The American College Hockey Association (ACHA) announced the development of a Women's Division for the 2000-2001 season, which will include a national championship and polling for women's collegiate club teams in the United States. The American College Hockey Association (ACHA) is a non-profit organization that currently includes approximately 150 men's collegiate club ice hockey teams across the United States in Divisions I, II and III. Each team is ranked and competes for a national championship annually.
Josh Brandwene, ACHA president said, "The ACHA is very pleased to be involved with the growth of women's ice hockey in the United States. We feel the addition of a Women's Division will only enhance our reputation as an organization, and add even more credibility to our level of hockey."
ACHA appointed Cindy Dayley and Zoe Harris as co-vice presidents of the new women's division. The pair are the current coaches of the University of Washington's Division II men's club team and recently were entered into the Hockey Hall of Fame for being the first women to coach men's collegiate club hockey. Erin Russ of Minnesota, and president of the Midwest College Women's Hockey Association (MCWHA), is also assisting with the development of the new ACHA Women's Division.
Harris said, "We hope that the inclusion under a nationally recognized association will not only allow for a national championship for women's club teams, but will also legitimatize the organization and development of women's club ice hockey at the university level." Dayley also added, "The ACHA lends credibility to its programs through national sponsorships, promotion and adherence to certain eligibility standards for its student-athletes."
There are approximately 40 women's collegiate club teams in the United States playing either for the MCWHA (MIDWEST ALLIANCE), or the CCWHA (CENTRAL COLLEGIATE) women hockey associations, with another 26 independent club teams located around the entire country.
Tom Pratt, Executive Director of the ACHA said, "The ACHA is leading the way for college hockey expansion in the United States. Our footprint is now coast to coast and border to border. We expect many of our member schools to add a women's program to compete in our new ACHA Women's division. Our schools have been leaders in creating opportunities for students to play competitive college hockey and the Women's Division will be another avenue for them to continue in this tradition."
For more information please contact Cindy Dayley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Zoe Harris at email@example.com or visit http://www.achahockey.org.
The American Collegiate Hockey Association Women's Division (ACHAWomen) is open to membership registration for the inaugural 2000-2001 season. The new ACHA Women's Division will include regional rankings and a national championship tournament for women's collegiate non-varsity ice hockey teams in the United States.
Teams interested in joining may obtain registration materials online at www.achahockey.org. The new national women's division will feature:
Zoe Harris, ACHA Vice President-Women's Division, said many of new league's benefits are intangible. "Inclusion in a nationally-recognized organization encourages the highest level of play and legitimizes the growth and organization of women's collegiate non-varsity ice hockey," Harris said. "It helps to add credibility to programs through national sponsorships, promotion and adherence to eligibility standards for student-athletes," Harris said.
Erin Russ, ACHA Women's Division Commissioner, said the league hopes to make communication between teams much easier than in the past. "As a former college club team president, I remember how hard it was to get information about teams outside of your own league, and how rumors of national tournaments would appear and fade. With this new national division, that will all change," Russ said.
The ACHA Women's Division will hold it first-ever National Championship Tournament in March, 2001.
Nearly 50 women's collegiate non-varsity teams in the United States playing in four leagues -- the Central Collegiate Women's Hockey Association, the Mid-Atlantic Women's Collegiate Hockey Association, the Midwestern Collegiate Women's Hockey Alliance and the Women's Central Hockey League-College Club Division -- or independently. The teams joining ACHAWomen will benefit greatly from their membership because of the national championship and its national orientation.
The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) has been extremely successful in implementing a national organization for men's collegiate non-varsity ice hockey since is inception in 1992. Currently there are approximately 150 member teams in three men's divisions. The 2000 National Champions in each division are: Penn State, Division I; Miami (OH) University, Division II; and Butler University, Division III.
For more information on the ACHA Women's Division or the ACHA in general, please contact:
Zoe Harris, ACHA Vice President-Women's Division firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 542-7566
Erin Russ, ACHA Commissioner-Women's Division email@example.com or (612)872-4145
Josh Brandwene, ACHA President JBranwene@aol.com or (302)831-2718
The ACHA web page is located at www.achahockey.org and the women's division is located at www.huskyhockey.net/achawomen/.
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