Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) Initiation Program (IP) Team, News (Saugeen Shores Minor Hockey)

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Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) Initiation Program (IP) Team
Submitted By Stephen Ballard on Friday, August 2, 2019
Saugeen Shores Minor Hockey Association (SSMHA) would like to move ahead with offering an Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) Initiation Program (IP) Team. The Initiation Program includes birth years 2013, 2014. We feel that by offering an IP Team for girls only, we can create an atmosphere more geared to welcoming girls into the wonderful sport of hockey.  

By forming an OWHA IP Team, we can participate in games against other OWHA teams exclusively, such as Owen Sound, (currently) the only other all girls team in our area. By initiating this grassroots team, we hope to continue to foster our ever growing girls program in SSMHA, which includes a recent Provincial Championship in 2019.

Additionally, we hope to make it more attractive for other associations to offer their own OWHA Initiation Program. Our Girls Initiation Program will offer qualified coaches following the same guidelines as the OMHA (Co-ed) Initiation Program and existing SSMHA IP program, the only difference being they would participate in drills and games with other girls only, no boys. 

In order to move ahead with a Girls Only Initiation Program, we will require a minimum of 10 players to commit to the program before August 19th, 2019. If you would like to enroll your daughter in the OWHA Initiation Program or if you have any questions about the program, please contact: 

Jami Smith, SSMHA Coordinator of Hockey for Novice and Under 

Or  Shawn Nelson, SSMHA Convenor of Girls Hockey, 3rd VP

Please consult the FAQ provided at the end. 

We look forward to hearing from you and we are hopeful that you see the value and potential that this pilot program can offer. Please note that in the event we are unable to gather enough players to ice an OWHA IP Team, players will remain in the existing OMHA IP Program.  

Regards, Shawn NelsonSSMHA Convenor of Girls Hockey, 3rd VP

FAQ: 1) My child played in Bill Buckton’s IP / Pre School (formerly Tyke Program) last year, how will this program be different? 

A - The SSMHA Girls IP program will facilitate a half ice, stationed based teaching environment. The players will be rostered to a team in October. The IP girls team will not participate with the boys, though could be on the shared ice at the same time. ie a Ice dividing system will be used to separate the two programs. 

2) Who will coach? 

A- Volunteer Bench staff, including qualified coach, assistant coach and training are required in order to facilitate this program. 

3) Will they still play Wednesday games vs the OMHA IP teams?  

A- By entering into the Ontario Women’s Hockey League, the girls IP team will only be permitted to play other Girls IP teams. Therefore, this team will not have games scheduled vs. The Ontario Minor Hockey League (OMHA) IP teams. 

4) Is travel required? 

A - In order to facilitate games, travel would be required to other venues for half ice Initiation Program games. 

5). If Co-Ed is an option, why should I choose girls hockey? 

A- The benefits of females playing female hockey are reflected on both the skill development and the social aspect of the game. It is important for girls to have the opportunity to interact with teammates and be leaders on their teams. The skill level of female hockey has increased dramatically and girls today have the opportunity to compete at a high level and still benefit from the social and leadership side of the game as well.Traditionally the SSMHA sees an 85% boys to 15% female participation in our Initiation Program. We would like to bring more girls into the game, and are providing an avenue to do so. If the OWHA Initiation Program is successful, the female participation in the OMHA program may decrease even further. This is not meant to sway your decision either way, but rather to prepare you for the realities of “Co-Ed” hockey. 
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