Fraser Valley ball hockey players heading for golds

The local league’s champions will go to the provincials.

While attention of many hockey fans has been focused on the Stanley Cup playoffs, a different kind of hockey is moving towards its own championships in Langley and the Fraser Valley.

The Valley Ball Hockey Association has had a season of growth, and teams are now prepping for the Gold Medal Games on June 16.

Valley Ball Hockey has been operating in Langley and Abbotsford for many years, with players ranging in age from 19 down to just four years old.

“My boys started when they were four years old,” said league president Craig McDougall.

Now they’re 16 and 19 and still playing in the league, he said.

The spring league has a short season, and is slightly less aggressive than traditional ice hockey, McDougall said.

They accept players of any skill level, and are a “fair play” league that is aimed at making sure everyone gets an equal opportunity to play.

“We really try to stress to everyone… that it really is about fun,” McDougall said.

That said, players grow in skill quickly in the league, McDougall said.

And the youngsters look forward to their big championships, which are coming up soon.

There are 16 regular season games, held in the ice arenas in Aldergrove and at the George Preston Recreation Centre, and in Abbotsford.

Then there are four playoff games in June, followed by the Gold Games.

On June 16, the teams will meet at the George Preston Rec Centre arena.

The association’s top teams in every age range, from Tyke to Junior, will take part in a series of games to determine the championship.

There are plenty of teams taking part – there are about 72 teams spread across nine divisions in the Valley area alone.

Play will continue into the late hours of the night until the winners have been crowned.

Their reward is to head off to the Provincial Ball Hockey Tournament, to be held June 28 to July 2.

The Valley teams will face off against squads from Victoria, Metro, Surrey, Ridge Meadows, Tri-Cities, Delta, and Richmond for the title of best in B.C.

The league has been growing. In 2017 there were just over 1,000 players across the various teams and ages, but this year there were 1,130.

Though most of the players are boys, there has been a recent shift in the numbers.

“We had an influx of female players join us,” McDougall said. “We’re a co-ed league.”

This year, 60 girls signed up, including four onto the team McDougall himself coaches.

“All of them are an absolute blast,” he said.

Right now, Valley Ball Hockey organizers are looking forward to next year, when they’ll have a new venue to play in.

“Really looking forward to that new arena in Aldergrove,” McDougall said.

 

Just Posted

Chaotic Metro Vancouver vote rejects Hazelmere Valley development

Accusation of ‘improper’ behaviour, after Surrey Coun. Starchuk notes receipt of ‘new information’

Langley City, Township ponder pot rules

Local politicians will have to decide on retail marijuana zoning and other issues soon.

Langley condo flipping increased as market heated up

Local realtors say investors were re-selling through assignment sales, but the trend may reverse.

Eight arrested in Surrey following fraud investigation by RCMP

Police probe focused on residence in the 18900-block of 64th Avenue

Langley MP pledges support for stranded adopting families

Mark Warawa said he will pressure the minister of immigration on the issue.

VIDEO: Langley schools graduating students looking back and to the future

Graduation includes a mix of old traditions, new traditions like grad walks, and occasional pranks.

Horse put down after hit by car in Maple Ridge, one person to hospital

Accident along 132nd Avenue in Maple Ridge Friday afternoon

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

Most Read