Leadership's role in promoting girl's hockey

Discussion of Minnesota Girls High School Hockey

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iPuck
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Leadership's role in promoting girl's hockey

Post by iPuck » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:04 pm

It's been a big talk about how to get youth girls involved and/or interested in playing girls (high school) hockey. Many teams have many different ways of promoting this but all in all I think it comes down do the fact that leadership of the high school girls is ultimately what drives and keeps girls into the program.

What I think we need to do as a sport is all work together in promoting it. What are some ways your area team contributes to the youth program in order to draw girls to the sport?

Some of the basics are things like setting up camps and visiting youth practices or games. What are other ideas that other people have tried?

Northland
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Post by Northland » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:31 pm

You touched on the more popular ideas. I've been involved with HS coaches and players attending U12 / U14 practices. But I think the girls in the associations plan on playing HS if they can make the team anyway. Recruitment needs to start earlier. How ... not sure.

I suppose we could poll the players and ask them how they got started in hockey. You would hear things like, my parents played, my friends and cousins play, or maybe ... looked like a great sport.

Some areas just don't have the influx of families with younger children, hence the decline in association numbers.

Looks like I'm just babbling without any new ideas..............


.

MNHockeyFan
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Post by MNHockeyFan » Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:12 pm

I had heard that Edina really goes all-out to actively recruit very young girls in the grade schools, distributing flyers and having the kids take them home to their parents. Maybe someone from Edina can elaborate further. In any case what they do seems to work, because they enticed tremendous numbers of youngsters to try the game, so many that they were able to form their own Mite league. Pretty impressive for a closer-in "mature" suburb. But with money not being an issue for most parents, that helps too.

Rocket78
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Post by Rocket78 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:40 pm

Beginning last summer Rochester started a free 3 day clinic in August. Some of the U10/12/14 coaches collected used equipment so the prospective players don't need to buy anything and also some of the existing girls loaned their gear for the 3 nights. Last year RYHA gained about 20-25 new girls ages 7-12. I haven't asked the right people to see how many new girls they gained that last week's registration. Century HS had over half of their team last season that had never played a gain until November. Obviously it is better to recruit 6-9 year olds than 15 year olds but we all support the Century girls efforts.

joehockey
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Post by joehockey » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:10 pm

In Woodbury they have tried many things but the most successful now is getting young girls who also are playing soccer. They have started U8 teams for third year mites. They concluded that the biggest loss of girl players is after mites - they didn't keep playing squirts this way the girls are together at U8 and go to U10. You have to get a group of maybe 5 committed famalies and a supportive hockey board. Summer clinics to keep girls skating somehow in alignment with the HS is also key. We also would have Open Hockey for girls late on Sunday afternoon - we would have a few coaches there just to work 1-1 with new kids to help them with some basic skills.

I marvel at the Stillwater program it would be another one I would call or White Bear and say what did you do to build your programs. Go to a Stillwater home game and you will see a 100 youth girls in their jerseys cheering for the Ponies - it is a neat atmosphere and you know everyone of those kids dream of skating with the Ponies. So get the youth teams to the HS games.

We used to take our youth teams as a group to Gopher games at Ridder. We would have the girls wear their jerseys and we made sure it was a fun event we would try to get as many kids there as possible it is great hockey and again it kept the girls loving hockey. Those were stories they told to their friends and helped us recruit some older players.

xwildfan
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Post by xwildfan » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:20 pm

Tito Elumba, who now works in an official capacity at MN Hockey, was a one-man recruiting machine in Cottage Grove. I'm sure if you contacted him, he would have some good ideas.

The two big challenges are to make it affordable for more families. And to somehow convince the parents, who do not have a hockey background, to sign their kids up for hockey.

Hux
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Post by Hux » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:44 pm

xwildfan wrote:Tito Elumba, who now works in an official capacity at MN Hockey, was a one-man recruiting machine in Cottage Grove. I'm sure if you contacted him, he would have some good ideas.

