The Mayhem Family Handbook
Where Passion and Performance Collide
- MISSION STATEMENT: THE MAYHEM DIFFERENCE
- THE HISTORY OF MAYHEM
- THE MAYHEM CLUB YEAR
- 2017-2018 FACILITIES
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS
- MAYHEM LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
- UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT
- CLUB COMMUNICATION
- MAYHEM SOCIAL MEDIA ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
- MAYHEM’S ROLE IN YOUR RECRUITING PROCESS
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
I. Mission Statement: The Mayhem Difference
The Main Line Field Hockey Club (“Mayhem”) is the FIRST field hockey club to offer advanced
skills development in the heart of the Main Line of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mayhem opened
its doors in order to give local athletes an opportunity to train at an elite level in a positive and
supportive environment, led by strong and ambitious female leaders. “The Mayhem Difference”
is firmly rooted in the belief that training to become the best field hockey player you can be should
never feel like “work”.
Mayhem is more than just field hockey. It’s about empowering young women on and off the field
by building confidence through field hockey that will change their lives. And it’s about coaches
who are not only experts in their craft, but who serve as role models that young athletes can relate
to both personally and athletically.
The Main Line Field Hockey Club strives to provide a safe, fun-filled, educational, and healthy
experience in field hockey and fitness for participants of all ages and abilities.
- Safety and health of the participants at all times;
- Education of the participants in values that matter on and off the field; and
- Fun for the participants.
It is in the utmost interest of the Club to instill a community that respects and treasures all races,
genders, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions and ages to help build a brighter future
for generations to come.
II. The History of Mayhem
Head Coach & Owner Alexandra McMahan (nee Malatesta) enjoyed a distinguished high school
and collegiate field hockey career playing at the Division-1 level for the University of Richmond
and for the multiple U.S. Junior National Teams before “hanging-up her stick for good” to attend
law school at the University of Pittsburgh. Nearly six years later, and well-into her litigation
practice at a local law firm, Alex realized something was missing… Mayhem.
Mayhem, originally known as “Main Line Mayhem”, was founded in January 2015 to give roughly
twenty local middle school field players an opportunity to compete in tournaments after a series
of Sunday Spring Training Sessions. Three years later, those same Sunday Spring Training
Sessions would provide skills training for over 350 athletes while 20+ travel teams competed in
tournaments all over the easter coast, many of whom are proud to be known as some of the
“original members” of club from only three years prior.
a. The Owner’s Message
As per our mission statement, The Main Line Field Hockey Club, LLC, was founded “to
provide a safe, fun-filled, educational, and healthy experience in field hockey and fitness
for participants of all ages and abilities.” Mayhem takes pride in being a respected and
much loved member of the community, and a home for athletes known not just for their
athletic prowess, but of their strong character and leadership skills. No matter what skills
are taught on the field, our primary goals are to instill a great work ethic, pride and
confidence in oneself, sense of belonging, and desire to do what is right. These goals will
make the participants successful where it counts most: in the real world.
When you are a Mayhem field hockey athlete, giving-up is the only sure way to fail.
Athletes cannot reach their potential (athletically, academically or personally) without
having experienced obstacles that feel insurmountable. Whether an athlete is benched,
injured, falling behind in school, cut, trying to find her social niche or regretting her career
path, our goal is to instill in our strong female athletes the value of perseverance. Mayhem
strives to teach discipline and preparation to always “try again” by creating opportunities
for everybody to be a member of our community at some level, to be known by name and
respected by their adult coaches, to be encouraged and rewarded for their improvement,
and to work with parents to end unhealthy levels of pressure and anxiety.
To this end, it is the coaches who are the most important aspect of this process. Because
of the close relationship the coaches form with their athletes, it’s imperative that all
members are enthusiastic, educated, observant, and hardworking. In as much as we can,
Mayhem will provide the environment and tools to allow the coaches to achieve these
goals, which all stem from adherence to the Mayhem Parent & Athlete Codes of Conduct.
III. The Mayhem Club Year
A year-around commitment is not required in order to participate in any one of the three travel
team seasons, but tryouts get progressively more competitive as the majority of athletes train
together from October through May starting in 6th grade. However, once an athlete has “affiliated”
with the Main Line Field Hockey Club for one travel team season, she will not be permitted to
play for any other club until the open enrollment period the following August.
a. Fall Season (September – November)
- Travel Teams
- Home Teams
- Away Teams
- Fall FUNdamentals Training Program
- Drop-in Skills Clinics
b. Winter Season- Indoor (November – February)
- Travel Teams
- Mayhem Rising Indoor Training Program
- Drop-in Skills Clinics
c. Spring Season (April – May)
- Travel Teams
- Junior Premier Outdoor League Teams
- Local Tournament Teams
- Recruiting Showcase Tournament Teams
- Spring Training Program
- Drop-in Skills Clinics
- Private & Small Group Lessons
d. Summer Season (June-August)
- Private & Small Group Lessons
- Power Crew Conditioning & Skills Training
- Drop- Clinics
- Participation in Local Summer Leagues
- Summer Camps (coming 2018!)
