Let Our Girls Play DS Hockey!

Two years ago, the Ontario Women's Hockey Association (OWHA) introduced a “pilot project” for house league girls referred to as “Development Stream” (DS).  Players and parents were under the impression that that this was an opportunity for leagues to form “select” or “all-star” teams from the best girls in house league, proving them with the opportunity to compete against similar teams from other leagues in exhibition games and tournaments.   It is now clear that the OWHA’s only mandate with the “DS” program was to develop girls with the single minded purpose of trying to get them to move to “Rep” or what they refer to as “Competitive” level hockey.

The DS program is about developing HL (house league) players into Rep players”        Teresa Muto OWHA Regional Director Central EastBecause of the OWHA’s single minded purpose (get girls to play “Rep” hockey), they have concluded that if girls are still playing house league hockey in bantam (13 & 14) and midget (15, 16 & 17), they will most likely not move to “Rep” level hockey and therefore, there is no value in allowing these house league girls to play on a “DS” / “select” / “all-star” team.  The OWHA decided at their Annual General Meeting in May to terminate the opportunity for leagues to form bantam and midget aged “DS” teams and prevent these house league girls from having a little more fun playing hockey.
A recent study shows the truth about the benefits that “DS” provides to house leagues and players
“There were more than 24 Bantam DS teams during the 2012-2013 season and that there were also many Midget teams. The demand is there to play.”
“At older ages, players who leave REP join HL because of DS and some of these players may have quit otherwise”
“HL players considering quitting hockey stay to play a more competitive level of hockey than is afforded in HL but not as demanding as REP. DS keeps house leagues healthy and growing at the older ages”
What happened to supporting girls to play hockey at all levels and provide them with as many opportunities as possible…at any age?
What happened to respecting the budgets of parents that choose not to spend the thousands of dollars it takes to play “Rep” hockey or cannot afford it?
What happened to supporting girls that don’t want the time commitment required by “Rep” hockey because of the increased work load in high school?
Sports for all women, of all ages needs to be supported and restricted....and the politics must be taken out of the game.  Let the girls play and enjoy the game they love!
By signing this petition you are telling the Ontario Women's Hockey Association (OWHA)  that bantam and midget aged house league girls must be given the opportunity to play on a “DS /“select” / “all-star” team and that it must be reinstated immediately.

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