The Florida Women’s Hockey League (FWHL) was founded in 2002. We are a non-profit organization for adult women who love ice hockey and whose mission is to promote the sport in the state of Florida. The FWHL currently has eleven Florida teams, with players coming from the northern part of the state, such as Pensacola and Jacksonville, to as far south as Miami.
We also welcome any teams from the rest of the U.S. and Canada who may want to mix ice hockey with some fun in the sun and join us for our tournaments, which run from September through February each year.
The FWHL has both a C division and Recreational division. Also, for those teams vying for USA Hockey Nationals, our tournaments are USA Hockey sanctioned.
If you’re interested in participating in one of our upcoming tournaments, please contact us for more information. We also welcome any sponsorship opportunities you may have. If you just want to come out and cheer on your local team, you are more than welcome! Info.firstname.lastname@example.org
FWHL Website: http://www.fwhlonline.com/
FWHL Tournaments: http://www.fwhlonline.com/tournaments/
Attendees from the FWHL Annual Meeting
The FHWL held their annual meeting on Saturday June 16 in Winter Park. Minutes from their meeting will be distributed to teams as well as the schedule for the 2018-19 season. For National Bound teams, good news to teams from Florida is that the SE District Championships will be held in Florida in March 2019. Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel will be the host. Jane Solverson and Jeff Novotny from SAHOF also presented the new initiative from SAHOF called Florida Girls Hockey that includes grass roots growth and development of girls players, collaboration across the state for intrastate play for girls and establishment of new National Bound and elite teams under the Florida Alliance umbrella. They will have teams at 12U, 14U and 16U for the 2018-19 season. They will look to align their schedule with the FWHL to increase collaboration between girls and women teams.
Below is a link to the FWHL website.
The Gulf Coast Sea Gals will be heading to USA Hockey National Championships April 5-8, 2018 as a result of their play at the Southeastern District Championships March 16-17. In what was their final round robin game, the Sea Gals defeated the Annapolis Osprey 5-0. Despite both the Atlanta Flames and District Renegades playing in the final Championship game (won by the Renegades), by virtue of other Districts not fielding teams, the SE District was able to send 3 teams to Nationals. The Sea Gals were elated by the opportunity to make travel plans to Bedford, MA!
In other action at the District Championships, held at a few rinks around Ashburn, Va, the Florida Bulldogs Girls 14U team defeated the NOVA Ice Dogs to book their ticket to Nationals in Marlborough, MA. The Tampa Bay Crunch 16U girls team narrowly lost 1-0 in their championship game to the Carolina Jr Hurricanes.
The Sea Gals, Bulldogs and Crunch all represented SAHOF well, displaying excellent sportsmanship and fierce competition during the weekend! Congratulations Ladies!
Yes, Women Play Ice Hockey! -by Jenny Sumner
“You play ice hockey?” is a question that female ice hockey players get asked on a routine basis. And the answer is a resounding “yes.” Yes, women do play ice hockey. In fact, the sport continues to grow in Florida, and, thanks to the Florida Women’s Hockey League (FWHL), women in the state have an organization of their own in which to play the game that they love.
The FWHL is so unique: it’s a league organized for women, by women, and it is all about hockey,” say Karen Ota-O’Brien, current FWHL President and one of the founding members of the league. “The FWHL has members who are moms, teachers, firefighters, business owners; we have women in all walks of life and at all skills levels playing ice hockey together. It’s really fun to see!”
Jenny Sumner, also a founding member and former FWHL president agrees. “It is amazing to see the growth of women’s ice hockey here in Florida. The FWHL was started 15 years ago to provide camaraderie and competition to female ice hockey players, and we are still going strong. I am certain that the league has contributed to the growth of women’s hockey in Florida, both by offering a place for women to play in an organized fashion, as well as by helping to promote the sport throughout the State.”
Indeed, the increasing number of women playing ice hockey in Florida is impressive. According to USA Hockey, during the 2015-2016 season, there were 542,583 registered ice hockey players across the nation, the most in the 79-year history of USA Hockey; this represents an increase of 9,411 players from the 2014-15 season, or a growth of 4.78%. Florida had its share in this growth, with 13,276 registered ice hockey players—the most of any of the 12 states in USA Hockey’s Southeastern district—and 727 registered female hockey players.
“With so many women now playing ice hockey in Florida, we know it is important for them to have a place that they can call their own,” says Ota-O’Brien. “That’s why the FWHL was founded in 2002, and why we continue to support women’s ice hockey teams from all around the State. We now have eleven teams, including the Jacksonville Breakers, the Brandon Hockey Chicks, the Central Florida Honey Badgers, the Palm Beach Snappers, the Fort Myers Lady Everblades, the Fort Lauderdale Lucky Pucks, the Tampa Ms. Conduct, and the Cape Coral SeaGals. We also welcome teams from out-of-state to play in our various tournaments each season.”
As Sumner concludes, “The FWHL is a league that offers opportunities for women to socialize and to have fun around the sport that they enjoy, and we welcome all women skaters, no matter the skill level.”
The FWHL kicks off its 15th season in September, and will host five different tournaments throughout the season.
To join the FWHL, or to find out more about the league, please visit the FWHL website at http://www.fwhlonline.com.
The Florida Women’s Hockey League (FWHL) Supports the Growing Number of Female Ice Hockey Players in Florida
-By Jenny Sumner
When most people think of Florida, they have visions of sandy white beaches, warm tropical climates, and a little theme park known as Walt Disney World. Many do not consider Florida as being a home to a vibrant and growing ice hockey community, particularly as it relates to women players. Yet, as evidenced by the Tampa Bay Lightning’s meteoric rise to the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals and the Florida Panthers’ young and talented roster including consecutive Rookies of the Year (Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad), Florida is redefining the ice hockey landscape and is breaking the cliché of ice hockey just being a northern sport. And, as the number of female hockey players increases, the Florida Women’s Hockey League (FWHL) is smashing the mold that ice hockey is a men’s only pastime.
Ice hockey has, and continues to be, one of the most popular sports in the country. In fact, according to the USA Hockey (USAH) Association, the 2014-2015 season set a record with 533,172 registered ice hockey players nationwide, an increase of 2.65% from the previous season. More impressive, however, is the growth in the number of female ice hockey players, which jumped by 3.74% this year and marked the fastest growing segment of USAH hockey membership. Florida saw its share of players increase as well, with a total of 12,505 skaters this season, 676 of which are women.
The growth in the number of female hockey players in Florida is very exciting, and the FWHL is here to support these women and to give them a league to call their own. Begun with only a handful of members in 2002, the FWHL now boasts women’s ice hockey teams from around the state, including Jacksonville, Tampa, Brandon, Estero, Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach. It also hosts tournaments and events where women can meet in a spirit of camaraderie and competition.
Heading into its 14th season, the FWHL continues its mission to provide an atmosphere of cooperation, sportsmanship, and competition for female players while encouraging and promoting women’s ice hockey in Florida. As more women discover ice hockey in the Sunshine State, the FWHL will be here to welcome them and to offer them a place where they can play the sport that they love.
To join the FWHL, or to find out more information about the league, please visit the FWHL website at:www.fwhlonline.org or on its Facebook page at: https://facebook.com/LuckyPucksFL
Congratulations! Gulf Coast Sea Gals !
Winners of the USA Hockey Women’s B National Championship
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