IV. 2017-2018 Facilities
Being a newer club, Mayhem is still seeking to find a permanent property to call its home.
Currently, Mayhem leases field space based on season and availability. The following are
common venues for practices and clinics. Please check your schedule to ensure the venue for a
particular event as Mayhem sometimes have to juggle within a season (i.e. when the host location
is using their facility).
Academy of Notre Dame– Villanova
560 Sproul Rd, Villanova, PA 19085
- Fall travel teams; and
- Spring training program
The Proving Grounds – Conshohocken
Villanova Astroturf Field- 707 Conshohocken Rd, Conshohocken, PA 19428
- Select spring travel teams; and
- Advanced spring training program
Aspiring Champions – King of Prussia
970 Pulaski Drive King of Prussia, PA 19406
- Winter indoor travel teams (basketball court)
- Small skills clinics (inside on turf)
The Shipley School – Lower School Gym, Bryn Mawr
1030 Wyndon Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
- Winter indoor travel team GOAL KEEPERS (basketball court)
Alex’s House— Wayne (astroturf)
Private & Small Group Lessons
- Power Crew Fitness & Skills Training
- Family Meetings
- Team Bonding Events
V. Program Descriptions
a. Training Programs
Mayhem’s skills training programs are offered seasonally year-around to athletes of all
ages, experience levels, and club affiliations. Depending on the skill and age level of each
small group within the training program, training sessions will progressively cover a wide
variety of skills ranging from ball carrying position to reverse chips, from offensive
elimination skills to defensive strategies, etc. These ninety-minute sessions are informative
but fun, as they are often accompanied by blasting dance music and plenty of time to
scrimmage. Training programs are meant to introduce new athletes to the Mayhem
environment and to the enthusiastic coaching staff, while providing an opportunity for
current club members to improve their technique and to play with and against new people.
b. Private and Small Group Lessons
Private and small group training is the best way to improve an athlete’s skills at her own
pace. Experience Mayhem’s coaching philosophy at its very source by working directly
with the Mayhem Owner, Alex, in a laid-back environment (often replete with fluffy dogs),
while learning elite-level stick work, offensive elimination skills, advanced passing and
shooting techniques and fundamental defensive skills. Private and small group training is
for current (or prospective) club members only and are available upon request, subject to
availability. Lessons are held at Alex’s house on either her outdoor, or indoor, AstroTurf
field. All ages and skill levels are welcome and parents are encouraged to attend!
c. Skills Clinics
Mayhem’s 60-minute skills clinics are the perfect way to focus on one or two skills in a
fun and high-paced environment. The clinic focuses change weekly and cover a wide
variety of skills. Whether the skill is fundamental, such as 1 v. 1 defense, or for the next
level, such as a reverse chip shot, the low player-to-coach ratio combined with our loud,
high-paced, energetic atmosphere, is sure to leave every player with a new trick up her
sleeve and of course—a smile.
d. Travel Teams
Mayhem offers travel team opportunities throughout the year for elite athletes who can
fully commit to weekly team practices and tournaments during the season. Athletes
interested in playing for a Mayhem Travel Team must register and attend tryouts.
All athletes invited to formally join Mayhem must be fully committed to the club’s
principles of hard work, dedication, team work, and sportsmanship. Other than school field
hockey in the fall, the expectation for travel team players is that their Mayhem team be
their top athletic priority. The general rule of thumb is that only one unexcused absence is
permitted without incurring consequences, per 7 practices. See Mayhem Parent & Athlete
Codes of Conduct, below.
i. Tryout Protocol: Always Earned Never Given
Tryouts are necessary for building competitive teams. Mayhem does not
automatically “grandfather-in” teams who have played together the season
prior. Rather, Mayhem holds tryouts each season to offer both new and
returning athletes a fresh opportunity to earn a spot.
During tryouts, players are painstakingly evaluated by multiple coaches based
on their technical skills (such as stick skills, ball speed, vision, positional-skills,
decision-making, athleticism and fitness) and intangible assets (hustle, work
ethic, aggressiveness, attitude), then later discussed thoroughly and carefully
until a decision is reached by a majority of coaches as to the most beneficial
placement for that athlete.
