Girls playing Boys Hockey

Discussion of Minnesota Girls Youth Hockey

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slapshot445
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Girls playing Boys Hockey

Post by slapshot445 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:23 pm

I have heard this topic discussed on the boys forum often and have heard both sides from mostly men, but I dont know how the girls think about this topic. What do you think???

dungey
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Post by dungey » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:14 am

Our daughter would rather play boys hockey. She is in high school now so it's not really an option but at the youth level thats where she wanted to be. She didn't like all the drama that having that many girls together creates. She liked that it was usually a faster game and she liked the aggressiveness of playing with the boys. For her SHE felt like she got more out of it. We didn't have her do it, she choose to do it and never regretted it.

fun&games
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Post by fun&games » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:56 pm

We've had a son and a daughter (played boys and girls) go through the hockey ranks and there's plenty of drama to be had on both sides. You paint all girls hockey teams with a pretty broad brush when you say your daughter didn't want to deal with the "drama of all those girls together." Our daughter experienced many girls' teams with great chemistry and no drama. 12 UA was probably the greatest season with the greatest group of skaters our daughter ever played with, girls or boys. Great that your daughter enjoyed playing on the youth side, just don't continue the old stereotype that all girls are overly dramatic.

luckyEPDad
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Post by luckyEPDad » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:41 pm

The divide between boys and girls hockey is shrinking. There are several u12A teams that would crush any peewee C team I've seen and give most B teams a good game. And the girls I see coming from boys teams don't have any advantage over girls who always played on girl teams. If you don't think girl's hockey is aggressive and physical you aren't watching the same games I am.

The girls my daughter plays with are hockey players. So strong is their love for the game that they define themselves by it. Even in the middle of fastpitch or soccer season they call themselves hockey players. If they had to dress in a separate locker room and didn't hang outside of hockey I don't think the love or joy would be as strong.

Most of my daughter's friends are hockey players. They have a lot in common and spend a lot of time together. Eat, drink, sleep, play hockey, repeat. In addition to loving hockey, they share common beliefs in the importance of good nutrition and exercise. They are active and like to do things. They think alcohol, tobacco and drugs are bad for you, and people who use them are losers. When viewed from the cultural norm they have a very warped body image. A good body is one that is strong and flexible. Weight should be controlled for health reasons and because it affects quickness. You aren't good because of the way you look. You are good because of how hard you play.

Drama in the locker room is a sign the coach has lost control of the team. It has nothing to do with the team being boys or girls. I've coached girls soccer for 8 years and have always had good team harmony. Some of the boys teams we play alongside are another story.

Mr Hockey
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Post by Mr Hockey » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:44 pm

There is a girl in Wayzata that plays boys bantams. She also played on the A peewee team last year. That is pretty good for a major association like Wayzata. Congrats to her!!!

InigoMontoya
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Post by InigoMontoya » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:43 am

LEPD,
I don't think anyone would contend the social aspects you describe; good for them. As for your comment about aggression and physicality, I don't see it. Maple Grove hosted both the 14UA regional and the Peewee A regional - the differences in speed and intensity between the game in the east rink versus the west rink was substantial.

girlshockeyrocks
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Post by girlshockeyrocks » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:25 am

Mr. H: There's also several girls playing 12A in the state that could be playing on their assciation PWA teams if they were inclined.

Congrats to them too!

The original question was 'what do the girls think'. Girls generally play boys hockey for one of three reasons:

(1) They are too good to play girls hockey
(2) They think they are too good to play girls hockey
(3) Dad thinks they are too good to play girls hockey

98% of the time, it's #2 or #3

...but whether it's 1, 2, or 3, there's no way around the implied insult to the girls that are playing girls hockey. So, to answer your question, 'the girls' mostly resent the girls that decide they are too good to play with the girls.

I'm not saying it's always wrong to play boys because some associations have no girls program to speak of and a few girls that might be future olympians - and in this .0001% case, it's great that they can skate with the boys. But in the larger associations with decent 12A hockey, the reality is that most of the time, it's a case of a delusional parent of player or some antisocial tendencies that are driving the boat. Lastly, it's also my observation that most of these girls fill the roll of conservative defensemen on these boys teams. But if you are the rare case where you are a significant offensive factor on a boys "A" team (say top 5 or 6?), then you're probably in the right place.

