Langley-based ball hockey league aims to get girls into the game

About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times) About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times) About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times) About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times) About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VBHA vice-president Alex Joehl explained a girls-only try-it event on Saturday, Jan,. 21 was part of a campaign to get girls playing ball hockey, with the association hoping to sign up enough to form three divisions in 2023. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)VBHA vice-president Alex Joehl explained a girls-only try-it event on Saturday, Jan,. 21 was part of a campaign to get girls playing ball hockey, with the association hoping to sign up enough to form three divisions in 2023. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

More than 70 kids turned out to give one of the fastest growing sports in the Lower Mainland a try on Saturday, Jan. 21, at Langley’s George Preston Sport Box, hosted by the Langley-based Valley Ball Hockey Association (VBHA), with Surrey Minor Ball Hockey Association.

An all-ages girls-only try-it session with female coaches and mentors drew about 30, while a co-ed session later in the day drew 40.

VBHA vice-president Alex Joehl explained it was part of a “brand-new” campaign to get more girls playing ball hockey, with the VBHA hoping to sign up enough for three divisions in 2023 — Peewee (U13), Minor (U16) & Major (U19).

“It’s a great sport, its fast-paced, the kids get lots of exercise,” Joehl enthused.

“Ball hockey is already one of the most accessible sports that there is. We want to give kids a chance to try the sport before they commit to buying full equipment and pay full registration fees.”

About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

About 30 novice players turned out for a girls-only ball hockey tri-it event at the George Preston Sports Box on Saturday, Jan. 21, part of a campaign to get more girls into the game. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

For the inaugural girls program, VBHA hopes to organize female-only skill development opportunities, with teams playing practices and games throughout the season, interlocking with other associations.

Females interested in playing can choose to play in the co-ed or girls-only divisions.

If there aren’t enough registrants to form a girls’ team, plan B could involve a spot on a co-ed team, a full refund, moving up or down a division to help fill the roster of a girls team at the discretion of the VBHA, or joining an inter-league team.

Valley Ball Hockey Association was incorporated as a not-for-profit society in 1996 and currently has approximately 1,200 players and 75 teams.

Registration for 2023 at vbha.com ends Feb. 3.

More photos from the day can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Provincial ball hockey championships wrap in Langley

READ ALSO: Valley Ball Hockey Association accepting equipment donations for new players


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