Credit: Courtesy Minnesota Hockey.
The final registration report from USA Hockey has been released following the recent USA Hockey Annual Congress and Minnesota Hockey has established a new record of 8-and-Under (8U) players with 18,002. That number marks the second consecutive record-breaking year for Minnesota, which broke the previous record last season with 17,651.
The total number of 8U players marks a fourth consecutive year of growth and the first time any state has boasted more than 18,000 8U players. The total helped USA Hockey establish a national record as well, with 115,694 8U players gearing up across the country.
The 18,002 8U players includes 13,566 boys and 4,436 girls and is an increase of 351 players over 2015-16. As encouraging as the 8U number is, perhaps the most encouraging statistic is that Minnesota had its largest retention of 8U players over the past five seasons, more than doubling the retention rate from 2015-16 to 6.9 percent.
When inviting new players into the game of hockey, an emphasis is placed on attracting boys and girls younger than 8 years old, when the large majority of players try the sport. By increasing the number of players at the 8U age level, Minnesota Hockey associations are positively impacting the 9 to 14 age groups, thus supplementing long-term growth and success. Minnesota continues to lead the nation in retaining players at the 10U (91.3 percent), 12U (96.8 percent) and 14U (98 percent) levels.
Read more at Minnesotahockey.org