Women’s hockey participation has seen steady growth over the past 10 years in Canada. Girls and women across the country have various avenues to participate in the sport at all levels. Whether it’s as a player, coach, official, volunteer or fan, there are plenty of options to get involved in the game.
At the grassroots level there are various options for girls to join hockey as a player. Depending on the community, girls may have the option to play on female-only teams or on co-ed teams.
Many local hockey associations across Canada offer introductory hockey programs for new players. Programs such as Esso Fun Days, the NHL/NHLPA First Shift or local learn-to-play programs provide new players with the opportunity to try out the sport in a low-cost (or no-cost), low-commitment setting prior to signing up for a regular program or team.
Contact your local hockey association to discover more opportunities to play.
There are more schools, colleges and universities offering hockey programs, allowing girls the chance to continue playing while going to school.
Players can make hockey part of their school day through the Hockey Canada Skills Academy (HCSA) Program. Available to players of all levels, HCSAs provide both additional skill development to current players, as well as an excellent late-entry option for new-to-hockey players.
Hockey Canada Accredited Schools (HCAS) are programs that provide education-first programming for students while providing hockey programming as part of the student’s life.
Coaching allows you to experience the passion of hockey from a different point of view and gives you the chance to teach skills, provide encouragement and support and play a key role in the development of young hockey players. Having women in coaching roles increases the likelihood that girls stay in the game and become coaches themselves.
Officiating can provide opportunities from the beginning levels of minor hockey to the international game. The game has grown so rapidly that opportunities for officials are vast. It is an excellent way to learn the game, stay conditioned throughout the season and work on skating skills.
The love of the game of hockey is fostered in rinks of all sizes across the nation by passionate volunteers looking to instill that same passion for hockey to the next generation of Canadians. There are many ways to get involved as a volunteer in the Hockey Canada system.
Local hockey associations rely on volunteers in many different roles including, team managers, communications, fundraising committees, treasurers and more!