To bring a higher level of field hockey to all age groups in Northern VA

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COACH HANDBOOK
Included on this page are all the elements for our Coach Handbook.  It is also downloadable as a PDF form.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

GAME & RULES
COACHING

FIELDS
COMMUNICATION
SCHEDULE
WEATHER
SAFETY AND INJURIES
UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT
PLAYERS
PARENTS




GAME & RULES

We follow FIH rules with modifications.  Click here to view our Game & Rules page.  

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COACHING
PLAN AHEAD. 
Always have a practice plan set up.  It is better to over-plan so that you and your players can stay focused.  Use our Resources section below for links and ideas.

LEADERSHIP.  Encourage players to demonstrate skills and design practices.  It gets them involved and allows them to have a hand in the success of their team.

COACH MATERIALS.  Many coaches use binders to collect drills, keep track of attendance, keep emergency contact lists, etc.  We also suggest using a wipe board to outline drills, devise team strategy, and manage substitutions.

PARENTS.  Encourage your team parents to get involved and help set up drills.  It will help them get involved and learning more about hockey.


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FIELDS
FIELD LOCATIONS.  Practices are held at a various fields in the county, all run by Loudoun County Parks and Rec DepartmentAll games are held at Bolen Park in Leesburg.  For information and directions to our fields, please visit our Fields and Facilities page.

CAGE, FIELD BOXES, AND LOCKS.  Our hockey cages and hockey equipment field boxes will be stored at each field.  All cages and field boxes should be locked up at the end of each practice.  Our field bins will have items such as balls, med kits, and be our main way of getting items to and from players and coaches.  There are two boxes at the school sites that contain extra paint and a field liner.  The combination to the locks for the cages and field boxes is 8-2-9-1;  this combination is the same for all locks at all fields.  It is helpful if you text message or email this information to yourselves in order to keep it handy.

FIELD EQUIPMENT.  If you find that you could use more balls at practice, cones, medical kit supplies, or ice packs, please email
so that we can get the delivered to the fields.

FIELD SIZES.  All teams will play 7v7 and use a 45 x 60 yard field so that they can get used to using the full width of a field;  their fields will be laid across the full-sized field and have proper 16-yard circles.  U10 and U12 teams will be playing attacking halves.  U14 and U19 teams will play 11v11 with goalies and use a full-sized 60 x 100 yard field with standard field markings.

SPECTATORS.  Please note that all spectators should remain in the spectator side of the field as being on the endline is not safe.  Coaches and umpires should ask those on the endline to move quickly to the spectator side of the field. 

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COMMUNICATION
TEAM PAGE. 
Your Team Page is the primary source for schedule information but you can also use the Team Page to post articles which you can broadcast to your team.  Your Team page will be a great place to post information and messages in one place without the need to send emails;  parents can also reference the Team Page at any time.  Log into your Team Page at the top right corner of our web site using the email address and password that you used to set up your personal account.  If you are having trouble logging in, please contact our Registrar at .

TEAM BULLETINS.  Adding a Team Bulletin to your Team Page is a great way to house important information and announcements that relate specifically to your team in a central location;  it is often better than email as it will be housed on your Team Page and your families won't have to search through emails to find them.

To add a Team Bulletin to your Team Page, first log into the web site with your personal account log in.  While on your Team Page, simply click on the "Add Team Bulletin" link at the top of the page.  You can select a publish date (automatically set to the current date) and select an expiration date of when the message will disappear from your Team Page.  Don't forget to title your bulletin.  You have all abilities to bold, italicize, and color text.  Add photos, links, etc.  Make it fun - it's your Team Page!

When you are done you are ready to post your bulletin.  Please make sure that the Season drop down box is the current season (ie, Spring Outdoor 2013) and that the Recipient Team is YOUR TEAM. 

You also have the option to BROADCAST your message!  This will not only post the bulletin to your team page but email the information to your team as well!  To do this, just click on "Broadcast this message" and you can select to send to parents and team members.

