Women’s field hockey match cut short to launch fireworks ahead of Kent State football game

Has Kent State learned a lesson after field hockey game cut short?

KENT, Ohio (WOIO) - A women’s field hockey game played out to 70 minutes only to end with a “no contest” result because of a scheduling conflict.

Saturday’s field hockey match between the University of Maine at Orono and Temple University was played at Kent State University.

According to the University of Maine, Kent State officials came onto Murphy-Mellis Field before the second overtime half and ended the game so that a planned fireworks demonstration could be displayed prior to the men’s football game.

“The circumstances that prevented the completion of our field hockey contest against Maine on Saturday are simply unacceptable and our student athletes and coaches deserved better,” said Temple University Director of Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft. “Fairness and equality are essential in the mission of college sports and I am disappointed for the student athletes at Maine and Temple whose competition was not deemed worthy to finish.”

The decision to stop overtime play was “per field guidelines as previously discussed,” according to Kent State University field hockey officials.

Twitter users sounded off against the university, claiming it was a total lack of respect for the female athletes.

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association disputed Kent State’s claim that definitely stopping the game at a set time was discussed and said the move to end the match prematurely sends a “terrible message” to female student-athletes. (Read the FULL statement)

We have been informed that the decision to require the hard stop was solely due to fire marshall regulations as they apply to the fireworks that were to be part of the 12:00 p.m. football game. While we understand that the fireworks were deemed to be an important part of Kent State University’s Family Weekend festivities which featured the home football contest, we cannot understand why the university would seemingly prioritize a daytime fireworks display over the completion of a Division I Women’s Field Hockey contest. The optics and the messaging to every field hockey program and to every field hockey player are that while they matter, they don’t matter more than pre-game football festivities. We see this as a terrible message being communicated to female student-athletes in this year of 2019. This decision was extremely damaging not only for the participating athletes, their coaches, and their families but for all female student-athletes.
National Field Hockey Coaches Association

The game between the University of Maine and Temple University will go down as an exhibition and will not be reflected in the teams’ records.

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