Travel team placements are final and binding. An athlete and/or her family may
not ask to be placed on a specific team for any reason. Depending on the season
and the amount of players trying out, tryouts may be used to place athletes on a
travel team “squad” and then later placed on a roster once practices begin during
that season (e.g., athletes who were placed on a fall travel team after the June
tryouts will not know their team’s roster until mid-October). A non-fundable
deposit is required within 48 hours of being notified of your tryout results; if a
player later withdraws from that program after she learns of her team placement,
she will be asked to leave the Club entirely.
ii. Age Classifications (1/1/18-12/31/18)
Mayhem strictly follows the USFHA age guidelines for our levels of play. At
times, players may play up, but under no circumstances can a player play down
a level. Mayhem currently offers activities in the following age categories:
U-10 (9 or under as of 1/1/18);
U-12 (11 or under as of 1/1/18);
U-14 (13 or under as of 1/1/18);
U-16 (15 or under as of 1/1/18);
U-19 (18 or under as of 1/1/18);
USFHA age brackets go by the year of birth and have nothing to do with school
grade. The “U” stands for Under. A player’s age is determined by what age they
are at the beginning of the calendar year. For example, a player that turns 14 in
December 2017 is considered U16 for the entire year of 2017. Although indoor
season starts in December, since most of the season carries over to the next year,
players are assigned to the appropriate age bracket for the upcoming year. Age
groups “graduate” during the winter indoor season.
Throughout the year, Mayhem teams attend a number of tournaments. Mayhem is
fortunately located to the extent that many tournaments are local and do not require
overnight stays, however, Mayhem also competes in regional and national
tournaments. Some of these require overnight stays in “Team Hotels”. When
joining one of these teams, it is imperative that the cost of select “Team Hotels” is
taken into consideration, as the team is almost always required to stay in the same
1 or 2 hotels. Team Parents, responsible for vetting and booking these hotels, make
every effort possible to choose hotels that offer a solid range in pricing for a quality
USFHA Stay to Play Rule
For some national events, USFHA imposes a “Stay to Play” rule. This rule means
that all players and families must stay in a USFHA approved hotel and usually be
booked through their provider. Hotel rewards points are often not applicable
without special accommodation.
Players traveling without a Parent or Legal Guardians
Mayhem understands that parents have significant personal and professional
commitments and cannot attend all events. When it comes to overnight
tournaments, Mayhem requires that at least one parent or guardian accompany all
players under 18 years of age. In the absence of a parent or guardian, the parents
must make arrangements with another temporary adult guardian and advise
Mayhem coaching staff of the arrangements. Mayhem coaches and personnel
cannot be the guardian for any players, supervise players during non-team
sanctioned events, nor provide transportation.
Punctuality & Team Time
The rules for punctuality for Mayhem events is straightforward. For practices,
players are expected to arrive 15 minutes before the start time. If the coaches are
occupied, the players should start warming up and stretching on their own. For
games, players are expected to arrive 45 minutes before the start of the first game,
remain with their teams between games (not their families), and 30 minutes prior
to every subsequent game that day.
Each of the three major seasons concludes with a national tournament opportunity.
It is Mayhem’s goal to qualify for and participate in these extremely competitive
tournaments. These tournaments expose our players to some of the best
competition that the sport has to offer at their age level and often offers significant
ng opportunities for visibility by college recruiters. If your daughter is invited to
play for one of the travel teams, it is important that both player and parents read
and understand that the expected level of commitment for both practices and these
tournaments are expected to be top priority.
The United States Field Hockey Association is the national governing body over
field hockey in the U.S. In addition to being responsible for the Women’s and
Men’s national field hockey teams, USFHA runs the major regional and national
tournaments throughout the year, the Futures training programs, as well as
maintains and governs rule and safety issues in the sport.
Since USFHA is our governing body and Mayhem competes in many regional and
national tournaments, all Mayhem players must be registered as a member of
USFHA and have Mayhem, and ONLY Mayhem, as their affiliated club.
iv. Seasonal Team Descriptions
Fall Travel Teams
Unlike some other elite club sports, Mayhem encourages girls to play for their
school teams. As such, Mayhem makes all attempts to avoid conflicts during the
school playing season by scheduling fall travel team practices on Sunday afternoons
at the Academy of Notre Dame. Tryouts for the fall teams are held in June, but final
rosters are not set until practices have begun in October. The fall season concludes
with a local tournament either in mid-November (home teams) or over
Thanksgiving in either Florida, Virginia, or California (away teams). Acceptance
of your position on an Away Team roster is a major commitment both financially
and time-wise, and often requires the purchase of airfare and hotels 4-5 months in
Winter Indoor Teams
Indoor field hockey is a fast and furious way to improve your stick skills, quickness
and decision-making ability during the off-season. There is no better way to stay
active during the winter and to keep your field hockey skills in-check by playing
this exciting game of 5 v. 5, usually played on a basketball court lined by wooden
Winter indoor team practices are two hours at the same time every week and can
be scheduled for any time during the week between 4PM-10PM, Sunday-Friday.
The Travel Teams will attend 3-5 local tournaments in preparation for USFHA
National Indoor Tournament (note- not all travel teams will be invited to attend or
to attempt to qualify for the NIT). The Indoor travel team season is an intensive
commitment. The dates for tournaments and practices will be given to players and
parents at the end of the summer. The acceptance of taking a place on a team means
you are committing to a full season with your team. Each team only contains 9-10
players, so attendance is crucial.
For additional playing-time opportunities, athletes may participate in “open play”
sessions on Saturday afternoons. The end goal of the season for each team to
qualify for or be invited to the National Indoor Tournament at USA field hockey’s
Olympic training site in Lancaster, PA (Spooky Nook).
