College Field Hockey Scholarships & Recruiting Information

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson we explore the college scholarship scene in the sport of field hockey. We also discover a few important things about the recruiting process.

Field Hockey

When most people think of hockey, they think of pucks and ice and red flashing lights any time a goal is scored. But as you probably know, there is a whole other form of hockey that is arguably just as globally popular: field hockey.

Field hockey is a fast-paced game requiring technical skill and a team effort. If you are a really good player at the high school level, you may want to consider pursuing an athletic scholarship in field hockey to help you pay for your college education. The rest of this lesson will examine the scholarship scene in the sport and some helpful for getting recruited.

No Man's Game

Across the globe, men and women play field hockey equally avidly. Indeed, there are both men's and women's competitions in the Olympics, and many countries field both teams.

Unfortunately, no collegiate divisions offer men's teams, let alone scholarships. If you are a man and enjoy the game enough that you want to continue playing, you will have to play the sport outside of the realm of collegiate athletics.

Scholarships

For women there are scholarships available, but these are not always easy to come by. More than 250 schools have field hockey teams, but just over 100 schools offer scholarships. For the most part, the rest of these schools compete in the NCAA Division III, and schools in this division, by rule, do not offer any athletic scholarships.

The schools that do offer scholarships compete in NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II. Two-thirds of these schools compete in Division I and offer up to 12 scholarships to players per team. The other third, competing in Division II, offer only 6.3 scholarships per team.

Now, this doesn't mean Division I schools only have 12 players, or that Division II schools only have 6. Field hockey is an equivalency sport, which means coaches can divide scholarships into partial scholarships so long as they come under the total cap. For example, a Division I coach could choose to give 24 players half scholarships, or give 6 players full scholarships and 12 players half scholarships. This means it is possible you will only receive a partial scholarship.

Club Teams

Though the sport may be popular abroad, in the United States field hockey is still a niche sport. While plenty of high schools field teams, this is not the highest level of competition for high school-age players. Indeed, the sport at its highest levels is played by club teams that travel across the country to participate in regional and national tournaments and showcases.

It is incredibly important to get yourself on one of these teams if you hope to get recruited by a college coach. Field hockey coaches aren't likely to have a large budget for recruiting, but they do make recruiting trips to these large club tournaments. At these, they can be assured that they are seeing a large concentration of the best players.

However, joining these teams is not as simple as joining your high school team. Many of them have try-outs and you will have to make sure your skills are good enough to play on the team. Additionally, these teams can be quite expensive. You, or more likely your parents, will often have to foot travel bills and pool resources with other members of the team to pay the club team's coaches. It can get expensive quickly. You should discuss this option with your family before trying out for these teams.

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