Q: What do I need to bring to tryouts?
A: See the "Tryouts" page for information. Starting in 2018, families were required to use the MCPS Parent Portal to submit most forms. Players who are missing forms or missing equipment will not be allowed to participate - no exceptions.
Q: What if I can't come to all the sessions during tryouts?
A: Players are expected to attend every session during tryouts. In the event of extenuating circumstances (illness, death, etc), coaches will be understanding. Players won't be turned away for missing a session, but keep in mind that those kids who were present did rearrange their schedules to be there, and they worked very hard while they were there. Missing sessions will not help your chances of making the team. Because of MCPS guidelines regarding heat acclimatization that stipulate players must participate in a certain number of days of practice before they can participate fully, those players who miss a session (for any reason) will be limited in what they can participate in until their heat acclimatization period is over (eg. If there are two practices on day six, players who missed any day of practice prior to that will only be allowed to participate in one of the two practices). We can not take anyone on the team who has missed the entire tryout period.
Q: How should I prepare for tryouts?
A: Get in shape. Coaches distribute a summer workout packet at our spring interest meeting that returning players are expected to follow. Fitness is something coaches consider when selecting the teams because it's something that you have the ability to improve on your own. Those new to the program can receive a copy of the summer workout packet by attending our spring interest meeting. To develop field hockey skills, signing up for camps or clinics in the offseason is a good idea if you can. See the "Offseason" page for ideas.
Q: I'll be out of town for most of the summer. What should I do about the workouts?
A: If you have running shoes and a safe neighborhood, you can do the workouts. Distances can be estimated (you don't need a track). The workouts are designed to make your life easier in August, to prevent injury, and to make our team stronger as a whole. Your teammates are counting on you to come prepared.
Q: How are the teams selected?
A: Coaches look at players' fitness, coachability, effort, and field hockey skills (in no particular order). Coaches rate players on each category and average their scores. Underclassmen who score well may be invited to join the varsity team. Upperclassmen who underperform may be invited to spend more time on the JV team only if space allows. No spots are guaranteed in a new season. Depending on the number of athletes trying out, there may be more than one round of cuts, and team announcements will be posted on this website. If you've never played field hockey before, don't let that stop you from trying out. Once teams are selected, teams will shift from tryouts into practices.
Q: When will practice be during the season?
A: On school days, varsity practices are tentatively scheduled to be from 4 pm to 6 pm. Players will need time to cool down and put equipment away, so they will usually be dismissed around 6:15 pm. As the sun starts setting earlier (late October), practice will end earlier. JV practice times are tentatively scheduled to be from 3:00-5:15 pm.
Q: What should student-athletes do in the time between the end of school and the beginning of practice?
A: Coaches strongly encourage players to get as much homework done as possible before the beginning of practice.
Q: During the season, what are the coaches' policies for missing or being late to practice?
A: Players should plan to attend every practice and arrive on time. Significant or routine tardiness may impact playing time. If you have to miss a practice for an excused reason (health or academic, with note from doctor or teacher), there is no penalty. For unexcused reasons, you won't be able to start in the next game. There is a stricter policy for the practice before a game; missing the practice before a game will impact playing time. For any reason, you will not start. For upperclassmen who are planning college visits in the fall, try your best to plan visits with our game schedule in mind. College visits are considered academic (excused).
Q: What if I have another activity that I do (like dancing, club lacrosse, etc) and I have to miss many practices?
A: Players are expected to commit to the field hockey program and attend every practice session. If you are involved in another activity that requires a high level of commitment, maybe field hockey is not for you. If you're not sure, speak to one of the coaches.
Q: What's the procedure for game days?
A: JV games usually start at 3:45 pm, and varsity games usually start at or slightly before 5:15 pm (see the schedule for specific days and times). For home games, players attend a full day of school and set up the field for the game after school. For away games, JV players may leave school early (how early depends on how far away the school is), and a parent carpool will take them to the away school. The reason we do this instead of scheduling a team bus is to minimize the amount of missed school for players. When the JV season ends and playoffs begin, varsity games may be earlier.