Continuing the steady growth of USA hockey memberships, the 2015-16 season saw close to 2% over last year. This is according to the USA Hockey Membership report released last week. Specifically in youth participation, which is a strong indicator of overall growth in the sport, USA Hockey has seen increases in participation while other sports are seeing declines in youth participation. Overall USA Hockey has seen steady growth as seen in percentage increase 8 out of the last 10 years.
USA Hockey is not a complete number of everyone who plays hockey but it can serve as a good proxy for the health of the sport in a particular area. It should be no surprise that Minnesota leads the nation in USA hockey membership considering they are the State of Hockey and what other state can compete with the all hair team?
USA Hockey membership in Washington State have contributed to the increase by adding 421 members, which is the 9th highest increase across the nation.
In spite of no NHL team, Washington State hockey membership is growing faster than the national average. USA Hockey memberships in Washington have increased 24% in 10 years, which is an average of 2.6% increase a year in those 10 years. (4.5% a year over last 3 years)
Breaking it down by age group, you can see that all age groups have increased year over year.
Percentage wise, the 12 and under age groups are increasing the most rapidly which bodes well for the future. All age groups under 12 have seen over ~5% growth year over year.
I am very familiar with the Puget Sound hockey scene and can say without a doubt that we have a severe shortage of ice rinks in the area. Adult hockey leagues regularly have games at 11pm with no real options for people to find an earlier time to get on the ice. This is preventing a lot of people from playing and joining leagues. On the youth side, the leagues are doing a great job at getting more kids involved but the ice is getting more and more crowded. This is only going to get worse as Seattle continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the US.
If you are interested in playing in the area, here are a few links to some of the leagues around:
- Washington Wild Female Hockey Association
- Seattle Junior Hockey Association
- Sno-king Hockey Association
- Everett Youth Hockey
- Kent Valley Hockey Association
- Tacoma Jr Hockey
If you want a more state agnostic view of the USA Hockey numbers click here.
If you have any questions about hockey in the area or have additional information on some of the leagues across the state, feel free to email me at John@NHLtoSeattle.com.