Please note change to the date of the Girls U14 and U19 tryouts originally scheduled for 4/11.  They have been moved to April 28th.  U14 is at 6:30-7:30, U19 7:45-8:45.   This is the first year of Titan girls-only teams.  If you know girls that play, let them know about the tryouts.  The women’s game continues to improve its participation in Youth Hockey, growing its population ten-fold from 1991 levels.

USA Hockey has made Girls/Women participation a high priority. They surveyed their female players in 2005, and found that most girls that play the game love it, and it is their favorite sport. Their population is split fairly evenly between girls only teams and mixed gender squads.

Until PeeWees (where checking is introduced), the girls game is played with the same rules. At PeeWee and up, contact (riding a player) is permitted, but hard hits, like hip checks are a penalty in the girls only game.

Parents and girls are then faced with a tough decision, beside what position to play, or what club to try out for. They also need to decide either to play with the boys, where there are more teams and on average, more competitive hockey, or play on a girls-only team.

Some like playing with boys.  About 1/2 the girls in the survey that liked playing with them boys did so because of the faster pace, physicality, and proving they could compete. The other half thought it was their only viable option.  Given a robust girls program, most would rather play just girls.  Girls on mixed teams have the awkward issues of locker room dressing, finding other teammates or linemates to bond with, and the fact that they mature faster than boys their age.  One girl’s quote from the survey summed up the benefits of playing on a girl squad:

“You don’t have to worry about how nasty the boys are and girls relate to each other better and we have sooo much fun. But when we are on the ice we are not girls we’re ‘Hockey Players’.”

The girls still report very high satisfaction on mixed teams, but drop out less when they play on a girls team. Alternative sports in high school take a majority of all female players that make it to bantams, yet 93% of girls indicated they would like to play on a girls HS team if it were available to them.  If a D1 school offers guys hockey, you can bet they will have a women’s squad, and the odds are that if you have a talented Jane and John, Jane will have a greater chance of wearing her school’s colors than John.

The competitive level of female players continues to rise, and worldwide participation is at an all-time high. The women’s game was rare from WWII to the late 60’s, but Canada had many women’s leagues in the 1920s & 30s and women have played as long as the guys. Read about the history of the women’s game:

http://proicehockey.about.com/od/womenshockey/a/women_history.htm

Anyway, if you know some female hockey players that want to enjoy the benefits of being Titans, tell them about the tryouts.

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