When you are done, click Submit and the bulletin will now appear on your Team Page.

TEAM EMAILS.  You can also use your Team Page to send quick emails to all the email addresses attached to your team with one click!  When you are logged into the web site, go to your Team Page's roster and there is an OPTIONS button at the top right of the page;  click and scroll to "Email Team."  Email addresses will automatically fill in the TO box and you can send an email by clicking on the blue SEND button at the bottom of the window when you are done.

Emailing through the Team Page also gives us a way to track emails that may be bouncing, etc.  If a parent wants to include a new email address, please have them log into their family account on the web site and add it;  the email address will already be in the system the next time you need to email your team.

CLUB BULK EMAIL.  The Club also generates emails sent to players and parents about Club events and updates.  If a parent wants to include their email to that system, they should email us so that we can add it to this separate system.

COACH CELL PHONE.  It is recommended that you give your cell phone to parents so that they can get in touch with you in the event of an emergency or if they are running late.  Your phone number may be listed at the top of your team roster page.  If you want to keep that private, just adjust the settings in your personal family account. 


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SCHEDULE
PRACTICES.
  Practice schedule are loaded to your team page and can be seen in the box on the right hand side.  

PRACTICE CANCELLATIONS.  Due to limited field resources, any canceled practices will not be made up. 


GAMES.  The game schedule will be posted on your Team Page before the first game weekend.  Finals matches will be held on the last game day;  schedule will be based on standings by the end of the regular season.  Please report your game scores immediately after your game by emailing our Rec League Coordinator, Kelly Given.

REQUIRED PRACTICE AND GAME UNIFORMS.  All Youth Rec League teams are required to wear their pinny to both practices and games.  Players cannot participate in any activities without wearing their pinny.  For Youth Rec League games, teams listed first should wear their white side of the PFH pinny.  Teams listed second should wear the navy side of the PFH pinny.  Shin guards do not count as socks;  socks should be worn over shin guards. 


No visible jewelry of any kind is allowed at any level in practices or games!  Players must remove all earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc. before entering the field.

GAME CANCELLATIONS.  Due to limited field resources, any canceled games will not be made up. 

COACH ABSENCES.  If you are not able to attend your assigned practice or game, please arrange a substitute coach by contacting another named head coach. 


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WEATHER
RAINED OUT.  All weather announcements will be sent via the Rained Out system.  This not only allows you to receive cancellations via email and/or text message but it also enables you to post cancellations when fields are a game time decision.  We encourage you all to register for it as well as have all your parents register for it.  Just look for the Rained Out logo on the right hand side of our web site. 

WEATHER ALERTS.  PRCS updates their cancellation hotline by 3:00pm on weekdays and 7:00am on weekends. When the weather is questionable, we are at their mercy as to when we find out this information - another reason why Rained Out is so important as all registrants get immediate notifications!  When fields are open and weather is questionable, PLEASE have your parents stay close to the fields.  NEVER leave any of your players behind at the field;  wait with them until they are picked up.

THUNDER/LIGHTNING.  When thunder is heard and/or lightning is seen, fields should be cleared for 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder or lightning strike is seen.  Coaches should blow their whistle with three loud blasts to make participants aware to clear the field.  Please see the example of the
Fairfax County Public Schools Lightning Guidelines.

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SAFETY
INJURIES.  When players get injured, coaches should report them to our Rec League Coordinator and your Age Group Director.  This helps us make sure that the player as taken care of appropriately, allows us to follow up with parents, as well as take steps toward injury prevention measures.  Please send the report with the following information:

  1. Player name
  2. Team name and age group
  3. Name of responder
  4. Date, time, and field at which injury occurred
  5. Injury that occurred
  6. Circumstance/situation of injury
  7. Attention applied
  8. Whether EMS needed to be activated
  9. When and how parent(s) was contacted

CONCUSSIONS.  Concussions are a topic of much discussion and are a very serious issue.  Basic rule is "If you get hit, you sit."  If a player gets hit in the head, they must be removed from the field.  Please click here to view important information from the CDC.  There is also a free online Concussion in Sports course give by the National  of High Schools (NFHS) that is available to both coaches and parents.