Further to LEPD and IM: LEPD didn't compare girls A to boys A. If a girl is in the top half of a PWA regional team, she's probably where she should be. But after you drop from PWA, the argument to play boys is a lot weaker. Our 12A team easily handled our PWB2 team. Also, using 14A hockey as a measure is flawed in that most of the 14U-aged studs are already playing HS so 14A is watered down and not nearly as deep as 12A where very few have jumped to HS.

InigoMontoya
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Post by InigoMontoya » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:39 am

So, to answer your question, 'the girls' mostly resent the girls that decide they are too good to play with the girls.
My interpretation of the question was that the topic was on the 'boys' side, so now it was being asked of the 'girls' side - not being asked of the girls. I assume that's your interpretation, as well, unless you are a 12 year old girl. I understand that tone is tough to convey in print, but it seems less that the girls resent the girl playing with boys and more that you resent the girl playing with boys.

I'm glad your 12UA team did well against the PWB2 team; our squirt team handled our 12U team. It is also interesting that a girl should play 12U rather than Peewees, but if an 8th grader doesn't make her varsity team, she should play bantams. The fact that Wayzata and Minnetonka have to deplete their 14U teams to be able to field competetive varsity teams is indicative of how wide the gap still remains between boys and girls hockey.

mnhkylvr
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Post by mnhkylvr » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:46 am

girlshockeyrocks wrote: The original question was 'what do the girls think'. Girls generally play boys hockey for one of three reasons:

(1) They are too good to play girls hockey
(2) They think they are too good to play girls hockey
(3) Dad thinks they are too good to play girls hockey

98% of the time, it's #2 or #3

...but whether it's 1, 2, or 3, there's no way around the implied insult to the girls that are playing girls hockey. So, to answer your question, 'the girls' mostly resent the girls that decide they are too good to play with the girls.

I'm not saying it's always wrong to play boys because some associations have no girls program to speak of and a few girls that might be future olympians - and in this .0001% case, it's great that they can skate with the boys. But in the larger associations with decent 12A hockey, the reality is that most of the time, it's a case of a delusional parent of player or some antisocial tendencies that are driving the boat.
All this delusional, antisocial player and parent have to say is "WOW." :roll:

girlshockeyrocks
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Post by girlshockeyrocks » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:01 am

I clearly said that girl significantly contributing at the A level of a strong PW team is probably where she should be and it's great that she has the option to play there. Not sure how that reads as me resenting?

Yes, top boys are better than top girls (once you get into PW major anyway) and boys programs are deeper than girls - these are facts that will never change.

And observing resentment when an athlete leaves for greener pastures is not limited to a boy/girl thing. You see the same thing when our top boys leave HS to go to Ann Arbor or Juniors. Did you catch the speech of the winner of the Boys AA Herb Brooks award? Something like, "All I have to say is don't leave HS early"...maybe someone knows why he said this but my guess is that he's referring to kids that think they are too good to play HS hockey. And again, not saying this kid's opinion is correct. Leaving HS to play at Ann Arbor might be the greatest decision a player could make...but if you're wondering what the other players think, that's a whole different discussion.

royals dad
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Post by royals dad » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:46 am

This debate is always started on the youth board by the dad of a boy who made a B or C team when there is a girl who made the team above them. They always talk about how unfair it is that girls have a choice and boys don't. I have 2 daughters and a son playing so I only agree with them 33% of the time :-)

"(1) They are too good to play girls hockey
(2) They think they are too good to play girls hockey
(3) Dad thinks they are too good to play girls hockey"

You can add #4 Mom and Dad live where there is no girls hockey. I am sure you could add another one for almost every individual situation.

#4, That is how my daughter ended up in Squirts. When we moved she switched over to girls. There was good and bad in both. My younger daughter is following the girls path so we are seeing it from both perspectives. In truth I would say the fact that our girls have choices is pretty cool, they were born in the right time and place. Find the place where your player enjoys the game the most, hockey is not and investment it is a game.

I can sit and watch a mite or U8 practice an have an enjoyable hour so I am glad my kids share this game with me.

Take your daughter over to Ridder this weekend and spend some quality time watching some great womens hockey. It doesn't have to be better than the NHL to be fun to watch.

