Kent State called off a field hockey match in progress between Temple University and the University of Maine to prepare for a fireworks display for Kent State’s football team on Saturday.
The teams, who were playing at Kent State as a neutral-site game, were heading into a second overtime when the game was called off.
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association said Kent State informed the teams that they would have to stop playing at 10:30 a.m. and could resume at 5:30 p.m., but Temple field hockey coach Susan Ciufo said the team was not made aware of this prior to playing.
“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,” Temple’s Director of Athletics Patrick Kraft said in a statement on Monday.
The Editorial Board condemns the decision of Kent State to stop an athletic competition for something as arbitrary as a fireworks display, especially after the game has already begun.
Every athlete, no matter the sport, has a right to the proper amount of time to finish their matches. The decision was unfair to the players who put in hard work to prepare for the match and their families who have traveled across states to see it.
Kent State’s decision is extremely problematic, as it prioritizes needless fireworks for a men’s sport over a Division-I match of female athletes.
Kent State should immediately apologize to the coaches, players and their families for prioritizing a gratuitous fireworks show over an overtime game with a nationally-ranked team, and they should offer to reschedule the game as soon as possible.
We stand by Temple field hockey and wish them luck as they move on from the unacceptable events of this past weekend.
University of Maine Senior midfielder Riley Field said it best on Twitter this weekend.
“My message is that this is not school vs school, football vs field hockey, or men vs women. It is women vs the belief that to finish our game was seen as an opportunity & not a right.”