Hockey – Mission for development

The Jamaica Hockey Federation is now on a mission to further develop the sport and expose players to a series of high-level competition before the end of 2011.

The local association is targeting three international competitions to fulfil its expectations this year. Those tournaments are the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Caribbean Cup in early July in the Dominican Republic; the Pan American Challenge Cup from July 30 to August 7 in Brazil; and the PAHF Club Championships, which Jamaica will host at the end of the year.

The country has a poor history at the Club Championships except in 1999 when St Andrew Hockey Club took second place in the women’s competition at the first tournament, which was held in Jamaica from September 19 to 25. Club Atletico Universitario of Argentina won the women’s tournament.

Raiders United, the top men’s club in Jamaica, finished seventh in the men’s tournament which was won by Club Ciudad, also of Argentina. Raiders United also represented Jamaica in the 2000 edition held in Trinidad and Tobago and finished last and the 2001 edition in Barbados when the team was sixth.

St Andrew Hockey Club was also the top women’s club in Jamaica in 2001 and could only finish fifth at the Club Championship to Andino Club de Mendoza of Argentina.

At the 2007 PAHF Caribbean Hockey Cup held in Trinidad from November 7-11, Jamaica won the silver medal in the women’s competition after losing 2-1 to hosts Trinidad in the final. And in the men’s competition, Jamaica finished fourth. Trinidad and Tobago also won the men’s gold medal.

Hockey – Jamaica’s Best Efforts

In recent regional tournaments, Jamaica’s best effort came in 2002 when the women team won the silver medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games held in Puerto Rico to qualify for the 2003 Pan American Games. Trinidad and Tobago won the gold medal and also represented the Caribbean in the Pan American Games in Dominican Republic. The men’s team ended sixth at the Central American and Caribbean Games and did not qualify.

At the 2006 edition of the Central American and Caribbean Games held in the Dominican Republic, the women’s team was fifth to gold medal winner Cuba. The women’s team held on to that position at the 2010 tournament in Puerto Rico, which was won by Trinidad and Tobago.  The men’s team was sixth to gold medal winner Mexico.

The women’s was third in the 1998 Games in Venezuela. Cuba also won the gold medal that year. At the Senior Pan American Games, Jamaica’s women team competed at four tournaments since 1987 with a best place of fifth in 1991. And the men’s team qualified for four tournaments since 1967 with a best effort of fourth in 1975.