InigoMontoya
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Post by InigoMontoya » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:29 pm

Did you catch the speech of the winner of the Boys AA Herb Brooks award? Something like, "All I have to say is don't leave HS early"...maybe someone knows why he said this but my guess is that he's referring to kids that think they are too good to play HS hockey. And again, not saying this kid's opinion is correct. Leaving HS to play at Ann Arbor might be the greatest decision a player could make...but if you're wondering what the other players think, that's a whole different discussion.
I just don't see that at all. I think he meant "something like" 'in my situation, I had a great time playing high school hockey, you can too'. I don't read into it 'I'm resentful and think you're a bad person for leaving your high school team for Ann Arbor or Faribault'. Did you hear the speech of the Girls' A Herb Brooks award winner? She played with the boys through peewees - she also received the Hoby Baker and was selected a captain by her teammates - I don't see the resentment.

iamad2r
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Post by iamad2r » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:53 pm

An angle on this issue that I don't see being discussed here is the team aspect of hockey - it is a team sport after all. How many parents consider their daughter's teammates (or potential teammates) when deciding which side to play on? Consider this scenario from my personal experience. My daughter is a "middle of the pack" player on her U12 team. A "top of the line" player in our association chose to play PeeWees (ended up on a B team) instead of U12. Our U12 team probably would have qualified for the state tournament with this girl on our roster. This would have been a great experience for the girls on the team. Her presence on that PeeWee team had minimal impact on their season record - in fact they missed the playoffs altogether. The U12 girls frequently voiced the opinion that they wished "X" was on their team, as her impact could have had a dramatic effect on their season.

InigoMontoya
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Post by InigoMontoya » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:20 pm

Did anyone ask why?

iamad2r
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Post by iamad2r » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:44 pm

[quote="InigoMontoya"]Did anyone ask why?[/quote]

Dad wanted more "development"

InigoMontoya
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Post by InigoMontoya » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:01 pm

And...?

There's more to it than that. You could buy into GHR's idea that dad is a blind dink, or you could ask the hard question, 'why did a kid (or a parent) choose to walk away from what I had to offer vs. what another had to offer?' At 11 or 12 she likely had more friends on the 12U team than on the PWB2 team and she was likely pretty successful on the ice with the 12U. Do you think her dad leaned back one summer evening in his hammock and contemplated a dastardly scheme to keep his daughter from being successful with her friends?

mnhcp
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Post by mnhcp » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:50 pm

iamad2r wrote:An angle on this issue that I don't see being discussed here is the team aspect of hockey - it is a team sport after all. How many parents consider their daughter's teammates (or potential teammates) when deciding which side to play on? Consider this scenario from my personal experience. My daughter is a "middle of the pack" player on her U12 team. A "top of the line" player in our association chose to play PeeWees (ended up on a B team) instead of U12. Our U12 team probably would have qualified for the state tournament with this girl on our roster. This would have been a great experience for the girls on the team. Her presence on that PeeWee team had minimal impact on their season record - in fact they missed the playoffs altogether. The U12 girls frequently voiced the opinion that they wished "X" was on their team, as her impact could have had a dramatic effect on their season.
I like some of Indigo points. But did you ever consider the daughter was actually an extremely committed hockey player and though she had friends on the 12U team she may have been completely frustrated by their lack of committment? Maybe she loves hockey so much that she doesn't care who she plays with only wanting to be the best that she can. Did those other 12U girls simply take the 1 "top of the line" player for granted and didn't choose to help her develop by not developing themselves. My guess, if this girl was in one of the top 10 associations she'd have stayed with the girls. Why is the social aspect exclusive to girl/girl vs girl/boy? The girl/boy experience can be valuable for the girl and to the boys team. Trust me, this family didn't make this decision lightly and if her teammates cared as much as she did she'd have never moved over. My guess is this girl and her family are frustrated with her former teammates (or families) as they're there mainly for the social aspect where some girls are actually there to play hockey (and the social aspect is secondary). My daughter moved over to the boys as she went to every practice but her teammates missed for birthdates, sleepovers, a late night practice or parents conveniently forgot. Usually they can do all these things and still be serious about hockey. My daughter moved over to the boys as she worked hard in the off season where her teammates took the summer off when some needed to. I concede not all need to do this but some should respect the team as well and try to do better so that "top of the line player" stays. A lightbulb went off in her head, "why am I doing this when nearly my whole team doesn't care". Sure on the boys teams this can be a problem to but it's the exception for the most part.

