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Female hockey players should be allowed to check

Prohibiting+female+hockey+players+from+checking+is+a+disadvantage+and+safety+hazard.
Prohibiting female hockey players from checking is a disadvantage and safety hazard.

Prohibiting female hockey players from checking is a disadvantage and safety hazard.

Courtesy of Maine Hockey

Courtesy of Maine Hockey

Prohibiting female hockey players from checking is a disadvantage and safety hazard.

Caroline Philbin, Reporter

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The Maine girls high school hockey team traveled out to South Bend, Indiana to compete in the Irish cup tournament. Maine girls came in 2nd place after playing in a tough championship game.

Girls hockey is growing consistently and only becoming a bigger sport.

According to USA hockey, 75,832 girls registered to play in the 2016-2017 season. With girls hockey growing to unbelievable numbers hockey is finally becoming available to more girls across the country.

Despite the major growth of the game girls are still not allowed to check in hockey.

“I don’t feel that it’s fair to the female gender,” said offensive player Phoebe Moore. “America wants to have equality but we don’t see it on the ice.”

Often the argument is made that girls are too fragile or weak to hit in hockey and will cause more injuries to girl players, but more harm is being done than good by not allowing girls to play to their full potential.

“Girls can check if they are on a co-ed team,” Moore said. “Then girls be able to check in an all girls league.”

Not allowing girls to check and learn how to properly protect themselves from a hit, increases their risk of injury more than if legal hits became allowed and taught. According to NATA, younger boy players had a higher knowledge on safe gameplay then the girls did.

If girls are trained with boys to check, they will be able to keep up and excel in their sport.”

“If girls are taught how to properly check we could hit efficiently and not injure each other,” Forward Mimi Schaefer said.

Most girls playing now at the high school level have been playing for long enough to remember times when a girls hockey team wasn’t an option for them, and girls had the option to play on a boys team or not at all.

“It becomes difficult when I can’t hit,” Schaefer said. “It is a physical game and when it doesn’t have that physical element it becomes harder to play competitively.”

Some girls still don’t have the option to play in an all girls league, so they play on their local boys team, where from Bantam (typically youth 14 and up) and older they are allowed to hit.

In these cases girls are checking alongside their teammates and are trained how to. Yet girls playing other girls in high school are not allowed to hit.

Taking out this competitive element in the game for only girls is unfair and unrealistic in today’s society. In all sports, training is necessary—hockey is no exception.

If girls are trained with boys to check, they will be able to keep up and excel in their sport. Holding back girls from what they are passionate about is a step backwards in all cases and sends a loud and clear message to all young girls that they are less than what they capable of.

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Female hockey players should be allowed to check