Wednesday, September 28, 2005

September 28th

Today's topic is kind of interesting. Sexism, Women, families and kids house league hockey. (this all happened last Saturday)

Middle is a goalie. She can be really good and she can have really bad games, just like every other kid. We registered her in the spring with our club as always .. When you're registering 3 kids you want the discount for registering early, she has advanced to house league PeeWee (11, 12 year olds) (mostly boys but who cares, girls can compete with boys, right!) . I told wife that it looked like there would be too many goalies in PeeWee in the fall and that we would probably have fun getting a spot for her. (two of the PeeWee goalies from 04/05 would stay PeeWee and all four of the Atom goalies from O4/05 were moving up to PeeWee) Well didn't my prediction come true? (it was even worse than I thought, Midget had 6 goalies, Bantam had 2, PeeWee had 6 and Atom supposedly had 6.) We received a call from the PeeWee coach, Middle will need to share a team this year because there are six goalies in PeeWee. On top of that we would have to work out with the other parent how we would have the kids divide the ice time. WTF! was wife and my reaction. In my opinion, even in house league hockey it’s the coach's decision, not the parents and second why wasn't this worked out before.

Anyway we got there for Saturday morning. Wife got middle dressed, (girls are supposed to have their own locker, When we got one I asked where she could get changed, one of the male executive replied that they don't have to supply a locker unless she was 13, screw that, she is no longer a little girl. I got Middle a room where she could at least get changed some what privately), and her coach intro'd me to the other goalie on the teams mother (does that make sense?)(note .. Hockey Mom). He walked away saying we would have to look after it. I was for the kids splitting a game. Either Middle or the other guy would start, and then switch half way through. She wanted her son to play a whole game. She had just gone and bought him new equipment, it cost her so much and she wanted him to play (inside my head, I'm going wtf, so did and do we! .. she made me feel that it was my daughters fault that we had two goalies on the team) So as not to make waves, I agreed to her way.

Then someone in club executive came up to me and asked if middle wouldn't want to move back to Atom (9, 10 year old kids) and play out (not in goal) because a lot of girls who should have moved up to PeeWee didn't and middle would probably be more comfortable with this. (by the way this was a woman saying this). My reaction, no, because Middle is and wants to be a goalie, but, I said I would talk to Middle and Wife. In our club there is hitting in PeeWee, but Middle is in the net anyway so she isn't going to be hit. So why the problem.

Wife came out of locker, Middle was sick and the other goalie would have to start. I told the coach, his response was, Its nerves .. I said no, she's sick, he walked away saying its nerves. WTF! Am I paranoid/protective or am I starting to see a trend here?

The next day we go to practice, they have a coach/father working with the goalies, seems to know what he is doing, after a while I had to mention to wife .. "Am I nuts or is that guy only taking a couple of shots on Middle and spending more time with the boy goalies." Wife agreed with me, we watched the practice even closer. We were right; he would take a few soft shots on Middle, and then drill the pucks at the boys. I'm getting more pissed off as it goes along. I'm proud of my daughter, she has no fear, she can take a shot off the face mask/chest protector/whatever and not flinch. We don't have her in girls’ competitive hockey because the cost and time involved. Middle wouldn't be able to do the other things she loves, dance lessons, swimming lessons, guitar lessons and extra Math classes (the thing she hates). We don't have her in girls’ house league because it isn't competitive enough (See below for explanation), and we always thought that our club was excepting of female players .. Boy was I blind.

The sexism from the male coaches and male executive bothered me, but it is unfortunately expected. The fact that the women in the club did not support our daughter in her right to play and in fact tried to have her play down a level and out because "it would make her feel more comfortable", when she wasn't uncomfortable, she wanted to play. The women didn't seem to think a girl could compete with there sons or they didn't even want to let her try to play. They expected her to play out and down. I'll lay you bets that the female executive didn't ask any of the other peewee goalies parents if they wanted to play out and down an age group. Then the Hockey Mom, who didn't want her son to have to share a position with a girl. My wife and I were okay with Middle having to share with the boy, so what is the difference for this woman.

It seems to have worked out, PeeWee supervisor called .. He wanted to move one goalie up to Bantam (13,14 year olds - Eldest is Bantam) and he wanted to know if Middle would be interested in moving to Atom as a goalie, as one goalie quit and the other has decided not to join the club. We asked Middle, she took two days to make the decision, is somewhat upset, said that she would like to have played one game as a PeeWee just to see what it was like, but she would go Atom.

Thank good Middle ignored most of this. She just wants to play hockey.

No insult intended to Canadian Girls House League Hockey .. We called the local organization, they explained to us that because of Middles age group she would be playing with 6-12 year olds in a junior division on a buzzer system. A (better players)line and B (learning players) lines. This means that there would be the rare shot that she couldn't stop, not very much fun for her or the kids trying to shot on her. Middle herself said that she didn't want to play for the girls league until she goes into the senior grouping.