Stonewall’s female teams will no longer be playing in the Hockey Winnipeg League and are now part of a newly formed Eastern Manitoba Female Hockey League.
The League will be comprised of teams from the four regions that surround Winnipeg which include:
The Eastern Manitoba Female Hockey League has two registration options for female players
Dual roster male/female
Dual Roster Teams will not play Single Roster teams at any point during league play – these teams will have different divisions to play in.
Female players registered in SMHRA will be required to attend evaluations as has been done in years past.
Once evaluations are complete, each age group will be divided into EVEN/EQUAL teams – there is no tiering - meaning A1, A2 etc of teams in the EMFHL.
In addition to the teams formed for league play – each association is also permitted to form tiered teams in addition to league teams (meaning A, B and C teams) for select tournaments and Provincials if they desire.
SMHRA has indicated to Interlake and Hockey Manitoba that it is our intent to form tiered teams at each age level for the purposes of select tournament and provincial play should there be interest at each level. There will be further discussion on this aspect of the program once league teams have been formed.
As word of the league changeover and new team format has started to spread, several SMHRA Board members have been approached by parents asking about obtaining releases for their female players.
SMHRA has been advised that releases will NOT be granted or approved by any governing body (Interlake Minor Hockey and Hockey Manitoba) for players looking to play hockey in other regions – including Hockey Winnipeg. Female players in SMHRA have a league to participate in – regardless of whether or not people “like it” or not.
The only exception regarding releases is at the AAA level for areas without regional teams at the U15 age group or higher.
How Did We Get Here?
It is understood that this is a major change to SMHRA’s female program which has been running successfully for several years. This change was not initiated by SMHRA in any way, however as will be explained the EMFHL is now the only option left for female players registered in SMHRA to play in.
Members of SMHRA’s board have had several discussions with officials from Hockey Winnipeg, Hockey Manitoba, Interlake Minor Hockey and neighboring regions in an attempt to gain an understanding of why this new league was formed given the success of SMHRA’s Female program and the seemingly good fit the program had in the Hockey Winnipeg League. From these conversations SMHRA has been advised of the following:
SMHRA recognizes that these developments are significant, and while we agree that our participation in the Hockey Winnipeg program has been very successful and would have preferred to remain in the league – this option is no longer available to SMHRA.
With this in mind, it was felt by SMHRA that joining the EMFHL was really our only option to give our female players a league to play in. This new league has the potential to be very successful, and you as parents and players have the biggest role of all to play in that regard.
SMHRA Board members will be present during evaluations to speak to the different parent groups directly about these new changes and answer any further questions you may have.
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