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Gender Equality Policy

Girls Playing Boys' Ice Hockey

Angela Ruggiero, four-time Olympian, three-time medalist, and longtime U.S. Women's National Hockey Team member, discusses the benefits of girls playing ice hockey with boys.
See what thoughts she has in the video at this link on the Mom's Team website.

Girls Playing Boy's Hockey: No Easy Answers

Article by Angela Ruggiero (four-time Olympian, three-time medalist, and longtime U.S. Women's National Hockey Team member) on girls playing boy's hockey.
The article is available on the following web page on the Mom's Team website.

Gender Equality In The Locker Room

As many of you are already aware, there was a change in the MAHA ByLaws for the 2010-2011 season that essentially removed girls on co-ed teams from their locker rooms and required that they dress separately from the boys. The response was not very favorable (no surprise).  So NYHA sought alternative solutions to bring the girls back in, while still remaining in compliance through a small compromise:


MAHA Policy on Separate Changing Rooms 

Under USA Hockey’s Bylaws (Policies on Physical & Sexual Abuse):

"It is unacceptable for members to be observing the opposite gender while they dress or undress. Members and volunteers who violate USA Hockey’s policies, or who violate the privacy rights of others, could be subject to appropriate discipline... "  


Per this bylaw, the girls on co-ed teams were required to use separate changing areas (i.e.: the figure skating room in the Novi Ice Arena) and not allowed in their team locker room until a couple of minutes before a game when the boys are suited up. Unfortunately, what occurred following this mandate is girls ended up feeling left out.  They miss out on early season bonding, and opportunities to get to know their fellow teammates. Pre/Post game and practice time in the locker room is also when many coaches provide final instructions or comments to the players. One USA Hockey suggestion is to have the kids suited up a full 20 minutes before scheduled ice time. This just isn't a realistic solution as many families are still walking in the door a few minutes before that. 


The goal of NYHA is to make sure everyone in our Association feels like an equal and valued member of their team. So after discussions and fielding concerns from parents of the girls, we came up with what we feel is a feasible alternative to separating the kids - and will not require much effort on anyone's part.


Minimum Garment Requirement: 

All co-ed team members must dress in a MINIMUM of shorts and t-shirt under their hockey gear

Something like a pair of sport shorts, UnderArmour shorts or leggings, etc. and any t-shirt will suffice.  But please note: no exposed underwear!  Many kids already wear shorts or leggings under their gear so we feel it's not too much to ask for a handful of boys to make a small garment change to make sure their female teammates are welcome. Please direct any players to the public restrooms down the hall for any 'last-minute bathroom stops'


Please make sure your team and the parents are made aware of this!  Make announcements to your team, distribute a team letter, etc., just get the message out.  Explain how separating our kids negatively affects team building — and that for any small inconvenience it may cause, it will enable our female members to enjoy the same privileges and team experience as the boys.  Please use due diligence to follow through and enforce the Minimum Garment Requirement - so everyone on the team feels like an equal and valued member of your team. We hope these suggestions will be met with approval and cooperation from your families. 


NOTE: If there are any families of female players who prefer their child be in a separate changing room, we will of course continue to provide this for them. 


Feel free to Stacey Cerroni (NYHA ACE Coordinator) with any questions or comments regarding this policy.