Credit: Courtesy Minnesota Hockey.
USA Hockey yesterday 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.
Minnesota (18,002), Massachusetts (13,196) and New York (11,514) posted the largest 8U participation totals.
The national 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.
Credit: Courtesy Nick Wosika, Minnesota Hockey
“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).
Read more at usahockey.com.