VHSL Establishes New Field Hockey Regulations

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) announced on its website that there will be changes in regulations regarding protective eyewear for field hockey.

The National Federation of State High School (NFHS) Board of Directors voted to make protective eyewear that meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. These are mandatory for field hockey players in the 2011-2012 season. The Board made this decision after the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommended the rule, in order to lessen the risk of injury.

“I don’t think that the goggles are going to make a difference because if the ball is going to pop up, it’s not going to hit us in the eyes,” sophomore Christina Uglietta said. “They also obstruct our vision since the ball is on the ground.”

However, those who made the decision assure field hockey participants, that the new regulation is potentially going to work in favor of the players.

“While serious eye injuries in field hockey are rare, the NFHS Board of Directors has concluded that an eyewear requirement is the right step,” NFHS director of educational services and field hockey rules editor, Elliot Hopkins said.

Head coach, Cindy Hook, addressed the rule change at the field hockey interest meeting on May 25. She explained that the goggles would need to be worn at all school sponsored events, but not camps.

“Our main concern is to find eyewear that will offer the required protection with the least restriction of peripheral and downward vision,” Hook said.

Examples of eyewear that meet the ASTM standards are now available on the VHSL website.

The new rules now force players and coaches to adapt to their regulations for the upcoming season and have left many of the returning players for next year, on the fence about the decision.

By Colleen Adenan

Sports X-tra Editor