We are celebrating Hockey Weekend Across America this weekend. Friday was wear your favorite jersey day. Today is Try Hockey for Free day at participating rinks around the country. Tomorrow is the triple header Hockey Day in America featuring a Stadium Series match-up between the Minnesota Wild and that one team from Illinois.
Today we are celebrating Hockey Weekend Across America with a couple of dataviz showing the growth of hockey across the USA. USA Hockey provides a nice table of the number of USA Hockey members over the years. They have also released membership reports the past couple of years that go into more detail about the number of players, age groups, and locations.
The numbers for USA Hockey look great! They just keep going up year after year after year. The only downside to these numbers is the slight dip in both the number of coaches and number of officials participating in USA Hockey. More players, but less coaches and officials doesn't seem like an ideal situation. Are you a coach or official that is part of a USA Hockey program? Let us know in the comments your thoughts about why there might be less coaches, while more players are getting involved. Maybe the increase in players is adult players who do not need coaches like the kids do? What are your thoughts?
This is where the numbers start to get interesting. Starting at the top, you have three options for how you can view this interactive dataviz: 2013-2014 player numbers, 2014-2015 player numbers, or the percent change from 13-14 to 14-15. On the map, you can hover over a state to see its exact number of players (or change) for the view you selected as well as the district in which the state is located. Underneath the map, there is a breakout of players by the district and age groupings. You can click on a district or an age grouping in that chart to filter the map. You can click on one of the bars in that chart to see that specific age grouping for that specific district. And if you really want to get fancy, you can hold the ctrl key while selecting multiple districts, groups, or bars. At the bottom of the chart, if you click on one of the axis you will see buttons you can use for sorting the districts by that age grouping.
Let's take a look at Missouri. There were nearly 7,100 players registered with USA Hockey during the 2014-15 season. Unfortunately, that was a 3% decrease from the previous year (change the view to percent change). Clicking through each of the age groups you will notice that the biggest drop from the 20113-14 season to 2014-15 was in the 17-18 age group (-20%) while the age group with the biggest gain was the 11-12 (+10%).
Have fun and enjoy Hockey Weekend Across America!