Tryouts for winter teams are normally held in August and are much more
competitive than tryouts for fall travel teams due to size limitations and because of
the increased level of skill and expertise required to compete in this ultra-fast
deviation of the sport.
Spring Travel Teams
The Spring Travel Team season is the culmination of the club travel team circuit
during the past field hockey year. The Spring Teams consist of our most
qualified and committed club players from each age division. Only athletes that
played on one of Mayhem’s fall and/or winter travel teams or who participated in
the Mayhem Rising Indoor Skills Training Program are invited to try-out due to the
high-level of the tournaments our teams attend in the spring. Depending on team
assignments, practices are once or twice a week and can be weeknights and/or
weekends in preparation for 2-3 tournaments. Players not placed on a spring travel
team are invited to train with their Mayhem peers in Mayhem’s Spring Training
Program (advanced or regular site).
The top teams in some age brackets will compete in the Regional Club
Championships in May/June with the goal of qualifying for the National Club
Championships held in July. Hosting locations for these events vary by year. See
more detailed information under Tournaments section of this guide. The dates for
these tournaments will be given to players and parents. The acceptance of taking a
place on a team means you are committing to a full season with your team. Each
team contains 14-15 players.
VI. Mayhem Leadership Program
The Mayhem Leadership program is designed to give select high school athletes the opportunity to
shadow and assist the Mayhem coaching staff in order to learn key skills needed to teach and
motivate young athletes. Leaders will be taught to be self-assured when speaking in public, to
have empathy and social attentiveness when athletes are struggling to learn, to deliver persuasive
instruction in appealing ways to a specific (young) audience, and finally, to be endlessly
positive, despite daunting tasks at hand. Mayhem leaders will assist Mayhem coaches in the U10,
U12 & U14 programs by demonstrating and instructing skills in group and individual settings,
coaching scrimmages, refereeing, interacting and giving direction to athletes and parents, and
being pro-active in handling administrative and equipment needs. Leaders will be included in
coaching staff discussions regarding daily operations and will be given an evaluation of their
leadership skills at the end of the season. Applications for the Leadership Program will be accepted
at the beginning of every season, snippets of which will be used to post the leader’s biographies
on our website.
VII. Uniforms & Equipment
a. Game Uniforms
In the fall of 2017, all U-14, U-16, and U-19 divisions will transition into the new custom
Mayhem reversible uniforms; the U12 division will begin wearing the new uniforms in the
winter of 2017-2018, and the U10s will continue to wear their original Mayhem uniforms
until they become U12s. With custom uniforms, Mayhem should never again have to
encounter our uniform line being ‘discontinued’ like in previous years. When Mayhem is
“Home,” we wear our yellow uniform with white socks, and when Mayhem is “Away,” we
wear our black uniform with black socks. All players are required to purchase the full
uniform: jersey, skirt, shin guard socks, warm-up t-shirt. All uniforms should be clean and
ironed prior to the start of a tournament.
b. Practice Uniforms
The Mayhem practice uniforms includes your Mayhem black/white or gray/white pinnie
and one of the following bottoms: any Mayhem black/grey shorts, original Mayhem black
uniform skirt, any generic black/grey shorts. Your first Mayhem pinnie will be provided
to you upon entering the club; additional pinnies can be purchased on our team store. There
are no restrictions on your shinguard sock of choice.
c. Spirit Wear & Tidiness
At the beginning of each season, Mayhem will open a spirit wear store with a local
sportswear provider. The spirit wear not only helps with club branding but also helps to
create introductions with fellow club members they may encounter in the area. Mayhem
athletes should look neat and professional at Mayhem tournaments—i.e. spirit wear should
be fitted appropriately to the size of the athlete (for example, an XS athlete should not be
wearing her Dad’s XXL sweat shirt at the venue, even if it does say “Mayhem”).
It is expected that players wear Mayhem branded gear to practices and events. Mayhem
athletes may not wear clothing advertising other organizations or geographic locations (e.g.
colleges, high schools, or beach towns), but are permitted to wear generic clothing that
matches Mayhem’s color wheel—black, white, grey, yellow, or pink.
d. Required Equipment
Mandatory for every MAYHEM training event, game and/or tournament are the
- Stick: Outdoor stick (fall and spring) AND Indoor stick (winter). For more
information about choosing a stick, see FAQ’s, below.
- Mouth guard (goalies included);
- Shin guards: Hard shell shin guards recommended for best protection (no soft, rollup
pads or ½ coverage soccer shinguards);
- Turf Cleats: Used for outdoor field hockey in the fall and spring– grass
soccer cleats are not permitted on ANY turf surface, and not only can
damage the turf, but can contribute to knee injuries;
- Court Shoes: All shoes must be flats- no turf shoes are allowed on an indoor
court (hard, basketball) surface. Mayhem recommends “Mizzuno” court
shoes to help combat slipping.
