Frequently Asked QuestionsUpdated Sunday March 10, 2019 by Daniel Mumm.
What equipment will I need? During the Indoor Season, players will need indoor sticks, court shoes, mouth guard, field hockey shin guards, and an optional face mask for corners. All players will also need an H2O uniform (see 'What about uniforms?”, below.) During the Spring Season, players will need outdoor sticks, turf shoes, mouth guard, field hockey shin guards, and an optional face mask for corners.
When does the season run? H2O plays year round. The Club begins the year with the Indoor season (practices begin mid November and end the first week of March) which culminates with the National Indoor Tournament (NIT) at the end of February or early March. H2O then goes outdoors by participating in the Junior Premier Outdoor League (JPOL) as well as several Spring tournaments that are optional to the players. We also compete in the Regional Club Championships (RCCs) and National Club Championships (NCCs) if we qualify. During the late Fall, the Club will send teams to tournaments over Thanksgiving (Shooting Stars or National FH Festival). The Spring Season is OPEN to new participants and IS NOT limited to players who played during the indoor season.
What is the time commitment? During the indoor season, H2O conducts one, 1.5-hour mandatory practice weekly, that we like to keep in the Mon-Wed range. We also offer optional individual stick skills and drills session for all ages, usually on Thursday evenings.
For the indoor season over the winter, we compete in 2 weekend tournaments a month in December, January and February. Generally those are 1/2-day schedules (younger ages early, with older ages into the evening). Overnight accomodations are usually not necessary, but that's each family's individual option.
For the outdoor season over the rest of the year, the commitment is largely up to the player. Specific commitments are dependent upon the optional outdoor tournaments in which a player wishes to participate. National level tournaments will typically involve additional practices.
Where are practices? H2O practices across the street from The Highlands School in Bel Air, MD during the indoor season. This year, some age groups may also have some of their practices scheduled at The Arena Club in Churchville - which is where we will also offer addtional optional skills and drills. Practices during the outdoor season are held at fields in the Bel Air area according to turf availability. Recently, that has most often been at The John Carroll School. For specific details as they are confirmed each season, see the Practice Information link from our homepage.
Where are tournaments? Indoor tournaments are typically within 45-90 minutes of the Bel Air area - usually concentrated around Baltimore, Lancaster, and western Philadelphia. If our teams qualify, the National Indoor Tournament (NIT) is just north of Lancaster. For examples of our past venues, see the Venue Information link from our homepage.
How are the age groups organized? Following USA Field Hockey guidelines, age grouping is determined by birth year. When you register a player, our system will automatically place her according to the age group they will be at January 1st following the try-outs. Generally, our youngest players are 8/9, with age groups extending up through high school.
How do I register a player for Evaluations? H2O holds annual open evaluations in June. Registration for Evaluations usually begins around Feb, and will be advertised on H2O's homepage when it opens.
In addition to Evaluations, we do also recruit talented new players at other times of the year - most notably during the field hockey recreation and high school seasons in the fall. If you have a player that is interested to be considered outside of our annual Evaluations, please contact our Club Director (Janice Rhodes).
How do I register a player for the season? H2O registration is by invitation only. You must participate in an Evaluation before being invited to join H2O. Tryouts/Evaluations are scheduled during the first week of June. Interested players should register on the H2Ofieldhockey.com website. If you cannot attend the scheduled tryout/evaluation date, and alternate date will be scheduled. Our primary registration, for invited players from the open Evaluation, is usually open from June through August. Our secondary registration period, for recruited players, extends through November. If your player is invited during one of these periods to join the H2O family, simply use the "Registration Now Open" banner from H2O's homepage.
What is the cost to play? For the 2019-2020 season, registration fees are $850 for all ages - but you will have a fund raising option to earn back as much as $200 of this. The fee includes ~15 weeks of practice, 6 indoor tournaments, qualifying tournament (U16 & U19), plus ten raffle tickets valued at up to $200 (at your option you may sell these tickets to offset your dues, or keep them for yourself). As we move outdoors several optional local and regional tournaments will also be available throughout the spring/summer/fall seasons, at an additional cost that usually varies from ~$50 to $75. And for those that are interested and up to the challenge to compete at an elite level, H2O participates in national-level outdoor tournaments throughout the year that can run between $150 and $250, and also require long-distance travel and hotel expenses.
What about uniforms? H2O does of course have our own (pretty awesome) uniform, marked by our distinctive pink socks and sublimated with our pink and blue theme and the Maryland flag. We were the first program in the US to pick up this make/model, which has since been adopted by the US National Team. We do not include new uniforms in our annual registrations fee. Instead, we keep the same uniform design for several years and each new or returning player needs only to acquire or replace the uniform pieces they individually need. Players often use the same uniform for more than one season, depending on growth, wear-and-tear, etc.
New complete uniforms, if needed, cost ~$203 (White and Blue jerseys, kilt, pink and white socks, and practice pinny), and pieces can also be replaced individually. We assign an available number to all new players, and they will retain that same number throughout their H2O career.
Does my daughter need to have a USA Field Hockey Membership? Yes. In addition to many of the tournaments we attend being USAFH sanctioned events, many of the sponsoring clubs hosting those tournaments (including H2O) receive their insurance coverage via USAFH. Also, USAFH promotes stability and fairness between participating clubs by requiring players to declare their affiliated club at the beginning of each season. And so all players must have an active USAFH Membership Number in order to participate.
Your daughter will not need a USAFH player number to complete an initial registration, but one WILL BE REQUIRED to be updated in her H2O player profile before practices begin in November. Please read more about the USAFH player registration program. (*Note* - When declaring your club affiliation, be aware that H2O is now officially considered a "Delaware" club - although our home is most assuredly in Bel Air, and we still consider ourselves a representative of Maryland field hockey. This is because our club directors recently moved their home across the line to Delaware.)