A record 315 associations in 45 states participated in USA Hockey's 2 and 2 Challenge, a program that played a significant role in the record number of American players overall during the 2013-14 season.
Associations that commit to the 2 and 2 Challenge follow a systematic year-long plan of utilizing grassroots marketing tools and national events in an effort to add two additional new players and retain two more players than their previous season's 8-and-under player totals.
"The turn-key format that USA Hockey provides with the 2 and 2 Challenge allowed our association the platform and the means to thrive in our community," said Tiffany Barrs-Kane, vice president of Siouxland Youth Hockey in Sioux City, Iowa.
"We've completed the Challenge in consecutive years and our association's growth has been terrific. As a whole, our participation numbers increased by 66 percent, and our total of new players has increased three-fold."
USA Hockey provides participating associations with a comprehensive approach to increasing participation by maximizing player retention, acquisition and conversion. Associations can earn bronze, silver or gold status as part of the program, depending on the number of initiatives they utilize each season, with incentives at each level, including banners, OneGoal starter equipment sets and national recognition.
Associations interested in accepting the 2 and 2 Challenge can learn more by visiting www.2and2challenge.com.
NOTES: In 2013-14, 260 associations achieved gold status, each earning four complete sets of starter equipment and 12 youth hockey sticks. In all, 2,388 equipment sets and 3,120 sticks were awarded.