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USA Hockey Welcomes 100,000th 8U Player of 2015-16

By, 01/07/16, 8:30AM MST


Youth hockey participation continues to grow nationwide

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — For the sixth straight season, USA Hockey has surpassed 100,000 players in its 8-and-under age category, sustaining participation growth that outpaces almost every other youth sport in America according to data released by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.

"We're very pleased by the game's continued growth in the United States," said Dave Ogrean, USA Hockey executive director. "Our volunteers and coaches do an amazing job of welcoming new players nationwide and making the youth hockey experience great with initiatives like Try Hockey For Free and our American Development Model. It's definitely creating a bright future for American hockey."

The combination of participation surges in both longtime hockey hotbeds and also in newer markets has driven the consistent growth. Minnesota, which boasts more 8-and-under players than any other state, recently eclipsed 17,000 for the first time ever, while Antioch, Tennessee, produced USA Hockey's 100,000th 8-and-under player this season.

"We're seeing growth all over the country, which is especially exciting," said Ogrean. "The big producers continue to get bigger and the previously untapped markets are gaining at an even quicker pace. It's truly a great time for hockey in the U.S."

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