Club Championship and Festival Program
The Club Championship/Festival Program will evolve to align with the stages of athlete development within the Canadian Long-Term Field Hockey Development Strategy (LTFHD). This Program will follow the evolution of the Field Hockey BC Athlete Development Program, a program that transitioned to align to the stages of athlete development within LTFHD in 2011.
In order to facilitate the necessary transitional change for this event based program, Field Hockey BC presented a proposal for program change, in both format and classification, to both the Victoria and Vancouver Junior Leagues (December 2012 and January 2013 respectively). The purpose was to serve advance notice as to the intent to evolve and align the program strategically to LTFHD, as well as, to discuss the implications for Junior League play across BC and encourage Leagues to consider change over time, especially where it may be deemed necessary or advantageous.
What is LTFHD strategy?
The LTFHD strategy is a National strategic commitment to align field hockey player, coach, official, and event development to the stages of learning within the Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD). The LTAD model has been a leading influence in the Canadian Sport System for the past eight years, and the model is used as a strategic frame of reference when considering the sport specific needs of field hockey. The LTAD model is designed around the stages of learning necessary for effective athlete development and LTFHD simply refers to sport specific field hockey (FH) needs rather than the generic developmental needs of an Athlete (as referenced in LTAD). More information as to the Long-Term Athlete Development Model is readily available in the resource section of the Canadian Sport for Life website http://www.canadiansportforlife.ca/
What is being proposed?
Each Championship or Festival is designated by stage of learning – ‘Learn to Train’ (Under 13), ‘Train to Train’ (Under 15), and ‘Train to Compete’ (Under 18). Playing environments for U13 events are Festivals, while formats for U15 and U18 events are Championship events. Each event will incorporate divisional play (Divisions) which are designed to assist teams to enter each event at an appropriate level of play.
How does this relate to League Play?
The proposed changes are for the Club Championship and Festival Program ONLY. Field Hockey BC has encouraged Leagues to look at and anticipate change over time (hence the notice of intent to change 18 months in advance), but the Society has not asked for it. Clubs and teams wishing to enter the Club Championship and Festival Program will be required to consider their respective player rosters by the designated stage of learning.
LTFHD and how it relates to cultural change for field hockey development – Age versus Ability
For LTFHD strategy to be realized, the Canadian field hockey system will evolve from an age based system to an ability based system and over time coaches will be empowered to make educated decisions as to where best to place their athletes in both a training and competitive environment. In order for an ability based system to become a reality it will require transitional change over time.
Examples of this transitional change were implemented in 2011 when Field Hockey BC evolved its developmental (Elementary Schools Program and Learn to Train Program) and performance programming (Train to Train and Train to Compete Programs), to align with Long-Term Field Hockey Development Strategy (LTFHD), and in 2013 the new National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) pathway was aligned to LTFHD and approved by the Canadian Coaches Association (CAC) and Field Hockey Canada. This NCCP alignment not only considers the key technical and tactical elements of our sport but relates these to LTFHD stages of learning and to the most appropriate playing and competitive environment (game playing format).
We will now see the Club Championship and Festival Program follow the same path, noting that whilst an ability based system is the goal, transition will still require an age based reference which is why age is likely to continue to be a significant filter.
Most significant change for 2014 – ‘Hockey 5’s’ at the ‘Learn to Train’ (U13) Festivals
Field Hockey BC believes a significant change to the 2014 Club Championship and Festival program was the introduction of Hockey 5’s at the U13 Festival events as this format of mini-game is seen as the most appropriate developmental structure for field hockey at this stage of learning.