The First Women's World Ice Hockey Championship and the Emergence of the Routine of Women's Elite Hockey

  • Author / Creator
    Student Reid, Patrick A.
  • ABSTRACT Ice hockey is Canada’s national winter sport (Government of Canada, 1982). Men's hockey has been an event in the Olympic Games since 1920. The addition of a women’s version of the game was in 1998 (IIHF, 2016). A watershed moment that advanced the growth of women’s hockey was the inaugural Women’s World Hockey Championship (WWHC), held in Ottawa, Canada, in March of 1990. Sociologist Nancy Theberge (2000) proclaimed the event was a significant turning point in the development of the women’s game. It proved to be the test event for women’s hockey to be considered for inclusion in the Winter Olympic Games, an accomplishment that would contribute to the legitimation of the women’s game as an elite sport. The purpose of this current research is to investigate the WWHC in detail as a case study. Primary data encompassing the WWHC files of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) were made available for this study. This study benefits from the data sources and insights available by the author who served as the general manager of the 1990 championship. The historical description of the tournament employing data from the CAHA files corrected some misconceptions previously reported in the literature. This behind-the-scenes examination of management strategies, decisions, and solutions is the theme of the Second chapter: Women Can’t Skate that Fast and Shoot that Hard” The First Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship, 1990. During The WWHC, two issues occurred that attracted further investigation in this study. An entrepreneurial initiative to change the color of the jersey of Team Canada was employed to ensure media attention to the event. The reaction from various audiences to the decision to change the traditional red and white jerseys of Team Canada, for pink and white proved controversial. The issue is examined through a lens of ideographic analysis in detail in Chapter three: The Duality of Sports Signifiers and Symbols: Ideographs and the 1st Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship, 1990. The other intriguing issue had to do with the physicality rule or artifact of women’s hockey at the championship. This specific artifact is what identifies the difference in the routine of men’s and women’s hockey. Due to local hockey legislation just before the 1990 WWHC, body-checking was disallowed at the 1990 event. The process of issue resolution is the subject of Chapter four: How Organizations Manipulate Artifacts to Create Organizational Routines. The outcome of the tournament resulted in the identification of the routine of women’s hockey, subtly different from that of the men’s game, and still in vogue today.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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