Northern California Field Hockey Association (NCFHA) is a club-level field hockey league comprised of over 200 adult women. We are a member of the United States Field Hockey Association. Our players’ experience levels range from complete beginners to US and International players. Our season runs from mid-August to early-December. We play almost every Sunday or Saturday during these weeks.
On December 22nd of 1925, the founders of what is now known as the NCFHA met for the first time. The group was established by Portia Wagenet, Mariam Avery and others to provide an avenue for women to pursue athletic endeavors beyond their school years. Called the Bay Counties Women’s Athletic Association, the first organization included a representative from each of three areas: Berkeley, San Francisco, and Oakland. Their goal…”all sports as well as field hockey studied and practiced.” Dues of $.25 were collected and so began a piece of field hockey history.
During these early years, the association planned basketball games, tennis tournaments and other activities. The club soon concentrated their efforts on the game of field hockey. As early as 1927, two permanent teams were formed and eight practices scheduled. The teams were named (imaginatively) the Blues and the Whites.
Later that season the origin of today’s team names came to pass. Terry Crowley, a member who taught at Mills College, rounded up a group willing to drive down to Los Angeles at Thanksgiving to play against a team organized by Hazel Cubberly. The Northern California contingent took their name from their leader and called themselves the Terriers. To this day, the majority of our teams are named for different kinds of terrier dogs.
NCFHA ACCEPTED TO USFHA-1932
The next year intrastate competition continued and two teams from LA came north to play. In 1929 work was started on our first constitution and the following year the name was changed to the Northern California Field Hockey Association. 1931 saw adoption of the constitution that was subsequently submitted to the United States Field Hockey Association (USFHA).
There were three teams participating in league play: the Irish, Fox, and Scotch Terriers. In 1932 the USFHA accepted our constitution and we were admitted as a local association. A new team was formed, the Boston Bulls. Membership gradually grew and two years later two more teams came on board, the Peninsula Browns and the Peninsula Grays.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Over the ensuing history of the organization membership has alternately grown and waned. We have fielded as many as 11 teams and as few as the original 2. The 1941 Annual Report states “Due to war duties, restrictions on travel, and many other causes many hockey players were unable to play this year. Definite teams were not maintained; Sunday hockey was very informal.” Yet NCFHA soon grew back to become a vibrant group with year-round activities including social events, hosting of tournaments and touring teams, and travel to Sectional and National competitions.
Then, as now, our players represented the length and breadth of hockey talent. From the beginner to the Olympic Team representatation we share a love of the game, the drive to improve our own personal best, and desire to contribute to a team effort greater than the sum of its parts. Some teams have been based on a regional affiliation, however the majority has included a mixture of players from all over the Bay area and many surrounding counties.
Today we are proud to field teams of highly competitive women who play for fun and bragging rights. We strive to promote this unique sport for girls and women in the Bay Area and beyond, carrying on the goals of those first proactive hockey enthusiasts who formed the foundation for our successes today.
This compilation was made by former NCFHA President, Caroline Wilson, based on written archival materials. If you have any other contributions, corrections or comments to add please write Webmaster.