It might have been a great experience for the girls to have this girl on your team but maybe they should look in the mirror and give her reason to want to be on the girls team?

Though this wasn't mentioned another point which expounds upon this all is also a reason a girl (or boy) might move or go to a private school. No one criticized Lindsey Vonn for moving from MN to Vail so why criticize someone for moving "just to play hockey". Some kids (girls) actually do love hockey. I MEAN, REALLY LOVE HOCKEY.

Just a POSSIBLE scenario which I've seen played out first hand.

iamad2r
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Post by iamad2r » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:10 pm

[quote]But did you ever consider the daughter was actually an extremely committed hockey player and though she had friends on the 12U team she may have been completely frustrated by their lack of committment?[/quote]

I'm pretty sure the girls' team is at least as committed as is the boys' team. I don't recall anyone missing practice for frivolous reasons. These girls take hockey pretty seriously - thus their disappointment in not having "X" as a teammate.

mnhcp
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Post by mnhcp » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:19 pm

iamad2r wrote:
But did you ever consider the daughter was actually an extremely committed hockey player and though she had friends on the 12U team she may have been completely frustrated by their lack of committment?
I'm pretty sure the girls' team is at least as committed as is the boys' team. I don't recall anyone missing practice for frivolous reasons. These girls take hockey pretty seriously - thus their disappointment in not having "X" as a teammate.
I'm glad I qualified it as a POSSIBLE SCENARIO but there is LIKELY still cause to still look in the mirror. Committment goes beyond attendance. I'm certain she trains harder then the others. This too frustrates those that do especially when the disparity is so apparrent. My guess is she plays on a top AAA team in the summer, skates an additional 40 hours and shoots a few hundred pucks a day when the others do alot less such as just AAA or maybe a single camp or 2. I'm not criticizing her or you, nor am I endorsing it but I'm simply putting it into possible context as to why the girl would leave and the lack of understanding by others. As you admit this girl is a "TOP OF THE LINE PLAYER". Why then or how is it that she's so much better then the others?

My daughter wants to skate with good skaters. Dad of course wants her to skate with the best. Most people want their kids to skate with the best but so few are willing to do what it takes to be the "TOP OF LINE PLAYER" you refer to.

I do concede State would have been nice but they did what they felt at the time was right for their kid. They put alot of thought into it for all the right reasons and didn't take their decision lightly. They weighed the pros and cons then maybe tossed a coin who knows. Every kid is different and only they know if the decision they made in hind sight was right.

On another note. A word to boards across MN. If you don't want girls coming over to the Youth Program, don't forget to develop the Girls Programs too. Had ours not been largely ignored by some innocent inexperienced parents we probably never would have switched her.
Last edited by mnhcp on Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

woogieboogiewoogie
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Post by woogieboogiewoogie » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:17 am

iamad2r wrote:
InigoMontoya wrote:Did anyone ask why?
Dad wanted more "development"
Hearing this same response kills me. It's turned into one of the most used cliche's in youth hockey. Did you actually talk to the "Dad"? Or was it more like "so and so told me cuz so and so spoke to so and so and that so and so heard it from his 5 year old son? Do you really think a parent would/could force a 12 year old girl to play at the PeeWee level if the kid didn't want to? C'mon :? Seriously? Of course it has to be "Dad" that is making her play PeeWee's why not "Mom" or maybe it's her little brother pushing her to do it or just maybe she herself wanted to play PeeWee's (that would be too crazy). :wink:

InigoMontoya
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Post by InigoMontoya » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:12 am

I don't think any parent makes this decision lightly, whether they move their daughter to the youth team or to an A team at a neighboring association. Those parents' first choice is (almost) always to have the girls' team be a good fit for their kids. In many cases you may not have noticed that parent stocking the bulletin board with camp flyers, or the dad trying to form a showcase team with her teamates, or the mom offering to carpool a group of girls to the rink on a summer afternoon for some open hockey, or the grandparent in the lobby convincing a board member to dedicate more resources to the girls' program, or the guy on the phone trying to talk his high school teamate that played college hockey to please consider coaching a girls' team. I don't think it's fair to resent those parents - and especially not that kid.

mnhcp
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Post by mnhcp » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:02 am

