Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Port Richey has Florida's only all-women's roller hockey league

NEW PORT RICHEY

Women aren't normally seen as hockey players, but in New Port Richey that is beginning to change.

Once a week, several women ranging in age from 11 to 68 strap on a helmet, an array of pads and a pair of inline skates to take the floor for a game of roller hockey at Sportszone2 in the only all-women's league in Florida.

"We don't have any age limits," league creator and coordinator Marsha Brown said. "We use nine skaters on each team, and I break up the players based on experience and skill so that the teams are balanced."

Last season was the league's first year and it gave women from all over the Tampa Bay area the opportunity to experience roller hockey without the pressure of playing up to the standards of male counterparts. But the league had only three teams.

This season, however, Brown expects to have at least four or five.

"We're getting a lot of interest from women around the area," Brown said. "A lot of women spend their time running around the state taking their kids to games, but now the mothers have a chance to suit up and play, too.

"It's funny because you see kids helping their moms get dressed and then shouting from the sidelines the same stuff the moms yell at them when they're playing."

Brown's hockey background goes back 12 years to when she first assisted on the bench for her son's team. The women's league idea wasn't just a chance to get women involved in the sport — it was also a way to play the game herself.

"As girls get into their teens and older, they can't compete with the boys physically," Brown said. "This gives everyone a chance to play against other girls and not have to sit on the bench. For me, it was an eye-opener my first time as to how hard the game is. I had so much more respect for how good my kids were once I tried it."

Brown's 11-year-old daughter, Taylor, plays in the league and appreciates the all-women atmosphere as much as anybody.

"It's nice because I actually get to skate here," Taylor said. "I don't have to just sit on the bench and watch the boys play."

Brown is the league's youngest player, but more impressive are some of the older players.

Carol Green, 68, first got into hockey because her grandchildren played. The league offers something Green wishes had been around years ago.

"I've been Rollerblading for about 20 years and I was out here all the time watching the kids do it, so when this opportunity came, I decided I'm going to try it myself," Green said. "I might kill myself out here, but I'm going to try it. I just wish something like this had been around sooner."

The benefit for local women is something the league's players value for more than just recreational fitness.

The sport provides competitive women a rewarding atmosphere where they can develop camaraderie with women who love the sport as much as they do.

"By the end of the year, the league gets pretty physical because everyone wants their name on the (league) trophy," Brown said. "Last year in the championship, one of the girls put a pretty nice check on me. Then we shook hands and had a laugh. That's what makes this great is that it's become a girls club."

Submit story ideas and feedback to community sports@tampabay.com.

>>FAST FACTS

Women's Roller Hockey League

When: Sundays at 5 p.m.

Where: Sportszone2 in New Port Richey

The league runs year-round, running 10-game seasons with a month break in between. Games are played on a rink made specifically for roller hockey and have three 15-minute periods. Teams are made up of nine players of all skill levels. There is a fee of $135 per player. For more info, call Marsha Brown at (727) 514-3237 or e-mail her at marshabrown@tampabay.rr.com.

New Port Richey has Florida's only all-women's roller hockey league 05/19/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …