Ice hockey has increased in popularity in women’s sports with the number of participants increasing by 400% in the last decade. It wasn’t until 1998 when women’s hockey was added as a medal event at the winter games in Nagano, Japan. The United States won gold that year with Canada winning silver and Finland coming in last with bronze. The minor difference in women’s hockey and men’s hockey is that there’s no body checking in women’s hockey. After a 1990 hockey match body checking was eliminated all together in women’s hockey due to the fact that female players in some countries don’t have the body mass and size that many North American players.
With the rising number of females who are almost half the size and shape of their male counterparts it’s making them just as equal as their male counterparts. In some matches body checking is a minor penalty, which is enforceable at the referee’s discretion. Full-face guards are required in female hockey matches. The first women’s team was formed in 1921, but since then women have only played in small independent leagues since there’s no professional league for women like they do for basketball. In time there will be a chance for women to go professional in the United States in hockey, yet that’s a long ways away.
Women have made their mark in the sporting world by taking on a sport that’s been predominantly male since it was invented in the 18th century and has since carried an audience that spreads to many parts of the world. Women are moving up the ranks quickly in terms of their participation and the formation of teams, and it’s just a matter of time and acceptance of women entering this sport. If women could enter the world of professional basketball and play domestically instead of going overseas then it’s just a matter of introducing hockey into this country in the same fashion.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for women to enter this sport because of the constant scrutiny of women playing sports that were mostly reserved for men to participate in. Women still deal with the inequality in this sport because people still view women differently than they do for men. Males dominated this sport since the sport was invented more than 100 years ago, but recently with the 100-year anniversary since the foundation of the National Hockey League (NHL). It would sound strange if they had a professional league called the WNHL since they managed to establish the WNBA for women’s basketball.
It would be pretty cool to see women have a leg in the professional world of hockey since women can play just as hard as a man and be just as good as her male counterparts, if given a chance to prove herself. Unfortunately, the world hasn’t really accepted women in professional sports since it was a long journey to get basketball on the map, now it’s just getting the world to be open to professional hockey league for women. A woman can play just has hard as the guys if not better, but the world still don’t agree that women shouldn’t play sports that has been dominated by males for more than 100 years and women should have the opportunity to play hockey professionally like males do. Females had to break the glass ceiling to even push for the opportunity to play professional sports in America, but it started with basketball and now hopefully hockey will establish itself one day as a professional sport that’s played the same way in the NHL.
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