The two big challenges are to make it affordable for more families. And to somehow convince the parents, who do not have a hockey background, to sign their kids up for hockey.
That is the easy part. Here is my list of what it takes to grow the girls game.

1) Committed board members who are willing to put in the time to actually sign players up when you run a free clinic.

2) Board members who are actually interested in seeing girls hockey flourish, rather than viewing it as a drain on ice time that could be used for other teams

3) Board members who are not involved with club teams, and are more interested in building a town program, rather than siphoning off players to the club team in an effort to suck up to the principal of the club team, who also happens to be a coach at a well regarded prep school.

2) Communication with players who make teams, rather than leaving them hanging all summer long wondering if they made a team, or if there is going to be a team. (See above for reason why this happens)

As you can see, I have issues with board members. When you have 46 girls come out for a free clinic(35 of whom had never played before) and as a board member you can't be bothered to sign any of the players up for a U10 team, you basically undermine the whole point of the clinic. Then when you use the excuse "there aren't enough girls for a U10 team" as a reason to try and convince the seven that tried out to come play for the club team, you not only undermine the free clinic, but also the future of the town teams.

My point is that you need to first make sure that those on your association's board are truly committed to seeing the girls game grow, and not just paying it lip service.

MNHockeyFan
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Post by MNHockeyFan » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:30 am

Hux wrote:My point is that you need to first make sure that those on your association's board are truly committed to seeing the girls game grow, and not just paying it lip service.
All too often you see most of the volunteers serving on the board being parents of SONS that play, and they are not really committed to seeing the girls game grow.

xk1
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Post by xk1 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:19 am

Hux, are you really in Burlington,MA?

spin-o-rama
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Post by spin-o-rama » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:29 am

MNHockeyFan wrote:I had heard that Edina really goes all-out to actively recruit very young girls in the grade schools, distributing flyers and having the kids take them home to their parents. Maybe someone from Edina can elaborate further. In any case what they do seems to work, because they enticed tremendous numbers of youngsters to try the game, so many that they were able to form their own Mite league. Pretty impressive for a closer-in "mature" suburb. But with money not being an issue for most parents, that helps too.
Last year Edina had about 100 girls playing mites. This year my guess is that it will be in the 100-120 range.

The grade school weekly newsletter my kids come home with has blurbs about art classes, karate, swim club, soccer, and hockey signups. I also think we got a postcard. I haven't noticed any other recruiting efforts.

Edina does do its own mite league. They decided they could save money by not registering with usa/mn hockey and getting their own insurance. This has worked nicely for the roughly 400 mites they have. However, this year the 3rd year girls mites are registering with usa/mn hockey. Supposedly they need better competition and will be playing other communities. The decision is a surprise because it goes completely against the mite plan Edina has.

MNHockeyFan
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Post by MNHockeyFan » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:31 pm

spin-o-rama, just a follow-up question. In the first paragraph you alluded to 100 mites, then further down you say it's 400 (?). Maybe the 400 includes the boys?

spin-o-rama
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Post by spin-o-rama » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:04 pm

MNHockeyFan wrote:spin-o-rama, just a follow-up question. In the first paragraph you alluded to 100 mites, then further down you say it's 400 (?). Maybe the 400 includes the boys?
Correct. ~300 boys and ~100 girls.

hockeygod
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Post by hockeygod » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:04 pm

Girls Hockey has made incredible strides this past 3 years by installing better leaders at the high school levels and by getting some people who care about it on the boards at the youth levels.

A couple of friends of mine used to meet every Saturday morning at Roberto's resturant in White Bear Lake to discuss something called the Marriucci Inner city Hockey program. They talked about how to get more kids into Hockey and get them to stay One of the things they came up with was smaller teams so that all of the players would have a chance to play and enjoy the sport of hockey. Their theory was that if the kids would have fun playing they would come back for more.

We have to do this for the girls program, make it fun for them at the youth level, put less emphisis on winning so that they come back for more. Our problem now is that there are plenty of opportunities for the top level players but not much when it comes to giving the masses a chance to play make it fun for everyone. Give them the opportunitty to play and the numbers will come.

