Did you know women's ice hockey was a thing before this year's Olympics?

I didn't; had no idea. I live in the Northern US and come from a blend of winter loving cultures. Many people on my dad's side of the family play ice hockey. Still, this is news to me. How about you?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Women's hockey has been a thing ever since people started playing ice hockey back in 1875 (or 1885, can't remember exactly which year it was invented). The thing is that men's hockey leagues have always received more money, more publicity, and therefore have acquired more fans than women's leagues. There is no rule in the official NHL rule book stating that women are barred from playing on NHL teams. The gender disparity starts in the minor and amateur leagues, and it comes down to funding. Yes, I know about Manon Rh3

    Boy's and men's hockey at all levels is more exciting overall because they allow full body checking (clean checks), and other more "exciting" things like that. People pay more attention to sports that have more body contact, so the leagues that permit it are promoted. They get more ice time, more advertising, more TV time on local channels (for major junior and minor leagues), etc. That turns into more $$$ for those leagues and the networks that promote them by broadcasting their games, from ticket sales to concessions (snacks and drinks), to advertising revenue on TV.

    Women's leagues generally do not allow body checking. I believe that is actually a rule set by the IIHF, if I'm not mistaken. They're penalized with a 5 minute major or even a game misconduct. That's not exciting to people or corporations and networks looking to sponsor a sport. So there's not as much revenue coming in, and therfore not as much funding going into their training, acquiring ice time, expanding the league, etc. So in turn, it gets less popular. Catch-22.

    I'm not an expert on this, but I like to think I know a little bit having played hockey since I was about 5 years old. I played on girl's teams until I was 14 or 15, when I tried out for the boy's team at school and one of the boy's leagues in my community. I was skilled enough to make both teams, and nobody gave a fuck that I had a vagina. I continued playing with men until I finished university. So I've seen both sides.

    If you made it this far, cheers to you. Message me or comment if you'd like to know more. I'll do my best but I'm not an expert.

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    • Oops, that last sentence in the first paragraph should be: Yes, I know about Manon Rhéaume who played in goal for one period for the Florida Panthers during an exhibition game when they were a new team, and Shannon Szabados who played in goal for the Oilers a couple of years ago during a practice. The story with Rhéaume was about novelty more than anything - they used her to attract potential fans ("ooh a woman in goal! Gotta check that out - here take my money!!)

    • Clearly I worded my question poorly. I'm aware that in 2018 there are women playing every sport that men play. What surprised me was seeing ice hockey in this year's Olympic games, then realizing I was watching women play. Even in contact sports like hockey, there is less contact than in pros. So I didn't realize it was a women's match until one player took her helmet off.
      I did a quick search to learn that women's hockey has been an Olympic sport for 20 year. I just don't remember ever seeing it before. Then again, 20 years ago I was drinking and smoking marijuana. Maybe I just forgot.
      I'm convinced that major drops in NFL popularity are due in large part to their new hit restrictions and (finally) head injury concerns. I'd hoped fans would come around and have more appreciation for the finer points of contact sports. Then maybe women's sports would receive equal support. Alas, I'm surrounded by neanderthals. I'll have no such luck.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Yeah of course, Finland's third best at it 👍 👍

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What Girls Said 7

  • Eh, I'm Finnish, obviously I've been aware of women's ice hockey for a long time.

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    • I have Finnish ancestry on my father's side. This still very much surprised me. Most of my male cousins on that side played hockey; none of my female cousins. There are no teams or leagues in my area. I'm now very curious how popular it is in the states. I mean, we have an Olympic team. That's all I know.

  • Yes women have been playing hockey since my grandmother was a young girl here in Canada. LOL hahahaha

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  • Yeah... women's ice hockey has been a thing for a long time.

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  • yes... This is not common knowledge?

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    • Maybe, maybe not. That's kind of why I posted the question. So far it appears I'm alone out here.

  • I knew about it, but it wasn’t very popular

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  • Yes I did, I love hockey

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  • Yes I did, I love hockey

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What Guys Said 5

  • You are not a hockey fan if you did not know that women hockey is a thing lol

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    • Well, I didn't say i am a fan. I haven't followed hockey since MMA was born. That's been about 20 years... right around the time women's hockey became an Olympic event.

  • Yes I did, it exists for many years now

    I find it hot and badass

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  • Yeah. They're good.

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  • Yes.
    Canadians are unbeattable beasts.

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  • I would love to watch

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