Our continuing mission is to grow women’s hockey in Wisconsin, specifically in Dane County. We are members of the Women’s Central Hockey League (WCHL) and currently field one team (two if we get the skaters to support it) at the D7/D6 beginning hockey level, one team at the D5 low intermediate level, and one team at the D2 advanced level.
We believe adult women’s hockey must have numerous entry points for those just entering the sport. Even though there are far more opportunities for girls to play hockey than there were just 10 years ago, too many women never had that chance. There are also many women who never even thought about playing hockey, because women just didn’t play hockey. More recently, we’ve also seen girls who have played their whole lives graduate from youth programs and have nowhere to play as adults because there aren’t enough players at their skill level to support a healthy adult league within a reasonable geographical distance. Today’s beginners will move up to fill rosters on more advanced teams in coming years, ensuring that players who had the good fortune to start playing as children will still have a place to play at an appropriate level when they reach adulthood.
There has to be a place for adult women, of all ages and all demographics, to learn hockey in a safe, fun environment with other women. Women’s hockey is a very different game than men’s hockey. Of course the biggest difference is that there is no checking in women’s hockey, thus it is more a game of skill and finesse than men’s hockey.
Women must be given quality instruction in order to develop the wide range of skills necessary to succeed in hockey. Sports medicine doctors view hockey as one of the most complete sports in which a person can engage. Women’s hockey is growing exponentially. The NWHL just added their first expansion team. The CWHL has expanded to 6 teams with support from the Canadian NHL counterparts. China has a team participating in the CWHL. South Korea is fielded a team at the Olympics. This is a great environment to keep the momentum in favor of opportunities for all women to enjoy a great game.
The Dread Pirates aim to provide a high quality, low barrier environment for any adult woman to learn hockey. We do this by building our teams and collaborating with all the other Dane County teams, teams from across Wisconsin and with the WCHL to grow this sport.
Hockey! Hockey! Hockey!