Who were my friends that met at Roberto's every Saturday. Kyle Peterson and Herb Brooks, couple of guys that made there names coaching the elite but cared more about the masses

xk1
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Post by xk1 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:04 pm

Does anybody have actual numbers on how many girls are in MN hockey over the last 10 years?

ghshockeyfan
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Post by ghshockeyfan » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:45 pm

Some thoughts...

1) Youth recruitment is key obviously. As is making the cost as low as possible. HS kids & coaches as well as area college teams, whitecaps, Olympians, etc. can help with recruitment efforts by area youth associations. Using other sports to find girls as well as the grade schools (public & private...) including current HS players in their jerseys, etc. is key. The initiative to work with Girl Scouts is neat too. Do "try hockey" events, etc. Sell the positive and work on eliminating/addressing the negative stuff that is said (cost, injury issues, not a girls sport, stereotypes, crazy parent labeling, etc.)

2) Next, the idea of pairing up HS players with youth players or teams is great. Joint events, skate with the HS, have "student-coaches" that are HS kids, have HS kids at practices & games, etc., etc., etc. is key too. BUT - remember that MN/USA H has some insurance issues that actually will make it tough to pull off a lot of stuff with REGISTERED youth & non-registered HS kids.

***Consider inviting youth team players to skate with the HS team after warm-ups through anthem & announcements at Varsity games. The little kids love this. Do a u8 intermission scrimmage during V HS games if at all possible.

***Work to recognize the youth teams in the HS team game program & around the rink, etc.

Small obvious things that seem to help...

Best thing to sell others is "bring-a-friend" and try-hockey opportunities and the kids that are involved can help sell the sport to their friends as well as anything else you may try...

A HS coach with HS players that are visible & active in youth level can make all the difference - BUT - I also think we need more college & above level people to help with growing the game at the lowest levels and this is a great PR move by them as well. I think many would help if we asked them to, but many don't ask them even...

!!!AND REMEMBER IT'S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS!!!

OntheEdge
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Post by OntheEdge » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:52 am

spin-o-rama wrote:
MNHockeyFan wrote:I had heard that Edina really goes all-out to actively recruit very young girls in the grade schools, distributing flyers and having the kids take them home to their parents. Maybe someone from Edina can elaborate further. In any case what they do seems to work, because they enticed tremendous numbers of youngsters to try the game, so many that they were able to form their own Mite league. Pretty impressive for a closer-in "mature" suburb. But with money not being an issue for most parents, that helps too.
Last year Edina had about 100 girls playing mites. This year my guess is that it will be in the 100-120 range.

The grade school weekly newsletter my kids come home with has blurbs about art classes, karate, swim club, soccer, and hockey signups. I also think we got a postcard. I haven't noticed any other recruiting efforts.

Edina does do its own mite league. They decided they could save money by not registering with usa/mn hockey and getting their own insurance. This has worked nicely for the roughly 400 mites they have. However, this year the 3rd year girls mites are registering with usa/mn hockey. Supposedly they need better competition and will be playing other communities. The decision is a surprise because it goes completely against the mite plan Edina has.
Interesting discussion. I think that Edina has been successful in growing their girls program for a number of reasons. Edina will have about 100 girl mites, 4 U10 teams, 4 U12 teams, 3 U14 teams, 2 U19 teams and probably 40-50 girls trying out for HS hockey this year.

First and foremost, the growth in girls hockey has snowballed because from grade school on girls know that its cool to play hockey in Edina. We advertise but probably not much more than other communities. In Edina, its a cultural thing. There are many parents that played hockey and they strongly encourage their girls to play. Also, for the girls of parents that have not played hockey there is pressure by girl friends and their parents to join in on the fun.

Edina's program flourishes due to a number of other factors. First of all, (Hux will like this) its Board spends just as much time promoting the girls program as the boys program. Both programs are treated almost equally. I think the girls program probably gets more attention since it has a "Girls Coordinator" and no such position exists for boys.