- Turf Cleats: Used for outdoor field hockey in the fall and spring– grass
- Eye Goggles: Optional for Mayhem athletes– however, cage goggles are
forbidden. As Mayhem is governed by USFHA rules, USFHA only allows
“Bangers-style” protection (soft plastic flush-mount goggles). Cage style, as often
used for school field hockey, are not allowed at Mayhem events or at club
tournaments due to risk of injury caused by collision. You can find more
information about eye protection in our FAQ section, below.
- Protective Gloves: Thick, padded (‘transformer-style’) gloves for BOTH hands are
required for all winter indoor travel team members.
VIII. Club Communication
Mayhem’s primary resource is our website www.mainlinefieldhockey.com. The vast majority of
Mayhem events, scheduling, tournaments and other related activities will be published on our
website. Additional, information and reminders will also be sent to our e-mail lists which are
pulled from the website player profile information.
a. Website Player Profiles
All team families should create an account on the Mayhem website. Most event, team, and
tournament registrations, along with accompanying payments will be processed through
the site and profiles for each of your players will need to be created. Additionally, the
Mayhem e-mail list is extracted from the player/family profiles from the website.
Mayhem will also send out reminder and highlight information via our social media
Facebook (Mayhem Field Hockey)
Twitter (Main Line Mayhem)
c. Team Snap
All parents with players on a travel team should download and create a Team Snap account.
The application is free and is compatible with most major devices and mobile operating
systems. Team Snap will be used to forward practice, game and tournament dates, times
and locations, as well as corresponding reminders. Although your daughters may play on
different teams each season, their Team Snap profile will just easily be assigned to the new
team coach the next season.
When viewing the Team Snap event, the home team will be listed first. This tells you that
the players should be wearing their Yellow uniforms. This way they will be dressed in the
correct uniform when arriving before their first game.
d. Team Parents & Volunteers
For travel and tournament teams, Mayhem usually asks for a parent for each team to
volunteer to assist with information sharing, travel coordination and social event planning.
When each team has a parent coordinator, this is usually not a major time commitments
and it allows the Mayhem coaches to focus on skills development and game planning.
In fact, without the help of some of our Team Parents, this Handbook never would have
existed! Eternal thanks to all who contributed to this extensive labor of love.
IX. MAYHEM Social Media Acceptable Use Policy
Mayhem highly encourage our players and parents to share pictures on social media, but want to
ensure that all content is appropriate and good natured. Negative comments are not acceptable in
any venue, however, the vast audience that social media allows makes it all the more important to
ensure appropriate content and comments. This includes negative or disparaging comments about
opposition players, clubs, and game officials. All negative content, postings and behavior is a
reflection upon the reputation of our club. Mayhem finds that team accomplishments are favored
over individual statistics being posted when tagging any of the Mayhem social media accounts.
If a Mayhem-affiliated athlete is found using social media in a manner that is counterintuitive to
the Mission of the Club, the athlete’s parents will be immediately notified and, at the sole discretion
of the Club Owner, sanctions may be imposed, including, but not limited to, removal from the
X. Mayhem’s Role in Your Recruiting Process
There are hundreds of schools across the country that offer opportunities for continuing to play
field hockey at various levels: Intramural, Club or NCAA Division-1, 2, or 3. The role of
Mayhem in this process has three very important facets: preparation, guidance, and exposure.
Mayhem’s goal is to help you reach your potential. While our job is to teach you all of the skillrelated
tools that Mayhem have to offer, we are as equally concerned with developing the WHOLE
player: reinforcing the values of discipline, time management, preparation, work ethic,
selflessness, and coachability— all of which are critical to figuring out where your potential can
take you. How you choose to exercise these values on and off the field shows not only in your
performance on the field, but in the time you spend conditioning in the off-season, practicing your
stick skills, playing with your school team, fueling your body, and spending your free time. All
of these decisions are crucial aspects to your development and ability to perform at the next level.
Mayhem Coaches are hired based on their ability to relate to, express, and guide our athletes on
the collegiate recruiting process based on their own experiences. When your daughter is a member
of Mayhem, these high-level collegiate players are literally at your daughter’s fingertips several
times per week and are ready and willing to evaluate her strengths and weaknesses, help her
determine what level is the right for her, and available to discuss how their college team’s program,
academics or level of play could fit that athlete. Regardless of what coach you approach, your
family should be prepared with a list of criteria that the athlete islooking for in a school and already
know which schools may align with your interests in all aspects: financially (assume no
scholarship opportunities exist), academic admittance criteria (assume no athletic help through
admissions), type of campus, distance from home, academic majors of interest, NCAA ranking,
Once your family has formed a realistic list of schools, the real work begins. Mayhem’s Owner
or Director of Recruiting & Collegiate Development will meet with your family to provide
feedback on your target lists, share insight on the athlete’s development and potential as shown
over multiple seasons of playing with Mayhem, and provide guidance on how to initiate and
continue a relationship with your college prospects; the rest is in your hands.
