OLD ORCHARD BEACH – After pleas for needed players proved unsuccessful, Old Orchard Beach High School made the decision early Friday to cancel the school’s field hockey season.

“We had been having between seven and 10 girls show up for practice,” Athletic Director Jack Trull said. “We had spent a lot of time contacting girls who had signed up in the spring to encourage them to come out. The players on the team were asking their friends. We had an open house (Thursday) night and made a pitch for the field hockey team and the bottom line was seven (players) made it to practice this morning.”

Trull said the Maine Principals Association deadline for submitting a team is Tuesday. In fairness to the schools that intended to play Old Orchard Beach this fall and now will have to find an additional opponent, Trull felt it was important to make the decision Friday.

The MPA made a ruling Friday that OOB’s would-be opponents can now schedule a third game against one team.

Trull said he believes there were 17 players on the 2012 Old Orchard Beach field hockey team that went 3-12 for a second straight season. In the spring 24 or 25 students signed up to play the sport, he said.

“The fact is, that sign up and show up are two different things,” Trull said. He said injuries and choosing soccer over field hockey explained part of the unanticipated reduction in roster size.

Field hockey is a middle school sport. Trull said he anticipates that it will return as a varsity sport at the high school.

A similar situation took place with softball. OOB did not field a team in 2012 but returned to the diamond this year with both varsity and junior varsity squads.