Women’s Ice Hockey
Women’s hockey is becoming an incredibly popular winter sport in North America, with more girls playing every year. The National Women’s Hockey League currently leads the charge and has grown from four teams to becoming a six-team nail-biter. However, one may wonder how long is a women’s ice hockey game?
A women’s ice hockey game can last an average of 2 hours, including intermissions and play stoppage. With overtime and opening commentary content, the streamed events can last up to 3 hours. It is advisable to reach the arena early and keep your schedule clear for at least 3 hours to enjoy the full game.
This article covers interesting facts about women’s hockey like how popular the game is, what options there are for young athletes, how you can support the sport, and whether women can win the Stanley cup. Read on to learn more.
Since women’s hockey has come to the forefront of fans’ attention in the year 2019, with an average of 1,000 to 1,200 fans in attendance for every event of the NWHL, groups may scramble for credit when it comes to its origin. Even though the league came about in 2015, the sport’s history dates back to 1892.
Yes, the earliest records of hockey as an organized sport with female athletes is found two decades before the NHL came about. The game took place in Barrie, Ontario, making Canada the country of origin for women’s hockey.
A league’s success is defined across two metrics: number of fans and number of successful franchises. The National Women’s Hockey League started with four teams and has since expanded at a rate of one new team every two years. One can expect the NWHL to have more than its current six teams, as is evident from its commercial success.
Even though women’s hockey has a history dating as far back as men’s hockey, the sport has not been given as much commercial attention. It was only in 2015 that the first salaried league emerged, and before this, CWHL gave bonuses to players.
Even NWHL started with a budget of $2.5 million. In contrast, the salary cap of an NHL team ten years before this was $39 million. When one compares a $2.5 million budget for the women’s league with a $39 million cap per men’s team, it is evident that women’s hockey can do with some commercial enthusiasm. Here are some ways in which you can support the sport.
Most women’s hockey tryouts command a fee, and if you want to try your luck at the sport, then that’s a win-win because you get to pay into the system and also give your future as a professional athlete a fair shot. However, it is also possible that you aren’t interested in playing hockey yourself yet want to support the team.
A great way to do this is by sponsoring the tryout fee for players whose money is better spent on equipment and gear. Remember that players trying out for the league aren’t doing so for massive salaries; they’re in it for the passion because the leagues aren’t promising cash-grab paydays.
Sports merchandise accounts for a significant portion of a league’s revenue. If you want to support not just the game but your favourite team in the league, ordering a dozen jerseys would do the trick.
You get the added benefit of having enough colours to clothe your squad when you visit the arena to cheer your favourite team. If you are a quality over quantity type of person, then you have the option to shop for rarer game-worn jerseys.
Your attendance matters because it provides support across multiple dimensions. First of all, the players you cheer for get a morale boost, and your tickets help the league financially.
But most importantly, the attendance numbers allow the league to appeal to investors and sponsors. Investors’ interest can help NWHL expand and recruit new talent, add more teams, and get better television deals.
If you plan to attend a hockey game, it may be worthwhile to take a read through our article describing how early you should get to a hockey game.
NWHL is a young and tech-savvy league. This is evident from its streaming partnerships with Twitch and YouTube. Instead of going the traditional route, the entity has cemented its path to the forefront of the young audience’s screens.
If you’re unable to attend a game in person, you can watch live on Twitch and even engage with other fans in the comments section. Besides helping the league generate cash, your viewership helps with ad-buying pitches and can help attract significant investment.
If you’re a fan of hockey, you know about the legendary Stanley cup’s mythic status. You may get a selfie taken with it and even kiss it, but it is forbidden to hoist it over your head or to drink from it. Those are privileges only the winners can enjoy. But do female hockey players get a shot at the Stanley Cup?
Women’s hockey has its own version of the Stanley cup called the Clarkson cup. Its history may not date back to the Stanley trophy, but it was, as the Stanley Cup, named after a governor-general of Canada and is the top trophy in its category.
While salaried hockey for women started in 2015, the NHL has supported women’s hockey on junior and youth levels since the 1970s. There are multiple amateur leagues and youth hockey programs that help train female athletes.
As young women want to play the sport, youth programs have moved to fulfill this need. However, they do not feed into a larger league the size of the NHL. NWHL may start scouting for athletes like NHL, but it is too young to have an established method of admittance.
Therefore the only way to determine a youth program’s quality is through its playtime and the quality of training. With those factors, the following are the top programs and leagues for young female athletes.
It may also be useful to know which cities are the best for youth hockey in the United States, which we discuss in the linked article.
Founded in 2007, Junior Women’s Hockey League attempts to provide the same training and development environment for girls as broader junior hockey does for male players. Despite not feeding directly into a larger league, JWHL has over eleven organizations contributing to its play and performance.
As it was conceived by coaches and aims to help athletes find their way between from U14 to Major Junior ages, the league is a prime example of stellar training and development that spans a broad age range.
Mid Atlantic Women’s Hockey Association aims to further women’s hockey by focusing on grassroots interest in both player participation and general viewership. Spanning six categories from 8U to 19U, MAWHA organizes its gameplay and schedule the closest to a major league in terms of structure and professionalism.
Many parents bet that despite fewer professional opportunities for adult female hockey players, such youth hockey leagues are the best way to nurture their child’s interest in hockey and give them a fair shot at becoming a part of a league like the NWHL.
While the above options bring the best in training and development, The Manitoba Women’s Junior Hockey League balances gameplay with advancement and visibility. The league comprises players ages 18 to 21 and has a highly localized presence with seven teams.
Whether this is an ideal option for you depends on how close you are to the arenas where the league often hosts its games. It has a straightforward application page that outlines the season for which potential players can apply.
Women’s hockey has existed longer than the NHL and has only come to mainstream attention around 2015. The National Women’s Hockey League has six teams that play against each other across the USA and Canada.
As the first salaried league that got its start with only $2.5 million, it has done incredibly well, and the games have as much thrill and excitement as men’s hockey. You can support the sport by taking up to three hours out of your evening to attend a game in person or by viewing it on Twitch.
- The Ice Garden: 2019-20 NWHL Season Recap: Boston Pride
- Erica L. Ayala: NWHL releases attendance numbers, hints at new initiatives in 2018-19 season in review
- Bustle: 9 Things You’ll See At A Women’s Hockey Game