There is also a great site called
The Concussion Blog.  Click here for a short video presented by ESPN about the call for concussion specialists on NFL sidelines.

WAIVERS.  All players must complete a PFH Waiver.  Parents complete the waivers during the registration process.  
Any player that does not submit a waiver will not be rostered to a team.  Coaches no longer need to collect waivers from their players.

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EQUIPMENT
EQUIPMENT.  All players need to have their own stick, field hockey shin guards (not soccer!), and mouth guard.  We recommend purchasing equipment at Longstreth.com.  It is good habit for players to keep a second mouth guard in their bags in the event that the player loses one or their coach deems their mouth guard as not sufficiently protective.  Players who are not properly equipped will not be allowed to participate in activities.

EYEWEAR.  Our Club follows FIH rules so eyewear is not required for our players.  If players elect to wear eyewear, we certainly encourage them to do so but it must be USA Field Hockey approved eyewear which are primary the plastic style and NOT the wire cage goggles that most lacrosse players wear.  


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PLAYERS
ATTENDANCE.
  Players should be checked in at every practice.  If you were missing a player on your first practice day, please contact them to introduce yourself as well as to make sure they know the right place to go for the next practice.  If you have a player you have not seen or heard from in a while, please let know so that we can reach out to them. 

ROSTERS.  If you have more than the players on your roster showing up for your team's first practice, please make a note of who was there and email
to figure out whether there are any errors.  Your most up to date roster is posted on the team page of your web site.  If you (or any of your parents) have any questions about your team or rostering, please refer them to our Registration Team at the aforementioned email address.

EMERGENCY CONTACTS.  Via your Team Page, you can access your full roster including contact information by clicking on Roster.  Please print out this sheet and carry it with you so that you have your players' parents' information in the event of an emergency. 

PLAYING TIME.  We believe that at the rec league level, all players should play in games however it is not fair to the team that works hard at practice to have a non-practicing player only play in games.  If you notice that one player seems to be missing a fair share of practices, please contact the parents directly to see what the issue is.  The next step is to contact our registrars at the aforementioned email address so that we can take care of things from a Club perspective.

GOALIES.  All U12 and U14 teams should identify someone who will take on the role of goalie;  we now have enough equipment to kit a keeper for each team.  Please let me know if you have a designated goalie on your team.  This is an integral position to the sport and we are working to facilitate this.

For U10 we will be using Pugg goals turned backward on the endline in the middle of the goal cage to emulate having a goalie.  PLEASE do not assign or refer to a field player as a "goalie" nor encourage them to stand on the goal-line as a goalie.  This is very dangerous!  The primary role of a defender is to protect the scoring circle (not the goal cage) and close down and protect space.  Playing higher and outside of the circle slows down an attacker from getting toward the goal as well as allows the remaining defenders a chance to get into proper defensive positions. 

MALE PLAYERS.  Boys are encouraged to play hockey!  Teams play co-ed in the U8, U0, and U12 divisions and are separated at the U14 through U19 age groups.  In college club play, the boys begin to mix back in with the girls.


PLAYER EVALUATIONS.  At the end of each season, coaches should complete an evaluation for each of their players.  These evaluations will enable our Registrar to create more evenly matched teams for the following seasons as well as help in the decision when a player requests to play up in an age division.

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PARENTS
TEAM PARENTS/MANAGERS.  Whenever possible, encourage parent participation!  This can include asking parents to help coach, assist with game day snacks and ice, field lining, etc.  Using Sign Up Genius is a great free tool to get folks organized and help you focus on coaching.

Q&A.  Parents have a lot of questions about the season and the Club.  Most of the answers can be found on our web site.  We have a
Questions & Answers page that answers some more specific questions about the upcoming season.  If they have questions that they can't find the answers to, please feel free to have them email us at .

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