RECORDS MEANT TO BE RECORDED, NOT JUST BROKEN

By Al Mattei
Founder, TopOfTheCircle.com

High-school records are important. They not only provide information for comparison across seasons, eras, and regions, but they also give the passionate field hockey fan some perspective.

And, in keeping with the historical perspective this website maintains, a re-tooled and updated national statistical database is entirely appropriate. We have always believed that field hockey is a living history, and American field hockey cannot move forward unless it knows where the game has been.

To that end, if we can prod the National Federation in streamlining its record authentication process, or to get athletic directors and coaches to actually submit the correct documentation about their field hockey teams, we think this effort, as a long-lasting legacy from the FIH Year of the Youth, will be worth it.


Here are some basic rules about what we're trying to do with The Rebel Project, based on the rules and regulations set forth in the National Records Committee Policy Handbook and the scoring conventions of national collegiate statistics director Chip Rogers:

1. The Rebel Project recognizes all performances from varsity teams that follow the rules and regulations of their state associations, or the rules of the national or international governing bodies of field hockey, competing against other competitors on varsity teams which also follow their respective rules.

2. The Rebel Project will not list in separate categories any records set by special schools (i.e., college preparatory, charter, magnet, parochial, pay-to-play club). Records for these schools, and any other exceptions, will be incorporated into the high school listings as long as all prior qualifications are met.

3. The Rebel Project defines an athletic career as being as long as the state high-school association deems it (i.e., New York public high school players should not be penalized for being eligible as young as 7th Grade). It is, however, limited to two semesters per academic year, with the last two semesters being consecutive, and attendance of 15 days shall count as a semester of participation.

4. The Rebel Project will not list marks that are solely of a negative nature (i.e., fewest saves, most goals conceded, most consecutive games without a win, margin of victory).

5. The Rebel Project will list the complete record (including names of individuals or teams involved) when the record involved a "positive," (i.e., fastest goal, most goals in a game).

6. The Rebel Project will refuse to list, or will delist, any individual, team, and institutional national records when action is taken subsequent to the establishment of the record rendering the record-holder ineligible, or necessitating forfeiture of a contest or contests.

7. The Rebel Project lists records even in the event of continued nonparticipation by the involved state association (e.g., Illinois High School Association) or in the complete absence of the same (Midwest Athletic Association).

8. For the purposes of recognizing a career mark in The Rebel Project, a "career" is defined as a minimum of two varsity seasons.

9a. For the purpose of recognizing a season mark in The Rebel Project, a "season" is defined as all timed, scored, and officiated regular-season contests within the limits of the state association (if any), any and all in-season tournaments (including consolation games), plus all contests in league, sub-state-level, and state association-sponsored playoffs up to and including a state championship contest.

9b. This also applies to postseason competitions in which a loss does not prevent a team from advancing to the next round of competition (e.g., Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and Virginia High School League).

10a. For the purposes of recordkeeping, a "goal" is defined as the act of scoring in a game whilst the game is in regulation or overtime play, including any untimed corners at the end of the half, game, or overtime period.

10b. A "goal" is NOT awarded to any player in any post-overtime tiebreaker situation (penalty strokes, 1-v-1 breakaways, alternating corners).

11a. For the purposes of recordkeeping, an "assist" is defined as the act of making the final pass to a goal-scorer whether the pass improved the scorer's position or not. Double-assists should only be awarded if:

i. a direct shot off a corner (in which the players making the insertion pass and the stick stop are given assists if the striker scores);

ii. a momentary deflection (accidental) or a touch pass (deliberate) from a teammmate leads to a goal; or

iii. the secondary assist was integral to the goal being scored (i.e., a deep pass leading to a successful 2-on-1 breakaway in which one subsequent pass led to the goal; a give-and-go would negate the secondary assist)

11b: if a shot is saved by the goalie, deflects off a defender, or strikes the goal frame, then an offensive player collects the rebound and scores, the original shooter should not get the assist no matter whether she is inside or outside the circle.

11c. An "assist" is NOT awarded to any player in the alternating-corner post-overtime tiebreaker.

12a. For the purposes of recordkeeping, a "save" is defined as the goalkeeper making a stop of any shot or pass that would have been a sure goal if she had not made the play. A save cannot be awarded unless there is a shot taken; for example, a deep cross outside the circle that is not touched by the attack, but is intercepted by the goalie, is not a save since she could have let the ball go over the sideline and it would have been a side-in.

12b: A "save" is NOT awarded to any player in any post-overtime tiebreaker situation (penalty strokes, 1-v-1 breakaways, alternating corners).

12c. For the purposes of recordkeeping, a "defensive save" is defined as the act of a field player legally stopping a sure goal with her stick in a situation where the act of illegally stopping the ball would have led to the awarding of a penalty stroke.

12d. A "defensive save" is NOT awarded to any player who makes such a stop in the alternating-corner post-overtime tiebreaker.

12e. For the purposes of compiling statistics, the number of "team saves" equals the sum of a team's goalkeeper and defensive saves.

13a. For the purposes of recordkeeping, a "shutout" is defined as the act of a single goalkeeper making any and all saves against the opposition to keep the opposition scoreless until the final whistle ending timed play.

13b. No shutout should be awarded if two goalies play in a single contest for the same team and succeed in preventing all goals.

13c. In no way should a goalkeeper be prevented from being awarded a shutout because a teammate made one or more defensive saves.

13d. Two opposing goalkeepers can receive shutouts if the game goes 0-0 throughout regulation and any and all overtime period(s) played.

13e. A shutout is awarded to a goalkeeper even in the case of a loss in an untimed post-overtime tiebreaker, but is not awarded if the goalkeeper gives up a goal in an untimed corner at the end of a half, a game, or period of extra time.


What is undisputable about this list is that, while it may be less inaccurate than the National Federation record book, it undoubtedly has some holes in it.

Some records may never be included because of inaccurate or shoddy record-keeping, plus there may be a number or two askew, since a lot of these are from personal research and memory.

We invite you to send email to us at TopOfTheCircle@gmail.com with any additions or corrections you may have. When you do, make sure you tell us the year the record was set, as well as the name of a contact person and contact information so that we can confirm it.

For team records, click here.

For individual records, click here.

To compare with the National Federation record book as posted on-line, click here. (You may need Adobe Acrobat if you don't have it already).

And, by all means, let us know about any entry which should be added! This is meant to be an ongoing, living project meant to recognize those players and teams which have not gotten proper recognition.