Women's hockey is a sport that has been gaining traction in recent years, and the number of players at the Division 1 level is on the rise. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), there are currently 775 female hockey players in the United States, Canada, and other countries. Of these players, 58% are from the US, 39% are from Canada, and 2% are from other countries. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) was a key player in reviving ice hockey as a sport sponsored by the NAIA.
In 2000, the NCAA declared the formation of a women's national ice hockey division and organized the first annual NCAA women's ice hockey tournament at the end of the 2000-01 season. The American College Hockey Association (ACHA) oversees men's and women's college hockey programs at both the college and club levels. Although women's college hockey is not a program sponsored by the NAIA, there are four NAIA institutions that offer women's hockey programs. The NAIA Hockey Coaches Association is devoted to the growth of college hockey in NAIA institutions, while also organizing a national championship for existing NAIA Division programs. The NAIHA and the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association are working together to take advantage of these four existing NAIA hockey programs and ultimately achieve championship status within the NAIA. According to Mike Snee, executive director of College Hockey Inc., colleges and universities don't usually get many requests to add a hockey program.
This means that it is usually College Hockey Inc. that is responsible for promoting and growing women's college hockey. The number of female hockey players at the Division 1 level is increasing steadily, thanks to organizations like College Hockey Inc., which are dedicated to promoting and growing women's college hockey. With more opportunities for female athletes to compete at a high level, it is likely that we will see an even greater number of female hockey players in the future.