Field hockey a step closer to recognition in Loudoun County

WASHINGTON — Field hockey is one step closer to becoming a recognized school sport in Loudoun County. 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.

The School Board changed the athletics policy and field hockey will be the first sport to reap the benefits.

The Loudoun Times says changes to the county’s school athletics and extracurricular activities policy will now allow sports to compete under a school’s name even if it is just partly-funded by the county schools.  Previously, sports had to be fully funded by the school.

Varsity field hockey which is now recognized by the School Board Tuesday will be allowed the sport’s registration and 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 that same night.

As it stood before, sports could only compete under a school’s name if the sport was fully funded by Loudoun County Public Schools. However, 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.

Board members say they have not formally approved field hockey yet because of funding concerns.

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.

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