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The State of Women’s Hockey

30 September 2013

There are 5 Division I men’s college hockey programs and 5 Division I women’s college hockey programs in the state of Minnesota. There are 7 Division I men’s college hockey programs and 0 Division I women’s college hockey programs in the state of Michigan.

There are 10 Division III men’s college hockey programs and 11 Division III women’s college hockey programs in the state of Minnesota. There are 2 Division III men’s college hockey programs and 2 Division III women’s college hockey programs in the state of Michigan.

So that’s a problem. For Michigan, I mean. And it gets worse.

What does USA Hockey say about Michigan? (Stats are from 2011-12, please alert me if you can send me more recent documentation)

USA Hockey shows 54, 951 registered players in Minnesota, and 12,697 of them were female. It also shows 52,944 registered players in Michigan, and 4,260 of them were female. Minnesota has three times the number of female hockey players, and blows Michigan away in gender parity among players.

Little girls in Michigan won’t even have a hometown women’s hockey player to root for in Sochi a few months from now, unless Ryan Miller tucks his junk and disguises his Adam’s apple with a Dany Heatley turtleneck.

I’m not sure how many self-respecting Red Wings fans can really call Detroit “Hockeytown” when what they really mean is “Men’s Hockeytown.” And they really can’t even call it that, because I said so. And I’m not sure there are any self-respecting Red Wings fans, and if there are, there shouldn’t be.

What’s the problem, Michigan?

Ok, yes, your whole state needs a bailout. I don’t deny that. But surely there are as many poor boys/men as there are poor girls/women, no?

And the University of Michigan, allegedly the flagship college hockey program in the state, surely has money. I mean, Michigan alumni are basically brainwashed into opening their wallets and pouring their contents into the coffers of the athletic department after hearing a few notes of “Hail to the Victors” or a shout of “Go Blue!” Surely a school that packs 100,000 people into their football field on Saturdays in the fall isn’t hurting for money. And if they are… well, that’s typical Michigan financial wisdom for you, isn’t it?

Nine national championships sounds pretty nice, but I would contend that in a post-Title IX world (ostensibly), a college hockey program can’t be considered elite unless they have a women’s hockey program as well. Would it really be that hard to start a women’s program at Michigan or Michigan State? I mean, even Pedo State started one when they started their little College Hockey Armageddon-inducing program. They could easily have started up a rugby team and called it even. The arena’s already there. Yeah, you’ve got to get equipment, but these days it seems most universities have exclusive gear agreements which I assume, ahem, “help” with the cost of equipment. And every sport needs equipment. And coaches. And travel accommodations. And things. Besides, I hear the Big 10 network is spitting out more money than a broken slot machine. Although my source on that was a USCHO thread, so I’ll have to check on that to verify it.

But hey, some people are trying! Look here! If you wear the pink jersey you got at hockey camp, you get in free to all Adrian College women’s games!

Pink jersey. PINK JERSEY. Pink jersey : RWD :: red matador cape : bull.

PINK JERSEY!!@!(@)#*)_@$(I@??!?!?>#<P($U#()UR(WJEOISDEF?>

This isn’t my problem to fix. I live in Minnesota, I’ll support women’s hockey here, in the real state of hockey, and I’ll point and laugh and criticize. The state of Michigan, Michigan amateur hockey organizations, and Michigan colleges can decide if they want to join the millennium and start making real improvements to women’s hockey, or if they want to become (more of) a joke in the hockey community.


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