In 2012, the Junior Premier Indoor League (JPIL) was created by Nigel Traverso and Rachael Bloemker who recognized the need for a well organized and competitive indoor league, whereby some of the top indoor clubs in the country would have the opportunity to compete against each other on a regular basis over the course of the indoor season in an international format. The concept of the JPIL is to not only build a pathway for participants to international competition, but also prepare clubs for National Indoor Qualifiers (NITQ) and the National Indoor Tournament (NIT).
At the inception, JPIL ran one division, U-19, with teams traveling from Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware and with much potential for future expansion. The following year a U-16 division was added and in 2014 a U-14 Division was added. At that point, the size and popularity of JPIL allowed us to implement a strict invitation criteria whereby clubs are identified and invited to participate in the event in all age divisions. Now we have clubs traveling from Massachusetts and Kentucky to compete, with interest as far as Texas, Michigan and Virginia.
The organizers continuously look for ways to expand the Junior Premier Indoor League so as to accommodate more clubs who are interested in participating. We fully expect some developments in the near future.
After a successful first two seasons of JPIL, Nigel and Rachael initiated a plan for a similar concept outdoors, creating the Regional Outdoor Club League (ROCL). In its inaugural year, 2013, the ROCL took place in Region 6 – New Jersey only, with 10 clubs in each Division (U-16 and U-19).
From the on-set, participants dubbed ROCL the Junior Premier Outdoor League (JPOL) as the outdoor counterpart to JPIL. Over the course of the season, the decision was made to streamline the names and ROCL officially became the Junior Premier Outdoor League. Both the JPIL and the JPOL are run under the umbrella of Junior Premier Hockey (JPH).
With the tremendous success of JPOL since 2013, and with requests being made by clubs all over the United States to participate, JPOL has now expanded to six Regions – Pennsylvania (R5), New Jersey (R6), Chesapeake (R7), South (R8) and the Midwest (R9 & 10), plus a developing U14 division encompassing Regions 5/6/7/8.
Over the past several seasons, JPH has also found success in developing technical staff and umpires. By utilizing Technical Delegates and Umpire Managers on every site, the events are providing training grounds for all those who aim for success in field hockey, many of whom are now receiving international appointment via Pan Am Hockey Federation and the International Hockey Federation. Our team is lead by JPH Directors, Rachael Bloemker & Nigel Traverso; JPH Technical Director, Lurah Hess; JPH Director of Umpiring, Wendy Stewart; and JPH Communications Officer, Ridge Bair.
The Junior Premier Hockey organizers hope you enjoy the benefits of both JPIL and JPOL. With your continued support these events will certainly grow to their full potential, benefiting all participants, umpires, technical personal, supporters and sponsors!