- Never lose focus on your grades, and as importantly, your test scores;
- Be patient and expect this process to be TEDIOUS and test your resilience— it could
take years to received reciprocated interest and it may not be at the level, or from the
program, you originally intended;
- Treat every piece of writing like a job application— parents should proof read
everything, but in NO WAY should parents draft, re-write, send or sign these emails.
If an athlete is not old enough to communicate responsibly through email, she is not
old enough to be recruited.
Athletes are exposed to college recruiters at the U16 and U19 level of showcase tournaments,
college’s 7v. 7 play-days and clinics, your high school field hockey games, college camps, through
the USFHA Futures program, at USFHA National tournaments, and by sending out highlight
videos (yes, Mayhem produces its own highlight videos for our athletes!). While Mayhem tries
to pass-on every collegiate event to its members via email or social media, it is your responsibility
to be pro-active. Every college field hockey team has a webpage that lists all of their upcoming
camps/clinics, and most post their opportunities on http://philafieldhockey.com/. If you are
interested in a school and want to be exposed to their program, you must put in the time to research
the opportunities and attend an on-campus field hockey event. If you have made a high-level club
team that will attend a recruiting showcase or National tournament, you should email your target
schools with your game schedule ahead of time (NOT the night before!) so that they might get the
opportunity to catch a game. But, keep in mind, when Mayhem attends tournaments/showcases at
this competitive level, we are playing to win. Regardless of the level your daughter aspires to
reach, the athletes who are most contributing to the overall success of the team at that moment will
be on the field.
XI. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Coaching Decisions
- Uniforms & Equipment
- Rules & Regulations
Q. How should a parent relay issues such as injuries, academic, or social conflictsto Mayhem
A. Any issues regarding physical injuries should be immediately reported to the Mayhem coaching
staff to ensure that the player is evaluated and able to participate prior to any Mayhem event.
Information regarding concussion diagnosis, treatment, and protocol can be found on Mayhem’s
website at <https://www.mainlinefieldhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ConcussionProtocol.pdf>.
We welcome conversation with parents regarding any social, emotional, or
academic issues that your daughter may dealing with in school, at home, or on the team. This may
well enable us to use a different approach in coaching your daughter.
Q. Can my daughter play another sport while playing for Mayhem?
A. Mayhem acknowledges that having players be involved in multiple athletic and/or
extracurricular activities is important, however, when trying-out for a travel team, your daughter
is not only taking the place of somebody else, but is making a commitment to a team, and that
team is depending on your daughter to show up to practice, games, and team events. We expect
that Mayhem be their top athletic priority when involved on our teams, subject only to school inseason
Q. Why did the coach substitute the goalie for a field player near the end of the game?
A. At times when a team is down a goal or two they will pull the goalie in the last few minutes to
allow for an extra field player in an attempt to score a tying goal. This may be either a regular
player or a player who will wear a goalie jersey but not all the pads. This second scenario allows
that player to use their feet in the defensive zone as a goalie would but she can quickly transition
to a defender or attacker.
Q. I paid the same amount as everybody else on the team, why isn’t my daughter receiving
equal playing time in games?
A. While the vast majority of every travel team season is focused on development and gaining
game-time experience, and while it is every coach’s core intent to give her players equal playing
time, no athlete is ever able to perform at her 100%, 100% of the time. Therefore, at a certain age,
or at particular tournaments and/or during crucial games in those tournaments, the strategy shifts
to a “play-to-win” mentality: the players who are contributing to the overall success of the team at
that moment in time, will be on the field.
Q. How should a parent approach the issue of playing time or positions to a coach?
A. All Mayhem personnel are highly qualified coaches who have played college level field
hockey. They are extremely experienced and make position assignments and playing time
decisions based on the needs of the team. As such, Mayhem does NOT encourage parental
interaction on these topics. Mayhem DOES encourage your daughter to be a self-advocate and to
speak to a coach at the appropriate time before or after practice to address playing time or other
issues— team or persona— that may arise. We want to instill self-confidence in young women to
be able to speak for themselves. For more information regarding appropriate topics and methods
of communication, see Parent & Athlete Codes of Conduct, below.
Q: What can my daughter expect at tryouts?
A: We recognize that tryouts, regardless of Mayhem’s relaxed atmosphere, are a constant source
of stress and anxiety for athletes of all ages and levels. For this reason, we keep our tryouts small
and intimate, often playing music, running a few simple drills, then spending a majority of the time
doing what every athlete enjoys the most—scrimmaging. Meanwhile, multiple coaches are
evaluating the athletes based on their technical ability and intangible skills, including: as stick
skills, ball speed, vision, positional-skills, decision-making, athleticism, fitness, hustle, work ethic,
aggressiveness, attitude and teamwork. Every athlete is thoroughly discussed during a later
coaches’ meeting and carefully placed in an environment that the coaches feel would serve her
best interests at this point in their development. For more information about the Tryout Protocol,
see page 7.