The girls program took off a few years ago when Edina instituted an all girls mite program. This was done for several reasons, a few of which were that the Board felt that girls would like to play on all girl teams and that girls could touch the puck more and not be intimidated by the boys.

Mites (girls and boys) were not registered to save money and since the numbers were there it was felt that Edina could create its own league of neighborhood teams without having to play outside the Edina boundaries. The upper girls mites were registered to give them a chance for more competition which hopefully would stop the tendency of some of the better girls from going over to the boys program.

In Edina there are still a few parents that believe that girls playing in the boys program will make them a better hockey player. I don't think this notion is correct but that's my opinion. In my opinion, girls that play with the boys are playing a different style of hockey and its takes some time for them to adjust when they move to the girls program. People might disagree but I have observed that such girls need to work on stickhandling and shooting skills because they didn't have as many opportunities to shoot and stickhandle while playing with the boys. While there's no way to test this, I think girls talented enough to play with the boys would be just as good or better if they played with the girls since they would be able to shoot more and stickhandle more. I know that I'm opening a can of worms but its just my opinion. Reasonable people can disagree.

I think another way to grow girls hockey is to change the MH/USA hockey rule that requires an association to permit girls to play with the boys. A few years ago Edina was going to prohibit girls from playing in the boys program. Research was completed to see if it was possible. What we found out is that it isn't a legal problem (there is no discrimination law prohibiting such a rule) but MH/USA hockey has a rule that requires associations to permit girls to play with the boys. It appeared to us that the rule was put in place to give girls a chance to play hockey at a time when there weren't any girls hockey programs available. We didn't push it because it really wasn't a problem in Edina since most of our parents support the girls program and we have very few girls playing with the boys. However, we thought that preventing girls from playing with the boys would make us a leader in making girls hockey stronger statewide (in other words if we did this maybe others would follow our lead). We thought that if all communities passed such a rule, more girls would play girls hockey and the girls hockey program statewide would be stronger. I think the MH/USA rule could be modified to state that an association could prohibit girls from playing boys hockey only if there was an equivalent program offered for the girls. In other words, if there was a U12A team girls could be prohibited from playing Peewee A etc. As far as I know no such movement is in the making.

I'll stop now. Sorry for the length of this post but I love girls hockey and have thought alot about this. I don't know if I'm right or wrong but I think it merits discussion.

Hux
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Post by Hux » Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:08 am

xk1 wrote:Hux, are you really in Burlington,MA?
ayuh. And it is currently 78 and humid at 3:08 am! Sure glad I was lazy and opted NOT to take the A/C out of the window. (Of course, the stinkin thing going on is why I am up at this ungodly hour.)

The thought of NOT allowing girls to participate on boys teams was shot down immediately by my association's board. And it wasn't out of any altruistic, anti-discriminatory reasoning. Aside from the comments regarding the stink parents would make, the primary reason for not going this route was that it would mean more ice time would be needed to accommodate the girl's teams.

At the time there were U12, U14 and U19 (which included 15 and 16s) teams, and the thought was that mandating a girls only policy would require at least a U10 team, and possibly a U8. Since the association had four teams at all levels in the boys, ice was at a premium(even with shared sheets), particularly during the high school season when the varsity boys and girls teams had the ice locked up from 2:30-6:00 during the week. On top of that not one, but two, figure skating associations had blocks of ice, so squeezing in even one more sheet was pretty much impossible.

In addition, the deletion of girls from the boys teams would result in smaller rosters (each team had 15) and necessitate an increase in tuition. To add insult to injury, they foresaw the trend of the younger girls to play on two teams. While this should have been viewed as a boon to the association coffers, it was actually seen as an "unfair" advantage for the girls, who got twice as much as time as the boys who could only play on one team. (Lost on these rocket scientists was the fact that most of the upper level boys also played on "select" (cough, cough, checkbook) teams and were getting more than enough ice time.

