Hockeygirls.org was created nearly a decade ago out of frustration. My oldest daughter, then a Squirt in our local association, wanted to play hockey. She didn’t want to play on one of the association’s girls’ teams, where the skill level varied widely and it was treated more like a social event. While some of the players and coaches welcomed her to the boys’ side of the program with open arms, not everyone did. They couldn’t keep her off the ice, but they could make her experience with the locker room unpleasant. Ultimately, the association’s board and the district director made her use a separate locker room and limited her time with the team. We were lucky to find another organization to play with (Minnesota Made Hockey, in Edina), but her sisters weren’t always so lucky and had to play in the local association, often with locker room battles.
Our youngest daughter will be back in the association for one final year before playing JV, so we’re gearing up for another battle.
A lot has changed since daughter 1’s first year of Squirts. USA Hockey realized the vagueness of the wording of its guiding locker room policy. While its policy always allowed co-ed locker rooms, the new verbiage includes a minimum garment policy for co-ed teams to follow so everyone can be present if wearing a specified level of clothing. But, of course, it is still up to the coach and the association to decide to follow it.
While any girl playing ice hockey is a truly great thing, this site was created to celebrate the successes (and point out the challenges) of girls playing hockey on co-ed teams. Notice I didn’t say “boys’” teams? If there’s a girl on a team, it’s co-ed, plain and simple (despite what my oldest daughter’s former head coach said).
Mites, Squirts, Peewees, Bantams, or whatever the levels are called in Canada, these are places for girls to shine, build confidence, learn to get along with the so-called opposite sex and play the great game of hockey. The fact that they’re playing on a co-ed team generally means they’re talented, thick-skinned, coachable and love the game. Why wouldn’t a coach want them on their team and why wouldn’t a boy want them for a teammate?
This site is a place to share news about issues related to girls playing hockey, offer feedback and advice, and celebrate girls playing this great sport.