What The Spring Field Hockey Schedule Is Morphing Into

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Most conferences sponsoring Field Hockey have now committed to play a spring version of a championship schedule. The NCAA has set a 12 team championship with 10 automatic qualifiers and 2 at large teams. However, we know that the Ivy League will not be playing and American West with Stanford who is dropping the sport after this season is in disarray. Aside from the fact there are only three teams from the West Coast where the virus is still raging, makes them doubtful participants. So there are 9 conferences playing, American East (6 teams), Atlantic 10 (8 teams), Big East (8 teams), Big Ten (9 teams), CAA (7 teams), Mid America ( 7), NEC ( 8 teams),and the Patriot League (7 teams). The ACC had a fall season with UNC taking the championship. It’s hard to believe that they will not play this season!! So that leaves 9 auto qualifiers and 3 at large teams according to my calculations. The NCAA championship semi- final and final games will be May 7th and 9th.

We know the Patriot League will be playing an in conference schedule using a round robin format with the top four going to the championship on April 22 and 24th. The first “regular” season game will be March 7th and the last game April 18th. The conferences for the most part are using a similar in conference round robin formats.

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The Big East is playing 12 games. They split the conference geographically, UConn and Providence, Quinnipiac and Providence, Liberty and ODU, and Temple and Villanova are playing against each other 4 times. Their first game is Feb 20th. The championship is at Villanova on April 22-24.

The rest seem to be going for the single round robin format with the CAA perhaps adding an out of conference game. It looks as though they will start on March the 19th. James Madison is reporting a first game on March the 19th with an out of conference game with Virginia on the 21st.

If that weren’t confusing enough, the NCAA is allowing players an extra year. That is fine for universities but does not fit an Ivy League or Patriot League pattern.

In any case, there will be a season….League Championships and a National Tournament.

How we look inside our league will be published soon!!! Students begin returning this week!! Go Pards!!!

There Are All Kinds Of Training Going On During A Pandemic

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Nine weeks and Growing

I believe we are closing in on normality as vaccinations become available. There will be more live classroom teaching, and even some college football, soccer and field hockey played to replace missed seasons. It has had an effect on everyone and quite frankly my wife and I have been experiencing a “ground hog day” everyday for the last 6. months. 

It hasn’t been a totally non-productive period. I have been working on looking for a new training headquarters for US Field Hockey. There have been several meetings via zoom, with friends and even a 75th birthday party via zoom. Christmas was sort of a downer as my family is spread about the country,

However, Pam and I did welcome the newest addition to our house, Bailey, a lovable black lab. She is smart but mischievous, lovable but at times smothering, but most importantly she is a “covid puppy.” ¬†She has not had the opportunity to mix with many people, and does get anxious. Once she acquires an object ( a shoe, a pillow, or a TV remote), it became her’s. It was time for school!!!

I don’t often endorse anyone on these pages but we found a trainer who truly worked miracles. After giving us a free evaluation, she trained Bailey…  and us to instill manners in this young pup. The trainer’s name is Nichole Finizio owner of More Than Manners Dog Training. 

She arrived from her business site in North East Philadelphia and spent seven weeks with us and Bailey helping us cope with her Covid Puppy attitude. At the end, she now responds to commands, and is beginning to adjust to new situations. We are finally really enjoying our new family member and I believe she is a happier dog as well, since we now understand what she was saying to us.

We were so happy with Nichole we are passing along her telephone number 267-496-2500. Her web site is http://www.morethanmannersdogtraining.com. You may even see Bailey’s pictures on the website or her Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/more_than_manners

Who Will Be Able To Attend Lafayette Field Hockey Games This Spring

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So we finally know that there will be field hockey this Spring. The Patriot League let it be known to all, that fall sports will be played, albeit with strings attached. The seasons, will, for the most part be truncated by playing only Patriot League teams with overnight stays to be limited along with travel. The Patriot League is a multi state league so there is bound to be Patriot League, as well as state and local rules. In addition, I assume individual schools will have there own regulations.

As I watch our basketball teams play, it does gives some insight to how a spring field hockey season may play out. Even the play by play announcers, Gary Laubach and John Leone, at Lafayette, are broadcasting remotely from an RCN studio. In Boston, this weekend, both Colgate and Boston were wearing masks on and off the court. All League games had the bare minimum in attendance with cardboard cutouts in the stands ( available for a slight fee).