It actually got to the point that I had to argue with a few parents that this was probably the one and only time these girls, in the course of their life, would be on top of the glass ceiling looking down, without having to fight and claw their way there. I asked if they would begrudge their own daughters (who didn't play) an opportunity like that, and only when they thought about it did they relent.

xk1
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Post by xk1 » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:24 am

Hux, I asked because the club team issue doesn't exist (to my knowledge) in MN as we have forced community based hockey.

I would recommend girls play boys hockey as long as they can because the pace and intensity of the game is something that girls hockey can never match. Most of the better players were in boys hockey though U10 and some U12.

spin-o-rama
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Post by spin-o-rama » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:33 pm

OntheEdge wrote:
spin-o-rama wrote:
MNHockeyFan wrote:I had heard that Edina really goes all-out to actively recruit very young girls in the grade schools, distributing flyers and having the kids take them home to their parents. Maybe someone from Edina can elaborate further. In any case what they do seems to work, because they enticed tremendous numbers of youngsters to try the game, so many that they were able to form their own Mite league. Pretty impressive for a closer-in "mature" suburb. But with money not being an issue for most parents, that helps too.
Last year Edina had about 100 girls playing mites. This year my guess is that it will be in the 100-120 range.

The grade school weekly newsletter my kids come home with has blurbs about art classes, karate, swim club, soccer, and hockey signups. I also think we got a postcard. I haven't noticed any other recruiting efforts.

Edina does do its own mite league. They decided they could save money by not registering with usa/mn hockey and getting their own insurance. This has worked nicely for the roughly 400 mites they have. However, this year the 3rd year girls mites are registering with usa/mn hockey. Supposedly they need better competition and will be playing other communities. The decision is a surprise because it goes completely against the mite plan Edina has.
Interesting discussion. I think that Edina has been successful in growing their girls program for a number of reasons. Edina will have about 100 girl mites, 4 U10 teams, 4 U12 teams, 3 U14 teams, 2 U19 teams and probably 40-50 girls trying out for HS hockey this year.

First and foremost, the growth in girls hockey has snowballed because from grade school on girls know that its cool to play hockey in Edina. We advertise but probably not much more than other communities. In Edina, its a cultural thing. There are many parents that played hockey and they strongly encourage their girls to play. Also, for the girls of parents that have not played hockey there is pressure by girl friends and their parents to join in on the fun.

Edina's program flourishes due to a number of other factors. First of all, (Hux will like this) its Board spends just as much time promoting the girls program as the boys program. Both programs are treated almost equally. I think the girls program probably gets more attention since it has a "Girls Coordinator" and no such position exists for boys.

The girls program took off a few years ago when Edina instituted an all girls mite program. This was done for several reasons, a few of which were that the Board felt that girls would like to play on all girl teams and that girls could touch the puck more and not be intimidated by the boys.

Mites (girls and boys) were not registered to save money and since the numbers were there it was felt that Edina could create its own league of neighborhood teams without having to play outside the Edina boundaries. The upper girls mites were registered to give them a chance for more competition which hopefully would stop the tendency of some of the better girls from going over to the boys program.

In Edina there are still a few parents that believe that girls playing in the boys program will make them a better hockey player. I don't think this notion is correct but that's my opinion. In my opinion, girls that play with the boys are playing a different style of hockey and its takes some time for them to adjust when they move to the girls program. People might disagree but I have observed that such girls need to work on stickhandling and shooting skills because they didn't have as many opportunities to shoot and stickhandle while playing with the boys. While there's no way to test this, I think girls talented enough to play with the boys would be just as good or better if they played with the girls since they would be able to shoot more and stickhandle more. I know that I'm opening a can of worms but its just my opinion. Reasonable people can disagree.

