The 2018 Field Hockey Canada National Championships is taking place July 12-23, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario. The two world-class pitches are located in the heart of the provincial capital on the beautiful campus of University of Toronto. The event will feature three divisions: U15, U18 and U23.
The U23 division is the newest division, being in its second year, and will be played on the final two days of competition. This division is a key part of building our national championships to include all age groups and all our provinces in our national event.
Last year, Ontario won the inaugural women’s U23 tournament in Surrey, BC. They return in full-force looking to defend the title on home soil. Women’s National Team member, Alison Lee, potted a hat trick in the final, contributing to the Ontario victory. According to Lee, the National Championships was a valuable experience for her and her teammates.
“It was great to have the U23 division at nationals last year. It had been a while since there had been an option for university-aged athletes,” Lee said. “It was so fun getting the chance to play with girls who I used to play with throughout university and U18 competitions.”
Lee said that with the many university-aged athletes preparing to return to school in the fall, the tournament provides a great competition outlet. Paul Bundy, the head coach of the Men’s National Team, said this is yet another avenue to be exposed to national team coaches.
“Nationals is a great competition where the national team coaches get to see everyone all in the same place at the same time,” Bundy said. “From our perspective, the U23 division is just another example of trying to make sure we get to see everyone. There are late bloomers, there are players who have suffered from injury and there are players who just missed the age requirements for the junior world cups. We want them all playing in this great competition opportunity.”
Finally, if you’re over 23 this year, you can still play! In order to facilitate growth and development in this division, our 2018 technical regulations allows players one year over aged to play without permission and for players of any age to play with the permission from FHC.