Q: What do I say to my daughter if she is devastated about not making the team she expected
A: As a young athlete, it is very difficult to keep perspective that this moment in time is not the
end of the world, nor does it define the overall trajectory of her athletic career. A successful
athletic career is built upon triumphs and challenges, because if you are never challenged, you will
never know how much more you are capable of. Encourage your daughters to process setbacks in
healthy ways—yes, it’s okay to be upset—but not for long. Successful athletes must be selfmotivated,
hardworking, and must learn the value of perseverance. Giving-up is never an option
for an athlete. Encourage your daughter to evaluate her own personal preparation and come-up
with game plan for how she is going to get better, faster, and stronger this season.
Q. Can my daughter be placed on a team with her friends?
A. Maybe! But factors such as social networks, schools, or even grade levels (within the same
age group), past experiences with the club, are never taken into consideration when putting
together a team. Teams are formed based on performance during tryouts, and nothing else.
Q: What else can my daughter do to get better outside of Mayhem events?
A. There are four major aspects of field hockey that your daughter can work on by herself without
any additional equipment, that everybody has room to improve on: stick work (easily practiced on
a carpet) and speed/ fitness. If you are going to invest in any additional piece of equipment, get a
hitting board so athletes can practice hitting and receiving at a fast pace.
Q. My daughter wants to participate in the X season, but I’m afraid she’ll burn out- what
should I do?
A. Participating in another season of field hockey does not determine whether a player will burn
out; factors that lead to burn out include an athlete’s personality, the pressure she puts on herself
or perceives from others to be “good” at what she does, whether she chose field hockey freely or
followed in somebody’s footsteps, her involvement (or lack thereof) in other non-field hockey
related activities, whether she has fun at practice and still enjoys learning, and the method and
personality of the coaching she receives. Contact Coach Alex for an honest personal assessment
of whether your daughter is at risk.
UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT
Q. Does my daughter have to buy all the Mayhem gear?
A. Absolutely not. While we encourage all players to show their Mayhem spirit, we only require
the purchase of Mayhem uniforms and practice pinnies. However, when at tournaments, athletes
may not wear clothing advertising other institutions or geographic areas (i.e. high schools,
colleges, or beach towns), but generic clothing in the Mayhem colors of black, white, grey, yellow,
or pink, are permitted.
Q. I noticed players changing uniforms on the sidelines in-between games. Can’t they use
A. In many cases at tournaments, there isn’t much time between games. Therefore, Mayhem d
encourage players to wear athletic-style undergarments for games. These are not only better for
absorbing sweat but are also less revealing when quickly changing between games.
Q. Does my daughter need a $400 stick?
A. Field hockey stick cost anywhere from a $30 beginner stick to a $400 elite stick. There are
many factors to consider before spending money on a stick. Some of these factors include their
level of play (beginner or advanced), the type of player/position, or their preference for material.
Sticks also vary in size so your daughter’s physical growth should be considered before investing
heavily in a stick. Please consult a coach before spending a lot of money. A good field hockey
store will have the girls try many sticks before investing in a higher end stick. Also consider that
if they are going to play indoor, that requires a different stick.
Q. Why don’t the players in club games wear eye protection while they are required to wear
eye protection while playing for school?
A. Most Pennsylvania school games are governed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic
Association (“PIAA”) which has adopted the National Federation of State High School
Associations (“NFHS”) rule mandating the wearing of protective eyewear in all field hockey
games. Mayhem and club field hockey follow the rules issued by U.S. Field Hockey Association
(USFHA) which does NOT require protective eyewear and has also banned the wearing of cagestyle
protective eyewear. Only “Bangers-style” clear, flush-mount, soft-plastic protective eye
wear can be used at Mayhem events, but they are not mandatory. It is a difference of opinion and
the NFHS decision specifically notes that serious eye injuries in field hockey
Parental Code of Conduct
The Main Line Field Hockey Club (“Mayhem”) has implemented the following Parental Code of
Conduct for the important message it holds about the proper role of parents in supporting their
child in sports and for the sake of preserving Mayhem’s uniquely welcoming and safe
environment. Parents should read, understand, sign and return the signature page to Coach Alex
McMahan prior to the start of practice.
The essential elements of character-building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of
sportsmanship and six core principles:
- Caring; and
- Good Citizenship
The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of
MAYHEM THREE STRIKE RULE
Mayhem implements a “three strike rule” for any parent guilty of improper conduct as specified
in this Code, at any game, practice, or outside communication with a coach, which I recognize
could result in:
- the loss of playing time for your child;
- removal from a tournament by venue security; and/or
- the ultimate dismissal of your family from the Club
I THEREFORE AGREE:
I will not force my child to participate in field hockey and will encourage her to follow any and
all interests she may have, athletic or other.
I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.
I will inform the coach of any physical disability, injury or ailment that may affect the safety of
my child or the safety of others. I also am familiar with, and will adhere to, Mayhem’s
Concussion Protocol, found on Mayhem’s website at: https://www.mainlinefieldhockey.com/wpcontent/uploads/2017/05/Concussion-Protocol.pdf.