I think another way to grow girls hockey is to change the MH/USA hockey rule that requires an association to permit girls to play with the boys. A few years ago Edina was going to prohibit girls from playing in the boys program. Research was completed to see if it was possible. What we found out is that it isn't a legal problem (there is no discrimination law prohibiting such a rule) but MH/USA hockey has a rule that requires associations to permit girls to play with the boys. It appeared to us that the rule was put in place to give girls a chance to play hockey at a time when there weren't any girls hockey programs available. We didn't push it because it really wasn't a problem in Edina since most of our parents support the girls program and we have very few girls playing with the boys. However, we thought that preventing girls from playing with the boys would make us a leader in making girls hockey stronger statewide (in other words if we did this maybe others would follow our lead). We thought that if all communities passed such a rule, more girls would play girls hockey and the girls hockey program statewide would be stronger. I think the MH/USA rule could be modified to state that an association could prohibit girls from playing boys hockey only if there was an equivalent program offered for the girls. In other words, if there was a U12A team girls could be prohibited from playing Peewee A etc. As far as I know no such movement is in the making.

I'll stop now. Sorry for the length of this post but I love girls hockey and have thought alot about this. I don't know if I'm right or wrong but I think it merits discussion.
Edina has a girls coordinator? I know that there are girls and boys board liasons, commissioners, and even presidents. But I did not know of a girls position that had no boys equivalent. Pretty cool.

Should usa/MN hockey amend their rule of allowing girls to play with boys? It would be an interesting thread. I know that in some associations if a girl wants to play boys hockey she must make the A team or go back in the girls program.

OntheEdge
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Post by OntheEdge » Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:07 pm

xk1 wrote:Hux, I asked because the club team issue doesn't exist (to my knowledge) in MN as we have forced community based hockey.

I would recommend girls play boys hockey as long as they can because the pace and intensity of the game is something that girls hockey can never match. Most of the better players were in boys hockey though U10 and some U12.
This topic has been addressed ad nauseaum but since you bring it up...
Parents want strong women's hockey but parents want to get an developmental advantage by putting their daughters in boys hockey. First of all there is no proof that playing boys hockey makes a girl a better player. In my observations over the years, the girls that return from the boys program are good skaters but the get too many penalties, need to get better at stickhandling and shooting. It usually takes such girls a year or two to adjust. The girls game and boys game are different games. Talent is talent and I think the girls that play boys would get just as much from the girls game with the addition of some good offseason clinics.

Additionally, how do we make the girls program stronger and more competitive if a large number of good players keep playing boys hockey. If playing with boys is so much better then maybe we should just get rid of the girls hockey program and girls and boys can compete together. In other words, go back to how it was prior to 1992. The parents that put their daughters in boys hockey are doing it for developmental purposes. I keep hearing stories of so and so who played boys hockey. Well most of those stories are about girls that played when there wasn't a girls program. If people truly want girls hockey to continue to grow and advance we will work to make the girls program better from within and not abandon it to the boys side until you feel your daughter has one up on the competition.

In our association we have girls that play on the boys side. There are exceptions but in general we think such families are narrow minded and on the girls side they are persona non grata because they are viewed as selfish people who are not willing to work with us to build our program.

Silent But Deadly
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Post by Silent But Deadly » Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:38 pm

OntheEdge wrote:
xk1 wrote:Hux, I asked because the club team issue doesn't exist (to my knowledge) in MN as we have forced community based hockey.

I would recommend girls play boys hockey as long as they can because the pace and intensity of the game is something that girls hockey can never match. Most of the better players were in boys hockey though U10 and some U12.
This topic has been addressed ad nauseaum but since you bring it up...
Parents want strong women's hockey but parents want to get an developmental advantage by putting their daughters in boys hockey. First of all there is no proof that playing boys hockey makes a girl a better player. In my observations over the years, the girls that return from the boys program are good skaters but the get too many penalties, need to get better at stickhandling and shooting. It usually takes such girls a year or two to adjust. The girls game and boys game are different games. Talent is talent and I think the girls that play boys would get just as much from the girls game with the addition of some good offseason clinics.

