NCAA Field Hockey Expansion: The Field Hockey Forward Project

by | May 2, 2023 | 2022-2023, Division I, Division II, Division III, News

GENEVA, N.Y. — Several institutions in the United States are expanding their athletic programs to include field hockey at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) level, creating new opportunities for student-athletes, coaches, and umpires while igniting the growth of the sport.

Programs Starting in Fall 2023
Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester, New York (Division II)

Programs Starting in Fall 2024
D’Youville University in Buffalo, New York (Division II)
Penn State Harrisburg in Middletown, Pennsylvania (Division III)

Programs Staring Fall 2025 
University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut (Division III)

These institutions are taking exciting steps to open new opportunities for student-athletes, providing them with the chance to compete at the NCAA level and contribute to the growth and popularity of field hockey in the United States.

“We’ve had a strong interest level in the sport of field hockey from prospective students for many years, as well as currently enrolled students. It’s an immensely popular sport locally and in the greater Mid-Atlantic region. With the recent addition of our multi-sport turf facility and new competitive opportunities due to our conference merger, we’re very excited to add it to our current list of varsity sport programs.” – Rahsaan Carlton, Penn State Harrisburg Director of Athletics

To promote the growth of collegiate field hockey in the United States, USA Field Hockey and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) launched the Field Hockey Forward project this spring. The project aims to highlight the benefits of collegiate field hockey and identify institutions that are best positioned to add field hockey programs as an NCAA sponsored sport.

As part of the Field Hockey Forward project, a collaborative working group of collegiate stakeholders was formed to identify institutions that are well positioned to add field hockey as a varsity collegiate sport across all three NCAA divisions.

The working group, led by Cate Clark from the NFHCA, Simon Hoskins, Executive Director of USA Field Hockey, Sally Goggin, National Development Director of USA Field Hockey, and Matt Banker from MB Consulting have worked together with the Field Hockey Forward Data & Analytics team to gather athletic, Title IX, financial, and enrollment data to support the important work of this project.

“One of our strategic initiatives as an association is to “Promote Our Sport,” and the Field Hockey Forward project aligns well with this initiative. Taking a unified, strategic, and data-informed approach where we are putting our best foot forward as a sport is integral to the mission of this important work. Expanding the collegiate footprint and bringing more visibility to field hockey is essential to its sustainability and growth, now and in the future,” said NFHCA Executive Director Cate Clark.

The project’s end-goal is for a sub-set of the committee to make in-person “pitch meetings” with at least three identified Division I institutions this summer to present the benefits, supporting data, and other variables that makes their institution well positioned to add field hockey. The model created will be replicated in the future for a strategy to approach additional Division I, II, and III institutions based on designated criteria. To learn more about the Field Hockey Forward project and the volunteer advisory team, click here!

The NFHCA and USA Field Hockey are working towards developing programs and resources that provide educational and supportive assistance to new and prospective NCAA programs, both on and off the field. If you are aware of a college or university interested in learning more about field hockey, please fill out this form. For questions or feedback, contact Cate Clark ( and Sally Goggin (

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to stimulate the professional development of coaching leadership within the sport of field hockey. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.