Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education

First Advisor

Sandra Short


An exploratory descriptive analysis on USA Women's Olympic hockey team player's perspectives on playing with boys during their developmental years was conducted. Fifteen elite women American hockey players completed a questionnaire about their experiences playing on boys' teams, making the transition to girls' hockey, and how they thought playing with boys effected their physical and psychological development. Data analysis included both qualitative and quantitative data. Results showed that all participants had played with both boys and girls. They all started playing on boys' teams and transitioned to girls' teams mainly for safety reasons. Participants reported positive effects from playing with boys on skating, shooting, stickhandling, passing, positional play, as well as confidence, competitiveness, leadership, and enjoyment. All participants had positive and negative experiences while participating with boys their overall recommendation was that girls should play boys during their youth development years.