Additionally, how do we make the girls program stronger and more competitive if a large number of good players keep playing boys hockey. If playing with boys is so much better then maybe we should just get rid of the girls hockey program and girls and boys can compete together. In other words, go back to how it was prior to 1992. The parents that put their daughters in boys hockey are doing it for developmental purposes. I keep hearing stories of so and so who played boys hockey. Well most of those stories are about girls that played when there wasn't a girls program. If people truly want girls hockey to continue to grow and advance we will work to make the girls program better from within and not abandon it to the boys side until you feel your daughter has one up on the competition.

In our association we have girls that play on the boys side. There are exceptions but in general we think such families are narrow minded and on the girls side they are persona non grata because they are viewed as selfish people who are not willing to work with us to build our program.
OntheEdge,

Great points but there are other reasons that girls play boys hockey. My daughter played on boys teams solely so we could have two kids on the same team (her brother is a year younger). Every other year she played girls hockey. She has played girls HS since 8th grade.

Where I might disagree with you somewhat....I don't think the girls programs offer as much outside of the large metro programs. Often times you will find B level hockey (there simply aren't any A teams nearby) and the teams have everything from A level skaters to beginners. In those situations, for the A level player, I'm not sure that playing girls hockey is the best for the league, team or the individual player.

I enjoy your thoughts, I'm just not sure it's a one size fits all world out there.

OntheEdge
Posts: 666
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:43 am

Post by OntheEdge » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:02 pm

Silent But Deadly wrote:
OntheEdge,

Great points but there are other reasons that girls play boys hockey. My daughter played on boys teams solely so we could have two kids on the same team (her brother is a year younger). Every other year she played girls hockey. She has played girls HS since 8th grade.

Where I might disagree with you somewhat....I don't think the girls programs offer as much outside of the large metro programs. Often times you will find B level hockey (there simply aren't any A teams nearby) and the teams have everything from A level skaters to beginners. In those situations, for the A level player, I'm not sure that playing girls hockey is the best for the league, team or the individual player.

I enjoy your thoughts, I'm just not sure it's a one size fits all world out there.
As I stated there are exceptions, the most plausible is that there isn't a equivalent girls program offered. However, if there is an equivalent girls program I believe in the interests of "Leadership in Promoting..." as this thread is entitled, the Leaders will work hard to make girls hockey stronger. The one aspect I didn't mention is relationships. Girls that have played together for years develop chemistry on and off the ice. When a girl snubs them to play with the boys and all of sudden when it gets too rough in the upper level and goes back to the girls what do you think happens? Do the girls that have been together forever embrace the new player who was too good for them before and might take one of their friends spots? I'm sure that it depends on the girl and the situation but I don't think its a good start for a new teammate.

Silent But Deadly
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:49 pm

Post by Silent But Deadly » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:31 pm

OntheEdge wrote:
Silent But Deadly wrote:
OntheEdge,

Great points but there are other reasons that girls play boys hockey. My daughter played on boys teams solely so we could have two kids on the same team (her brother is a year younger). Every other year she played girls hockey. She has played girls HS since 8th grade.

Where I might disagree with you somewhat....I don't think the girls programs offer as much outside of the large metro programs. Often times you will find B level hockey (there simply aren't any A teams nearby) and the teams have everything from A level skaters to beginners. In those situations, for the A level player, I'm not sure that playing girls hockey is the best for the league, team or the individual player.

I enjoy your thoughts, I'm just not sure it's a one size fits all world out there.
As I stated there are exceptions, the most plausible is that there isn't a equivalent girls program offered. However, if there is an equivalent girls program I believe in the interests of "Leadership in Promoting..." as this thread is entitled, the Leaders will work hard to make girls hockey stronger. The one aspect I didn't mention is relationships. Girls that have played together for years develop chemistry on and off the ice. When a girl snubs them to play with the boys and all of sudden when it gets too rough in the upper level and goes back to the girls what do you think happens? Do the girls that have been together forever embrace the new player who was too good for them before and might take one of their friends spots? I'm sure that it depends on the girl and the situation but I don't think its a good start for a new teammate.
Again, good points. I really don't know of any girl who opted for the boys program who was snubbing her friends, I think it has more to do with where their development is and what works best for their individual family....and I think thats ok! Regarding girl players who have returned to the girls program, I have found the opposite true. Most players (except possibly the displaced one) welcome all players who can help build a stronger team.

