Login | Register
Staff Directory | Subscribe | About Us
Loudoun Times
Business Government Politics Region Crime/Public Safety Education People E-edition Ashburn Hamilton Hillsboro Lansdowne Leesburg Lovettsville Middleburg Purcellville River Creek Round Hill Sterling
Basketball Football Youth Wrestling Gymnastics Swimming Volleyball Baseball Track Golf Cheer Cross Country Schedule Scores
Brambleton Community of Faith Hangin in the Nosebleeds Journal Entry Loudoun Essence Made in Loudoun Odd Angles River Creek & Lansdowne South Riding Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
Browse All Galleries
  • Announcements
  • Autos
  • Jobs
  • Legals
  • Homes
  • YardSales
  • Submit an Ad
  • Newspaper Advertising Online Advertising
    Classified listings Homes section

    Field hockey first sport in Loudoun to reap benefit of changed athletics policy

    From left to right: Anna Teutsch, Porta Palamattom, Lauren Nunley, Sam Klck, Chrissie Hackmer adn Emily Rodriguez, all from Broad Run, celebrated field hockey’s win in Loudoun May 26.
    In a long-running discussion between School Board members and local athletes, LOCO for Field Hockey had a win at Tuesday's School Board meeting.

    Varsity field hockey was recognized by the School Board Tuesday, which allowed the sport's registration to play competitively in Loudoun County Public Schools in fall 2016, a move only possible after changes to the athletics and extracurricular policy was made on the same night.

    As it stood before, sports could only compete under their school's name if the sport was fully funded by Loudoun's public schools.

    The School Board changed the athletics policy to create a three-tiered system that allows for greater flexibility within the county's sports programs and opens the door for more sports in Loudoun schools.

    Tier one fully funds and sponsors sports recognized by Virginia High School League (VHSL). Athletics at tier two are only partially funded for students with financial need, with the remainder of the sport recognized by VHSL funded through other means. Tier three sports are former VHSL sports that are recognized by the school district but are given no financial support and relies exclusively on self-funding.

    The move gives sports with enough community and statewide interest a chance to move up through the tiers, granted the field space exists at the high schools in the county.

    Varsity field hockey was recognized as a tier one or two sport, to be decided during fiscal 2017 funding discussions in the spring.

    LOCO for Field Hockey, a local group made up of parents and female field hockey players, began lobbying for the addition of field hockey as a varsity and junior varsity sport in Loudoun's public high schools in 2014. They hoped the change would take place in time for the 2015 school year.

    As a precaution, the group of parents managed to get every public high school in the county except Riverside and Park View to send in applications for the extra-curricular activity's addition.

    Principals initially didn't support the applications because of the cost, according to county documents, but they changed their tune when alternative funding options arose.

    According to research done by Loudoun County Public School staff, the last time a new Virginia High School League sport was added to Loudoun schools was in 2001, when boys and girls lacrosse was added to an official extra-curricular.

    Board members and staff said they don't have the funds budgeted to support field hockey.

    Start-up costs for varsity and junior varsity teams together would cost $25,942 per school. Recurring costs for coach stipends, officials and transportation would cost around $18,000 per school.

    A $150 student activity fee for a 20-member team would generate about $3,000 per varsity or junior varsity team.

    Because of the unknown status of the fund availability for the sport, board members stressed nothing is set in stone. It may not be funded as a tier-one sport.

    Members from the field hockey community in Loudoun filled the meeting room to voice their support as the decision was made by board members. But they aren't the only ones the decision to change the policy effects.

    A group that has been fighting for recognition in the county's public schools longer than field hockey is the crew community, otherwise known as rowing. It's not currently a sport recognized by the Virginia High School League, but with the new tier system, the door is open for crew, and other sports like it, to play under their school's banner.

    This article has been updated to better reflect the function of the athletics tier system.
    Top / Education /
    Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!

    Get Email Updates
    Tuesdays:  
    Thursdays:

    StayConnected

    Follow Us
    on Twitter

    News | Sports

    Like Us
    on Facebook

    News & Sports

    Join Our
    Email List

    Sign up for
    weekly updates
    The Loudoun Times-Mirror

    is an interactive, digital replica
    of the printed newspaper.
    Open the e-edition now.

    May 2015 Leesburg Downtown

    Loudouner - Spring 2015

    Loudoun Business Journal - Spring 2015

    Readers Choice Winter 2014