The Renegades are on the grow.
After two years of wait lists, the Orillia Ladies Hockey League has added four teams, going from eight to 12.
“We have more ladies interested in the sport,” league director Betsy Maus said, adding there were up to 20 women waiting over the past two years to get into the competitive division (Tier 1) and the more recreational division (Tier 2).
The league, which grew out of the Orillia Hawks girls hockey program in 2009, started its 2018-19 season on Sunday and will wrap it up at the end of March.
There is room for players in both divisions, but spots are filling up. What the league needs is a goalie for Tier 2. It’s an important role, but the right person for the job need not have ample experience.
“We’re not opposed to anyone new to the sport wanting to try out that position,” Maus said.
Goalie equipment will be provided.
The cost to join the league as a goalie is $165 per season. For other positions, the fee is $325. Players must have their own equipment.
All games are played on Sundays at Rotary Place, with puck drop at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m.
Players must be at least 18 years old. Otherwise, age is not an issue. The league’s oldest player is 68, and its oldest competitive player is 63.
“It’s for anyone,” Maus said. “We’re all out there for fun.”
Maus played hockey in university and was looking to get back on the ice when she moved to Orillia. She has been with the league for six years.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s a great way to meet people,” she said.
It’s also an opportunity to get involved in the community. The Renegades take part in fundraising activities hosted by team sponsors and they participate in community events such as parades.
“It’s a great way to give back,” Maus said.
For new players, there is skills training available in the form of shinny offered through the City of Orillia, at a cost of $8. It is free for goalies.
This is the first time in six years the league has expanded. It went from six to eight teams in 2012. The most recent change was in 2013, when it went to the tiered system, introducing competitive and recreational divisions.
All teams currently have sponsors, but other sponsorship opportunities are available.