California & Surging Hockey Growth
by Kris Gilman
One can't help but be excited about the current landscape of hockey in California. Each year it seems the sport grows. The data support this claim.
According to the USA Hockey data for 8U participation for 2017 the numbers have surged to record highs around the USA. Notably, California had an increase of +716.
"...COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey today announced a record 115,694 participants at the 8-and-Under level for the 2016-17 season, setting a new standard in the national governing body’s 80-year history.
The total includes a record number of first-year 8U participants (52,076), a record number of returning 8U participants (63,618) and a record number of female 8U participants (20,558).
The results marked USA Hockey’s third consecutive year-over-year 8U participation increase and seventh consecutive year exceeding 100,000 participants at the 8U level.
“We’re delighted to report another year of record growth in our 8U player pool and we’re excited about what that means for the future of American hockey,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey.
The record 8U participation total represented an increase of nearly 8,000 players, a boost due in part to a new Learn to Play program launched by the NHL and NHLPA with support from USA Hockey.
Measured by USA Hockey affiliate, the Potomac Valley, consisting of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia (+1,230), showed the largest year-over-year 8U participation gains, followed by New York (+738) and California (+716).
This is exciting news for California. I wonder what these numbers will look like next year, if perhaps, The Anaheim Ducks were able to win a second Stanley Cup?
Keep up the good work USA Hockey & thank you to all the parents that make 8U hockey possible for these lucky kids!