March 17, 2007
Mami Hockey is a movement that started in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1989, its aim being to bring together the mothers of hockey players, above the age of 30, who had never played the game at a competitive level before, giving them a new pastime.
Over the years, the idea has been embraced by many people, and annual meets now take place across all parts of Argentina.
There are now more than 2,500 registered players, as well as a National Commission and a code of conduct that exist. The women play according to FIH rules, but with reduced playing times of 15 or 20 minutes per half on hockey fields in clubs across the country on weekends.
Each team is allowed two players above the age of 30 who have played competitively, the rule designed to help the rest of the team know more about the technical side of the game as well as the rules.
What is the most surprising and impressive is that across the country every day now, the organization is producing a product of a high standard and one similar to the National Tournament of the Argentine Hockey Association in terms of how it is run.
The umpires are respected, as is the code of conduct. Each team has coaches and trainers, and local professional clubs often help out the teams free of charge. The movement has become a chance for these women to stay young, fit and strong.
The result of all this is a real celebration of womanhood, for mothers who have found pleasure out of their children's profession. The annual meet also finishes with a glamorous ball where the women can compete against each other in a rather different way.
These women of course have the finances to be able to take the hobby on, but what is most remarkable is their seemingly eternal youth - there are group for 30-45 And 45 and over.
This movement is unique to Argentina, and something which will hopefully be copied by other countries. They deserve the FIH and the PAHF heartiest congratulations.