sport for women, while the much smaller Field Hockey Association of America (FHAA) ran the sport for men. Both organizations got $1.4 million, much to the frustration and chagrin of other sports. The FHAA set up a foundation, the USMFHF, to oversee the funds and set the expectation that grants would be made over many years to support the men’s national team and elite level men’s field hockey in the USA. The money was invested together with funds from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and other NGBs.
In 1992, the USOC made clear that two NGBs were no longer acceptable and accepted a proposal from USFHA to take over the duties of the FHAA. As this was developing, the constitution of the USMFHF was restructured to ensure that its funds would continue to be available to support men’s hockey and that it would not be folded into the USFHA.
The USMFHF has provided a range of support over the years. It was the main supporter of the first turf installed in Moorpark, California. Tom Harris had long dreamed of having an astroturfAstroTurf to help develop the game in the Moorpark area and provide a boost for Cal Cup. When his ninth or tenth set of plans were finally approved by Moorpark College, Tom welded together a team of construction volunteers who worked alongside the professional installers to help contain costs. USMFHF donated over $400K for this field. The USMFHF also contributed to the cost of the first replacement turf and other upgrades to the facility with another $300k.
USMFHF contributed $250K to the cost of two turf fields that were installed in Virginia Beach by USFHA under a deal with the City. This location was used for many tournaments including the JFK Memorial as well as serving as a training base for the USA women’s team. A later deal with the owners of the NOOK saw most of this activity relocated to Pennsylvania.
USMFHF gave $100K and joined with USOC and USAFH to replace the turf in Chula Vista. This served as the base for a men’s residential program, until a change of direction saw more players finding spots with European teams to play and practice at a consistent high level.
While the Foundation has provided support for the USA Men’s Senior and Junior National Teams, including Pan Am competition and Junior World Cups donating on the average over $50K each year from 1987 until the present. ,
By far its greatest influence and support was on the USA Men’s Indoor program. Over a period of 15 years from 1996 until 2011, the Foundation helped gave over $1M to US Indoor team touring Europe and South America. During this time, the USA won Pan Am Gold, three silvers and a bronze. The USA qualified for the first FIH Indoor World Cup in Leipzig Germany in 2003 and beat New Zealand in a penalty stroke competition to finish 11th. In 2011, the USA also finished 11th, winning their last game 8-0. They came incredibly close to gaining points against world power England, only losing 3-2 to a late goal.
The Foundation has supported umpires getting international exposure and among others, helped Steve Simpson accompany the USA Indoor Team on several trips to Europe. As a result, Steve got his international indoor badge and was selected to umpire at the first FIH Indoor World Cup.
Over the last 30 years almost $4M has been donated to support the US Men’s Elite team and US Field Hockey. We continue to be diligent in how the resources are spent and continue to maintain a healthy investment. It seems like a lot but more is needed in the future.
With LA set to host the 2028 Olympic Games, now is a critical time to lay the groundwork for a strong USA men’s team to represent us in LA. The USMFHF is supporting the current national team and junior national team and will continue to do so. However, to produce a truly competitive team, greater resources will be required. At a time when USFHA’s resources are stretched thin, we need to find other ways to support the team.
Please consider donating to USMFHF, perhaps on a multi-year basis through 2028, or talk to us about matching gifts or memorial funds that we can manage and distribute in honor of someone connected to USA men’s hockey.
Past Presidents of the USMFHF include: John Greer, Don Robinson, Peter Jones
Past Board Members include Chris Waters, Allan Woods, Tee Goh, Scotty Gregg, Steve ?Haley, Fred Wittenberg, Ashok Patel, Dr Fook Wong,
Current Board for USMFHF
President -- Bob Hindy
Vice President -- Dave Jackson
Secretary – Ian Wagge
Treasurer – Lenny McCaigue
Manzar Iqbal, Peter Jones, Marc Bakerman, Pat Cota, Jason Wellings, Shawn Hindy (USMFH rep)