InigoMontoya wrote:I don't think any parent makes this decision lightly, whether they move their daughter to the youth team or to an A team at a neighboring association. Those parents' first choice is (almost) always to have the girls' team be a good fit for their kids. In many cases you may not have noticed that parent stocking the bulletin board with camp flyers, or the dad trying to form a showcase team with her teamates, or the mom offering to carpool a group of girls to the rink on a summer afternoon for some open hockey, or the grandparent in the lobby convincing a board member to dedicate more resources to the girls' program, or the guy on the phone trying to talk his high school teamate that played college hockey to please consider coaching a girls' team. I don't think it's fair to resent those parents - and especially not that kid.
That is Poetry!

woogieboogiewoogie
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Post by woogieboogiewoogie » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:50 am

iamad2r wrote:
But did you ever consider the daughter was actually an extremely committed hockey player and though she had friends on the 12U team she may have been completely frustrated by their lack of committment?
I'm pretty sure the girls' team is at least as committed as is the boys' team. I don't recall anyone missing practice for frivolous reasons. These girls take hockey pretty seriously - thus their disappointment in not having "X" as a teammate.
Are you sure it's the parents that weren't disappointed? :( I'm sure the girls were at first but being kids they get over things pretty quickly. When the resentful parents keep talking about player "x" at team get togethers that's where the players hear/learn to be resentful. Therefore the players aren't given a chance to form their own opinion of the situation as it's easier to fall inline with mom and dad's opinion. I think the kids would be fine with the situation if they didn't hear all the negativity towards player "x". If the mom's and dad's were to say that's great, good luck player "x" have fun(I know?!, like this would ever happen :o ) there would be little resentment. Also the last time I checked hockey was a team sport. :shock: If that one player is/was/could of/would of been the deciding factor to go to state, my guess is that the girls wouldn't of made anyways. :o I am guessing here but I am assuming this happened a couple of years ago, if so? What level did player "x" play this year?

Coachk
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Post by Coachk » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:01 pm

The bottom line is:

All players are different and require different motivation to be sucessful. Some girls prefer to play on a youth team vs. girls. It is true that the level of commitment is different. But not always the case it depends on how well the association supports girls hockey.

Today or this season is not the end result, what prepares them to be sucsessful in high school is what matters because thats where colleges look. Maybe today doesn't require a A team or a tournament medal, but how strong, fast and skilled they become to prepare them for the next level does. Development trumps all.

What does it matter what the player and parent choose, that entirely their decision. Bashing those parents continue to put a black eye on the girls hockey supporters. Maybe those people should shut up and let families make their own decisions. Insulting players and parents of these players is childish and in no way encouraging them to look at girls hockey in the near future. So insult the dedicated players and parents, yeah that will work.

Girls hockey has a lot of work to do. This sort of garbage doesn't help.

Promote the Game, work to make it better, encourage the players to work hard and enjoy what they do. Stop insulting our fellow hockey families.

girlshockeyrocks
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Post by girlshockeyrocks » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:04 pm

This is not an emotional topic for me. First, the girls are lucky they can choose. But I think this thread nails what I was trying to say...there are some good reasons, some not so good reasons, and it's a touchy subject for many.

To be clear, I'm not against girls playing youth. I've talked and counciled several girls and families on the developmental side of this issue. A few points I always make:

(1) If you are a goalie, you will see more quality shots playing with the boys and if the coaching is equal, you'll have more opportunity to develop playing boys. This is a simple fact.

(2) If you want to be a stay-at-home defenseman, playing boys can really help you also because of the speed of the offense - but be wary to learn the game from an angles perspective and not get overly dependent on body checking. (I also point out that they will probably not develop offensively and may not see much power play ice time ;-) )

(3) Unless you are going to be a top player on a boys team, not many 'goalscorers' are developed by playing boys hockey. There are a few exceptions but not many. I've seen several offensively gifted girls get lost on boys teams and their offensive confidence and creativity gets stomped on and while they are great skaters and aggresive players when they return to the girls...it it may take years, if ever for them to get their offensive instincts to return. Scoring 3-5 goals a season will not develop the instincts necessary to be a goalscorer no matter how fast you skate or how hard you shoot. Offensive confidence and creativity is an intangible developed by years of success.

