Capital Region Female Minor Hockey Association
Female Minor Hockey Association (FMHA) is the dominant delivery model for female hockey in Canada and has now been recommended for implementation across the province by BC Hockey.
All major cities in all provinces have FMHA (or equivalent city-wide administration of female hockey in some cases).
Of the 15 largest cities in Canada, Victoria is the only one that lacks a FMHA. Dozens of cities smaller than Victoria host and support successful FMHAs.
In British Columbia, the FMHA model has proven successful with >50% growth in registration over past 11 years.
There are decreasing percentages of girls continuing to play Integrated (co-ed) hockey in areas where a FMHA exists. When there is an FMHA in their region, less than 20% of girls continue to play co-ed hockey.
As per review of their meeting Minutes, the local District (VIAHA) has been well aware of numerous issues that compromise the delivery of female hockey on Vancouver Island, yet done little to address this.
The overall number of girls already playing hockey in greater Victoria rivals the registration of the larger FMHAs, but they are fragmented into many small Integrated (co-ed) MHAs, which creates significant instability in programming.
The creation of a regional female competitive hockey program (Regional ‘A’ South Island Royals), has introduced some improvement for Rep players, although team formation remains inconsistent.
Ice allocated for female competitive team practices is often outside of the Capital Regional District (CRD), although over 90% of the players are from within CRD. Integrated (co-ed) Rep teams are not mandated to travel this distance for practice, creating an element of discrimination in this aspect, since Integrated MHAs control the ice allocation.
Since the inception of the Regional ‘A’ program in 2011-12, the number of Female Recreational teams formed in Victoria has been decreasing because the Regional program creates instability at the MHA level. The dissociation of Rep and Rec programs is a major impediment to reliable formation of Recreational teams.
Female recreational teams are scheduled for League play across Vancouver Island, while their counterpart Integrated (co-ed) teams are not. Female recreational teams travel up to 15x the average distance that integrated teams do for games and in certain situations, can travel an average of 190 km per game (round trip) in the current model.
The optimal solution is a Female MHA in greater Victoria, which would further develop Competitive / Rep programming, while simultaneously expanding Recreational programming, most importantly at the Initiation / Novice levels (age 5-8), where there have never been options for all-Female programming. A Female MHA would create more consistency with respect to formation of Rep teams and would also allow for Juvenile Recreational hockey, which is also lacking despite there being three post-secondary institutions in the city.
Capital Regional Female Minor Hockey Association (CRFMHA) presents a comprehensive approach to the administration and delivery of competitive and recreational female hockey. The Board has vast experience at all levels of minor hockey administration and program delivery and can effectively establish this new MHA as an enduring program for girls in Victoria.
Opportunities for further development of female hockey within a Female MHA, once established:
Current status of the proposed Capital Region Female MHA:
Please see complete proposal in "Documents" section for greater detail.
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