Molly McAndrews and Sam Dimiao challenge a Bucknell mid

In Pennsylvania, and nationwide, governors and national leaders are struggling with the rollout of vaccines. Locally, in Pennsylvania we are on the brink of moving on to Phase 1B where the second level vaccinations will be administered. ( That would include those of us who are 75 years and older along with teachers and others). By March 7th I would expect vaccinations would be on the cusp of a universal availability. By April 24, the date of the championship, hopefully many of us will have been inoculated. But that’s all speculation. I note that the governor of New York allowed about 7,000 live fans at the site of the Bills/Colts football game yesterday!

Fortunately, we live in an age of streaming services and hopefully, parents and fans will be able at least see their favorite teams on TV. The Patriot League has announced a new partnership with ESPN plus to telecast games nationally, and Stadium Sports internationally.

I emailed AD Sherryta Freeman who has been leading her staff to make this opportunity to play a reality. What’s the fun of being an Athletic Director supervising zoom meetings??? I asked her about plans for televising all spring activities. I got this answer. ” Yes, we are making plans. Each League member is making every effort possible to broadcast its home events. I know that our Communications team has been working on Covid-related solutions throughout the pandemic for all return to play scenarios. So stay tuned as we to continue to navigate those details.”

So details matter, as Lafayette navigates practice and game schedules to give our charges the chance to play, and fans get a chance to watch them in action. So get your subscription to ESPN Plus or Stadium Sports, to be ready for a return to action!!

If former home and home league protocols apply, we will playing American, Boston and Lehigh at home and Colgate, Holy Cross, Bucknell away. The championship game will be played at the home of the winning regular season team, and any play in game to the NCAA tournament could be at Lafayette and any further games away.

Patriot League Announces Fall and Spring Schedule Play

A plan has been hatched by the Patriot League to play baseball, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, mens and women’s soccer, softball, and volleyball during the 2021 spring semester. The league will hold championships for men’s and women’s cross country, golf, outdoor track, swimming and tennis.

Scheduling, unfortunately for field hockey as well as football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will be limited to league only contests. The other sports may schedule non-league games at the individual school’s discretion. Detailed schedules will be announced at later date.

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Specifically, the League announced that the seven field hockey programs will play a six game League-only schedule beginning Sunday, March 7. The end of the regular season will be Sunday April 18. That will mean 7 weeks to play 6 games. The championship tournament will be on April 22, a Thursday, with the championship on the Saturday the 24th. The winner of course goes on the NCAA tournament.

To sum up, that means a possibility of 8 League games including the tournament and more if we were to go all the way to the NCAA tournament. We will just have to continue winning to keep playing. It is gong to be an intense season and season prep will be key. There is the integration of first year players as well roster and position adjustment at the get go. I also presume there will be no pre-season scrimmages. Certainly a coaching challenge!!

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Molly McAndrews eludes a VCU defender

Coach Stone wrote to the list of LCFH supporters, about the spring league only schedule. ” Our team remains eager, grateful, and excited to return to campus for the start of classes and prepare on February 8th. We know we have to remain smart, healthy and flexible.’

There is no word yet on fans, but I am sure it depends on local rules and. progress on Covid vaccinations. In Pennsylvania, it has been announced there is a goal for the general population to be well into vaccinations by spring.

Inside Lacrosse Magazine Details Spring Lacrosse For Patriot League

The Patriot League has been meeting regularly and there does seem to be action according to an article written by Matt Kinnear of Inside Lacrosse magazine. The Patriot League has been silent, but confirmation of sorts has happened with the Naval Academy publishing it’s spring Lacrosse schedule for both men and women.

The template follows the basketball reopening by splitting into regional divisions with the exception that schools are free to schedule non-conference games if they wish. Play will start in early March with the establishment of two divisions. There will be a North and South Division with Army, Boston, Lafayette, Colgate, and Holy Cross in the North Division and American, Bucknell, Lehigh, Loyola and Navy in the South Division.

The men’s schedule will start March 6 play each Saturday until April 24. There will be crossover games with the other divisions. The patriot league tournament will be May 7 and 9 for the men. Several schools are determined to play some non-conference games. Inexplicably, with exception of Navy, member schools and the League have not made any announcements. The women start the same date and will play their conference championship May 6 and 8. Despite Army and Navy being in different divisions they will be continuing their rivalry with regular season games. I would hope the same respect would be given to Lafayette/Lehigh.

Internal logistics remain an undermined detail. At Lafayette for example if there is fall football played in the spring, where will practices be held and at what time??? It is rumored all teams will be back for conditioning practices Jan 14. We still await details.

There are no details about field hockey and as usual, a lid on any communication!!