I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by
showing respect, self-control and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players,
coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or other sporting event.
I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official,
coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting; refusing to shake hands; or using profane
language or gestures.
I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and wellbeing of
I will teach my child to play by the rules of the game and of the Club, and to resolve conflicts
without resorting to bullying-like behaviors or hostility.
I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect
regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.
I will teach my child that doing one’s best is more important than winning, so that my child will
never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or her performance.
I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner
I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participants for making a mistake or losing a
I will emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. I
will also de-emphasize games and competition in the lower age groups.
I will promote the emotional and physical wellbeing of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I
may have for my child to win or be the best.
I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or
confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon
time and place.
I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and
I will refrain from their use at all sports events.
I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am
one of the official coaches of the team.
Parent Affirmation of Code of Conduct
I, ____________________ (parent of athlete- please print), have thoroughly read and
understand the Main Line Field Hockey Athlete & Parent Code of Conduct and am aware of the
expectations and potential repercussions for violation of these rules. I agree to support the Main
Line Field Hockey Club by following the Parent Code of Conduct and by helping to reinforce the
Athlete’s Code with my daughter, on and off the field.
Signature______________ Date: _________
Please print and return this affirmation prior to beginning practice; you should retain a copy of
the Codes for your records.
Athlete Code of Conduct
Participating and representing The Main Line Field Hockey Club (“the Club”) is a privilege that
I accept with a full sense of responsibility. Violation of the Code of Conduct may have serious
consequences, including, but not limited to, dismissal from the Club.
Have a positive attitude: be willing and eager to learn and adapt to change. Work hard, stay
focused, be respectful of your coaches and your teammates, set goals for yourself and always try
to do a little better each time you come to practice. Bad attitudes, eye-rolling, laziness and/or
egos will not be tolerated.
COMMUNICATION WITH COACHES
Communication with coaches during the season regarding an athlete’s athletic performance is
strictly reserved for the athletes. You may approach your coaches before/during/after practice in
person or email your coach with any questions or concerns. Athletes are expected to keep their
parents honestly up to date on their progress and the feedback they receive from the coaching
Report all injuries (especially symptoms arising as a result of a collision) to your coach
immediately. If you are injured and unable to play 100% for your school team Monday thru
Friday, you must be honest with the Mayhem coaching staff so adjustments can be made. Your
safety is our utmost priority. All athletes should be familiar with, and will adhere to, Mayhem’s
Concussion Protocol, found on Mayhem’s website at: https://www.mainlinefieldhockey.com/wpcontent/uploads/2017/05/Concussion-Protocol.pdf.
ARRIVE ON TIME
Athletes should arrive 15 minutes before all practices or games dressed and ready to warm-up.
Make sure your ride is prompt in picking you up so that coaches are not obligated to stay beyond
Athletes are expected to be able to manage their academic affairs in a manner that allows them to
continue to be successful in the classroom without compromising their commitment to their
team. It is expected that weekend social activities be sacrificed in order to alleviate the burden of
homework, studying, or preparation of long-term projects, to avoid last-minute cram sessions
during practice hours.
ABSENCES FROM PRACTICE
Each offense will be dealt with separately and according to the seriousness of the offense at the
coach’s discretion. Players must realize the difficulty of making a serious commitment to both a
school and activities, and the fact that they have taken the spot in a highly coveted program to
the disappointment of many other athletes not as fortunate.
Excused: Excused absences include, but are not limited to, in-season school athletic
conflicts, illness resulting in a fever or inability to leave the house, fixed recruiting trips
or events, or family loss/ funeral; only the latter does not require 3rd party verification.
Unexcused: One unexcused absence is permitted per 8 practices if attendance is
otherwise perfect. Extracurricular clubs/activities, work schedules, appointments, family
and social events should be arranged around your club field hockey schedule.
EQUIPMENT & TEAM GEAR
To be prepared for practice or games you must always have your Mayhem pinnie, shin guards,
mouth guard, turf cleats and/or sneakers on-hand. Failure to have proper practice uniform or
safety equipment constitutes an UNEXCUED ABSENSE. Uniforms must be neat, ironed and
complete for games.
The use of foul language, “trash talking,” talking-back to coaches or referees, and overall poor
citizenship such as booing or refusing to shake hands, are absolutely prohibited. Such is
unbecoming of a good athlete and a Main Line Field Hockey Club player. Each offense will be
dealt with separately and according to the seriousness of the offense.
Athlete Affirmation of Code of Conduct
I, ____________________ (athlete’s name- please print), have thoroughly read and understand
the Main Line Field Hockey Athlete Code of Conduct and agree to abide by the rules as set forth
above, as well as those instilled in practice by the coaching staff.
Signature: ____________ Date: _________
Please print and return this affirmation prior to beginning practice; you should retain a copy of
the Codes for your records.