COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey announced today that it has surpassed 100,000 players in its 8-and-under age category for the 12th time since the 2010-11 season.
"While the pandemic certainly played a role in pausing the momentum that had been established in growing our game, it’s great to see our 8U participation get to 100,000 as quickly as it did this season," said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. "We’re focused on continuing to attract new families to our sport, and with the support of our stakeholders, including the NHL, its member clubs, the NHLPA, our corporate partners, volunteers across the country, and so many others, hockey is thriving in the U.S. and continuing to reach new heights.”
This season’s 100,000th 8U player is Sophia, from San Jose, California. She became interested in playing hockey after watching both games and practices at the rink she took skating lessons at, which led to her enrollment at the Little Sharks Program in San Jose, California. Her favorite part about playing hockey is having fun, and her favorite team is her hometown San Jose Sharks. Sophia hasn’t decided who her favorite player is just yet.
The 2010-11 season was the first in which USA Hockey had 100,000-plus players at 8U and it has continued to cross that threshold each season since, outside the pandemic campaign of 2020-21. All total, USA Hockey includes more than 1,000,000 players, coaches, officials and volunteers in all 50 states.