Girls will get to drop the puck
Officials from several of the schools confirmed this morning that the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association approved the co-op.
Next steps include setting rules, hiring a coach and confirming the details of how the costs will be shared among the four school districts, said Janesville’s athletics director, Kevin Porter.
Janesville’s share of the annual cost has been estimated at $20,000.
The Beloit School District will manage the co-op, but girls from Beloit Turner, Clinton and Janesville will be eligible to play.
Janesville has about 10 girls who are interested and probably will constitute 40 percent to 50 percent of the team, Porter said.
Girls hockey will be a winter sport and will start about the same time as wrestling or basketball, said Clinton Athletic Director Ray Vance.
Vance was not sure whom the local girls will play but expects they will have to travel and play teams from Madison or Milwaukee.
The team will be for all high school girls and will not include a junior varsity program the first year, Vance said.
Vance expects a decision on a coach to be made soon.
Two girls from Clinton have been playing youth hockey and want to continue to play at school, Vance said.
Another item on the officials’ agenda will be choosing a team name.
WIAA-sanctioned girls hockey is relatively new in Wisconsin high schools. The WIAA has been offering a girls hockey tournament since the 2001-02 season.
All seven tournaments have been held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison in conjunction with the boys hockey state tournament.
The WIAA calendar lists Nov. 10 as the first day that a girls or boys hockey team may practice in the 2008-09 school year. The earliest date for a game is Nov. 21.
Gazette reporter Frank Schultz contributed to this report.