BTW, I have a younger daugther who has played exclusively on girls teams and that is working well for her. The best player on her team played two years of squirt A's and now will be playing her second year of U12A, I think she has been well received.

kwjm
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:51 am

Girls on boys teams

Post by kwjm » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:40 pm

Why do we need to change the MN/USA hockey rules? Please help me understand how having a few girls playing on a boys team is hurting the overall girls program? I don't understand how a girl choosing to play on a team with teammates at her level (a boys A team) is all that different from a high-level boy choosing to play on an independent AAA team rather than an association team. And I don't hear a lot of people saying we should change the rules and prevent AAA teams.

Also, I don't hear complaints from the girls "left behind" on a girls team who get to touch the puck and play the game rather than watch as a much better player goes end to end without involving her teammates

If every association has 1-5 girls playing on boys teams, it can't hurt the girls program that much. What am I missing?

OntheEdge
Posts: 666
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Re: Girls on boys teams

Post by OntheEdge » Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:05 pm

kwjm wrote:Why do we need to change the MN/USA hockey rules? Please help me understand how having a few girls playing on a boys team is hurting the overall girls program? I don't understand how a girl choosing to play on a team with teammates at her level (a boys A team) is all that different from a high-level boy choosing to play on an independent AAA team rather than an association team. And I don't hear a lot of people saying we should change the rules and prevent AAA teams.

Also, I don't hear complaints from the girls "left behind" on a girls team who get to touch the puck and play the game rather than watch as a much better player goes end to end without involving her teammates

If every association has 1-5 girls playing on boys teams, it can't hurt the girls program that much. What am I missing?
Everyone has an opinion and no one size fits all. In my opinion, 1-5 girls in every association is a lot when you add it up. Since there are approximately 150 associations in MN thats between 150 and 650 girls most of which are very good players. Just think of how much better Girls Hockey would be with those girls in the system. More importantly if playing with the boys becomes more trendy girls youth hockey will whither on the vine instead of growing stronger. As far as the girl that doesn't touch the puck, it is a problem with boys and girls hockey. It is less of a problem in boys hockey since they have a "C" level. I have been a long proponent of creating a metrowide "C" league because I think it would make the "B" teams stronger and give the "C" players a better developmental experience.

I remember that a few years ago, I was trying to set up a scrimmage with another association. The coach told me that he didn't think scrimmaging was a very good idea because we would slaughter them and it wouldn't be a good experience for either team. He went on to say that 30 girls that would have been eligible for his A team were playing with the boys. He was disappointed for his daughter because he chose the girls program for her instead of the boys program and she wasn't playing with the most skilled players.

Also, I think you aren't listening if you think that people aren't concerned about boys choosing to play independent AAA hockey rather than association hockey during the winter. Minnesota Hockey is very concerned about this issue. It is seen as a threat to our long history of community hockey. Some associations have determined that they won't permit AAA teams to play in their tournaments and other steps are being considered to stop this perceived threat. Most AAA teams are based in western Wisconsin so that they can register their kids under USA Hockey under the Tier I USA rules. They have a Wisconsin address but they practice in Minnesota. I've been told that Wisconsin Hockey has been aware of the problem and is cracking down on Wisconsin teams that recruit too many out of state players (i.e. have too many Minnesota kids on the team). I was told that Wisconsin wants their AAA teams to have a certain percentage of players from Wisconsin or they won't let them register under Wisconsin/USA Hockey. Remember that teams that are registered under USA Hockey are not permitted to play teams that are not registered so it is a big deal.

To emphasize my point that it is a big deal, District 2 a few years ago told all of their associations that if they let any Wisconsin AAA team play or scrimmage on their home ice they would forfeit their rights to send their teams to the Minnesota State Tournament. The District 2 Director told me that the previous year they lost an entire Bantam team of boys to Wisconsin AAA.
Last edited by OntheEdge on Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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