The above are some of the 'developmental' considerations. But I disagree that 'development trumps all' even though its a popular mantra. I say it's all about the 'experience'. And clearly, this expereince includes the social issues which can be complex (and yes, sometimes is fine) But most girls will enjoy being on a team with other girls much more than being the 'only girl' on a boys team. But definitely not all...and a curious antedotal point on this - a few yrs ago, a girl that was playing with boys got a little jeolous/upset when some other girls decided to follow her!?!?...hmmm must have wanted the boys all to herself? jk ;-)

So, back to basics, there are clearly some good reasons a girl might play youth. My very first post hit on the two obvious reasons: (1) no reasonalbe girls program; (2) The girl is simply TOO GOOD for girls hockey in general.

There are other good reasons I've seen as well. A partial list: Play with brother (fun for the sibs and easy for the parents); prefer to play a local, inhouse schedule; goaltender; And others I'm sure.

I probably misinterpreted the question above and opened a can of worms. But in the general case where an athlete decides the current or 'natural' team/situation doesn't meet his/her real or percieved needs, there will probably be some tension when that athlete moves on. It's just human nature...definitely doens't make it right under any circumstances, but it's reality. And so some thick skin may be needed in some cases. This applies to girls leaving girls programs, boys leaving association programs for AAA, boys leaving HS for Juniors, etc... These decisions are usually difficult and sometimes it's great but sometimes it might be a mistake also.

This said, I don't know why all the skepticism toward the poster above who said a girl left the team to play PWB because dad thought it was a good idea. That seems to be too much to swallow???

As a coach of boys teams, girls teams, and tryout coordinator, I've seen many girls and families tackle this decision and pull the trigger one way or the other and I've had detailed discussions with the kids and parents involved. And also, observed the fruits, or lack thereof, of the decision no matter what they decide.

So when dad says to Sally, "Listen, you have big goals in hockey and you are very talented and I know these girls are nice, but they are holding you back and I think you'd be a lot better player if you played with the boys"...what do you think Sally will do?

Also, note in the scenario I painted above, I didn't judge dad or Sally. If Sally tries out and is an impact player on the PWA team, dad was right. If Sally ends up on a B or B2 team, it's not so clear. And in the better girls programs, it's far from fact to label a PWB or PWB2 team as more commited than the 12A team in fact, typically you'd probably find the opposite.

Whether dad or Sally were right or wrong, of course the right reaction from the 'girls' is to wish her luck and recoginize the opportunity for other girls to step up on the 12A team and fill her shoes. But also expect a little lament of what could have been had the 12A team not lost one of it's top players...especially if said player left to become a non-impact player on a PWB/B2 team. Again, human nature.

I do have a lot of antedotal experience which I'm basing my thoughts and in fact, my thoughts on this issue has evolved over time through observing. I've seen girls that could be top players on SquirtA/PW teams stay girls (yes, even tho they were far more committed than their teammates); I've seen many lesser girls who think (or dad convinced them) that they NEED the challenge of playing boys...but then they get lost in youth programs. And sorry, but yes, several of these cases were laughably delusional.

This is why I posted to begin with. I patently reject the idea it's a badge of honor for a girl to play on a boys teams which was implied by congratulating the girl playing in Wayzata. I think this implies that "if you can, you should" and it's my strong opinion that this statement is just not true. There are many many cases where Sally playing boys was not the best thing and she might have been better off playing girls.

This is way too long already, so I'm not going to chronicle all the cases I'm familar with, but as an example: A dad told me 10U wouldn't challenge the girl enough so she played squirts. She was then completely overwhelmed when she showed up for 12U tryouts and saw that not only was she far from being the best, but she was going to be fighting for her life to make the 12B team...This girl didn't finish tryouts and quit hockey the next day. I.e. the shock of being so far 'behind' after her dad telling her that the girls weren't good enough for her was too tough to take. This was painful to watch because we all know the challenges in recruiting girls to play hockey and it hurts to lose one.

Natalie Darwitz...captain and a top scorer on her PWA team...worked like a dream for her. (Albeit girls hockey was in it's true infancy at the time...but her experience could still be duplicated in those associations who need to put 8 yr olds on their 12B team...)

So, getting redundant, but again, not really a debate. There are good decisions, bad decisions, and some tensions regarding this issue. It's also a situation that's rapidly evolving as the talent level of the girls rockets forward. Antedotes from a few years ago of how bad the girls are and how uncommitted they are etc are getting less and less relevant.

Girls Hockey Rocks! (even if you are on a boys team ;-)

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