Women have been playing hockey since the late 1800’s and it was not until 2016 that they were allowed to join a men’s professional league. With NHL 22, women players are ‘in the game’ as never before and their diversity is on full display in this video game release.
With NHL 22, women hockey players are “in the game” for the first time. The game has been in development for a long time and is finally being released this year. Read more in detail here: nhl video games.
When Kendall Coyne Schofield informed her husband, Michael, that players from the US women’s national hockey team would be included in EA Sports’ NHL game, he responded like a Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman.
“My husband’s first inquiry was, ‘What is your [player] rating?’” she joked.
“And I asked, ‘Well, what’s yours?’” says the narrator.
It’s a discussion that wouldn’t have taken place if NHL 22, the first game in the series to offer playable women’s national teams, hadn’t been released.
“Many of us did not have stable role models as children. We used to attend to NHL games just to enjoy the game, but we never saw anybody who looked like us. Unless the Olympics are held every four years, “Coyne Schofield, who will lead Team USA in the Beijing Olympics, where the Americans will try to capture a second gold medal in a row, remarked.
Coyne Schofield has campaigned to eliminate gender disparity in hockey her whole life.
There was the fight her country’s women’s national team had with USA Hockey, in which they demanded support on par with the men’s team and in proportion to their achievements on the ice. She worked as a broadcaster for the San Jose Sharks before joining the Chicago Blackhawks as a player development coach. In 2019, she was the first woman to compete in an NHL All-Star Game skills competition.
She’s now a part of the same video game series she used to play as a kid, where she plays as the Blackhawks against her brother. As a result, women’s hockey players may now argue their relative speed and shot ratings in the same way that their male counterparts have done for years.
“In the locker room, there will be jokes,” Coyne Schofield said.
The NHL All-Star Weekend begins with the Skills Competition on Friday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The All-Star Game will be broadcast live on Saturday, Feb. 5 on ABC and ESPN+, beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
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Coyne Schofield has always been associated with speed. At the NHL All-Star Game, she competed in the quickest skater event. This month, her book “As Fast As Her” was launched.
“When I was a youngster, there weren’t many books about women in hockey. [Writing one] was an ambition of mine. And when I establish a goal, I’m motivated to do whatever it takes to achieve it “she said “Take a look at where I’ve ended myself thanks to this game. It was most recently in a video game.”
Has Coyne Schofield emphasized to EA Sports the importance of having a “100” speed rating?
The question made her chuckle.
“We haven’t begun that discussion yet. Should we begin right now? “she said “I’m not sure; maybe they believe I need to prove myself first.”
Aside from bragging rights for player ratings, Coyne Schofield views this period of digital hockey equality as critical for the sport.
“We can only play a game in one location, at one time, on one rink.” “There are only so many people who can see us play at any one moment, and women’s hockey isn’t well-known enough,” she said. “Knowing that this can be in so many homes and that we can reach so many people at once is something that this game requires.”
“I’m really very thrilled to see how our presence in the game affects the next generation of girls and boys who will grow up seeing women and men in the same game, in the same roles, and knowing that they can be any of us. It’ll be crucial to the game’s success.”
Just before the COVID-19 epidemic, EA Sports began working on introducing female players in NHL 22. For years, the game has offered foreign men’s teams as a playable option, although in generic-looking outfits. The International Ice Hockey Federation and EA Sports have achieved an agreement to include teams from the world championship and world juniors in the game.
By obtaining the IIHF license for NHL 22, the game’s creators were able to incorporate women’s world championship teams for the first time in the game.
Sean Ramjagsingh, vice president and general manager of EA Sports, remarked, “I’m a huge believer in’seeing it to be it.’” “This is a really exciting moment for us, and it is a significant step forward for us.” But it won’t be a one-and-done situation. I believe it will be a priority for our franchise in the future.
“We have this wonderful platform, and I believe we can be true change agents in the sport of hockey, connecting with the next generation of players. As a result, individuals will be able to see themselves in the game.”
According to Ramjagsingh, the demographics of individuals who play the video game tilt male, however there have been some female gamers.
Lexi Peters, a 14-year-old girl, submitted a letter in 2011 criticizing the lack of female participants in the game. As a result, EA Sports included a female character option and made Peters the “default” female player that players could modify. In 2012, Hockey Hall of Famers Hayley Wickenheiser and Angela Ruggiero were the first two female athletes to appear as playable characters in a professional sports league video game.
Andy Agostini, senior producer at EA Sports, remarked, “This incident is distinct.” “We’re incorporating real-world female rosters into the game so that fans can see what they see on TV. A user who is unfamiliar with many teams outside of Canada and the United States will be able to observe how excellent women’s players are in other nations. It will increase public awareness of women’s hockey.”
EA Sports released a patch update on Thursday that adds ten foreign women’s teams. Getting those participants to participate in the game posed some distinct obstacles.
For example, the game designer needed to figure out what player ratings the ladies should have.
International player data and ratings are secured by a third party for EA Sports. It utilized information and assessments compiled by two writers covering the IIHF world championships and women’s hockey in general in this occasion.
“We had to explain how the video game interprets and utilizes the ratings. “Sometimes there’s a gap on something like offensive awareness because it may mean various things to different individuals conducting ratings,” Agostini said, adding that it was a “back-and-forth process.””
The manner men’s and women’s games are played is also fundamentally different.
“Obviously, bodychecking isn’t permitted in the women’s game, so we had to deal with that rule implementation,” Ramjagsingh said.
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Does the United States’ Olympic victory over Canada alter the nature of the rivalry in any way?
“I don’t believe it alters our strategy in any way,” Coyne Schofield said. “This is a very different roster from the one we saw last year. Nothing about our culture, philosophy, or job changes. We don’t alter the way we do things. Every day, we must continue to strive toward our shared objective.”
The United States’ Olympic lineup for the Beijing Games includes 13 players who won gold in South Korea.
“You have to acknowledge that there are a few players who have never been in an Olympic Games and have never won a gold medal. Our perspective hasn’t changed as a result of the year 2018 “According to Coyne Schofield.
Another difference between 2018 and 2022 is the amount of time it takes to prepare. The epidemic has forced the postponement of the 2020 women’s world championships. Many of the exhibition games that Team USA would have played in the build up to the Olympics were also cancelled.
“It’s certainly been different,” Coyne Schofield said, “from the postponement of the world championship to camps being canceled to not being able to play as many games.” “There’s been a lot of shifting and adapting, but I believe that’s one of this group’s strengths: we’ve changed because we recognize there are so many things we can’t control in this epidemic.”
The COVID-19 rules in place for Beijing, according to Coyne Schofield, were not a subject of discussion among the women’s players as they were among NHL players, who expressed worry about the severe standards before the league pulled out of the Winter Games. She acknowledged some of the worries, but said that NHL players had a different perspective on the Olympics than members of the women’s squad.
“They’ll travel to the Olympics and then come back to the National Hockey League,” she said. “This is the Stanley Cup Final for our team. We’ve come to the end of our journey.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there girl hockey players?
A: Yes, there are girl hockey players. They often play on the boys team due to their skill level and ability.
How many female hockey players are there?
A: There are currently 1,500 female NHL players.
How many players are in a hockey game?
A: The number of players in a hockey game is six.
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