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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: In praise of volunteers

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Plus updates from centralization, NWHL free agency and the SDHL

Pucks scattered on the ice, some being gathered by the blade of a hockey stick Chris Tanouye / CWHL

Article of the Week

Inside The Numbers | How The NWHL And CWHL Do Stats Differently

In the off-season there aren’t as many articles that really warrant a lot of discussion. Mike Murphy’s article for Fanrag hints at an issue that sometimes gets neglected when we talk about the professional leagues. There’s a lot of talk about how little players get compensated in either league. There’s not a lot said about the volunteers.

The CWHL runs on volunteers. Whether it’s unpaid interns doing something for university credit or fans who just want to help out, most of the staff you see around the rink likely aren’t getting paid. I can’t speak to the NWHL, but considering the reported state of their finances, I assume there are a fair number of volunteers keeping things going as well.

For stats, this does mean inaccuracies, and a limit to how much one person can catalogue at a time. Since fewer than one quarter of last season’s CWHL games were filmed, there’s also nothing to check after the fact — the on-ice officials and the players themselves are the ones to verify goals and assists. What’s announced in the arena is often corrected later.

So, for those of you looking to support the women’s game who maybe can’t afford to buy season’s tickets - think about volunteering (for the CWHL or for the NWHL). Whether that’s stats counting, selling merch, commentating matches or being the penalty box attendant, anything helps. You get to help out a women’s league, and get to see some awesome hockey for free! If you’re too far away, or don’t have the time to devote, try encouraging your company to sponsor one of the teams or leagues. A small amount might not be enough to pay team salaries, but maybe it’s enough to help film every game, improve some technology or to give someone an honorarium to for helping out.


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