Should my daughter play Valley Wild girls hockey or Western Valley, Acadia or West Hants boys hockey?
We get this question a lot, and I think everyone expects my answer to automatically be, Valley Wild Girls
Hockey of course. The answer is not quite as simple as just that; let me try to explain.
At the early ages (4-8) I don’t think it really matters where you play. What you have to decide is, where is
my daughter going to have the most fun? At this age group it is all about fun and development, so where
are you going to get the best coaching, how far is it to the rink, where are my friends playing, what is the
cost, is there free equipment available, how much travel is there, how competitive do we want to be, are
there dance parties... all questions you have to ask yourself.
We hear way too many times of girls quitting hockey at these early ages because the boys were too rough,
or it was all about winning, the coach yelled at me or it wasn’t very much fun. At the same time, if your daughter is uber competitive and can skate circles around everyone, Novice Advancing or Intermediate boys might be the best spot for her...for a while.
Once you hit the 9-13 age group, is where I think girls at all skill levels need to move to all girls hockey, if
they haven’t already. This is the age where they start to fine tune their skills in the girls game. And yes, the
girls game is very different. The girls game is all about puck possession, generating offence from all areas
and positions on the ice. Girls playing all positions are encouraged to skate with the puck, never just dumping
it to the other team. This results in more touches of the puck, more confidence with the puck on their stick and
more creativity in the offensive zone.
Unless your daughter is in the top 3-5 of her AA/AAA boys team, and
getting these necessary touches, I can assure you, she will be far better playing with just girls. I think our record
of producing high level female players (U16, U18, University) speaks for itself. All the girls developed in the girls
Did I mention the dance parties? My daughter was one of those girls that would have quit hockey at
an early age if she was forced to play with the boys. Once she found girls hockey and pajama parties and
dance parties, everything else became easy. That’s not to say it wasn’t competitive on the ice, in fact, she and
many of her friends are now all playing at the highest levels in the female game. And it all started at 9 years
old winning a Provincial Female Atom AA Championship.
If you are still on the fence of what is right for your daughter, bring her out to one of our try it sessions, or come to
tryouts to see how much fun and how competitive female hockey is. I think you may be surprised to the caliber of the skill on the ice.