FHumpires is a resource and sounding board for everything and anything to do with umpiring field hockey. As one of the most popular participation sports in the world, umpires are high in demand and there are incredible opportunities for talented individuals to reach levels of the game that they couldn’t reach with a stick in their hand. This website provides a community for umpires to delve into all the ways in which we can be better at what we love to do.
As a player, Keely Dunn is an alumnus of the Henry Wise Wood high school field hockey program, winning the Most Improved Player award in 1989. She also played 13 seasons representing Alberta from the U16 to Senior age levels. Keely played for the University of Calgary Dinos between 1991-1996 and spent several seasons coaching at Henry Wise Wood and Western Canada as well as volunteering time with junior programs in the city. She’s played for the Phoenix Black club team for over 25 years and on various teams in Calgary’s men’s league, most recently with the Calgary Cougars FHC.
In 2000, Keely retired from elite-level hockey as a player to pick up the whistle and quickly made a name for herself as one of Canada’s top umpires, being appointed to the Senior National Championships in her very first season. Shortly thereafter came an opportunity to go abroad which allowed her to earn her FIH badge in 2003. She was promoted to the Promising List in 2006 and achieved her Grade 1 rating in 2010. She has over 100 combined caps to her credit, of which highlights include twice going to the Junior World Cup and umpiring an Olympic Qualifier in Belgium. She also made history by being the first umpire to control a Penalty Shoot-Out Competition at an FIH Tournament at the Champions Challenge II in Vienna in April 2011. She also earned her Indoor FIH badge in 2014.
She also spent six seasons umpiring in England’s prestigious National League, working her way up to the Women’s Premier Panel and the Men’s B Panel as well as umpiring over 80 of British University league matches and the women’s BUCS final twice. Back home, she contributes to the umpiring community in Canada through clinics, umpire coaching and mentorship.
As a prolific writer on umpiring, hockey and other topics as a prominent poster on the Field Hockey Forum, Keely decided to start a website dedicated to other obsessive-compulsives with the whistle who can’t stop talking about the ins and outs of one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs in sports.
John Hrystak (Retired)
John has been participating in field hockey since 1992. What started as a means of staying in shape after a successful rugby career at the junior level turned into a lifelong passion.
John has always been active in sports. Even as a small boy he played hockey with his brother in the family back yard with sticks his father would splice together from the broken ones found at Optimist Park in Calgary. John’s mother played as a girl in Yorkshire and took it up again in the 1970’s when the family finally settled in Calgary. When he and his brother Michael decided to take up the game in the early ’90s it was her old sticks they used to get started.
John had been an active volleyball official after high school as a means of staying in the game and earn a little cash for university. When the Calgary field hockey league required clubs to have at least 2 umpire’s certified each year, John saw it as an easy transition and took the course. For a decade, John used his umpire’s fees to pay for the next season of hockey, rarely if ever seeing the cash. It helped as most of his extra spending money went to support what he jokingly refers to as his ‘goalkeeping habit.’
In 1996 and 1997 John was selected to participate in several Field Hockey Canada training camps and was fortunate enough at one of them to meet his playing idol, Seoul Olympic Gold medalist goalkeeper Ian Taylor. It would prove to be the highlight of his playing career. John won his last tournament with the Alberta Men’s provincial team in the senior men’s division of the 1999 California Cup.
By this time he had been making an impression in the local leagues with his umpiring, and to his surprise was invited to several domestic tournaments in which he thrived as an official. Upon returning from California he received word that he had been appointed to the Pan Am Club Championships being held in Kingston Jamaica. John was able to secure umpiring the final, finding the entire event thrilling as the local television channel TVJ covered the entire tournament. If this was what umpiring on the world stage was going to be like he could see doing it for a long time.
His success lead him to be sent to Barcelona in early 2000 and Chile the same year for the Junior Pan Am Cup. Since 1999 he has umpired at least 8 National Championship Finals and the Gold Medal game in 2 Central American & Caribbean games. In 2010 he will have attended 4 international events: The Eurohockey Indoor Club Champions Trophy in Austria, the Pan American Indoor Cup in Venezuela (WCQ), the Commonwealth Games in India and the Asian Games in China.
John retired from both outdoor and indoor international umpiring in 2014 as the only Canadian male umpire ever to achieve a Grade 1 international indoor rating.
He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his wife Kristen and their beautiful daughters Brynn and Faryn.