There is however one requisite: NO BOYS ALLOWED.
Hoping to follow in the footsteps of the neighboring Northeastern Conference as well as the Cape Ann League, residents and family members alike have been pushing to create a girls cooperative hockey team for the Newburyport, Pentucket, Amesbury and Triton high schools.
Rob Ouellette and Tom Coffey are steadying the mast and hope that with a successful free skate on Feb. 10 (6 to 8:30 p.m.) at the Governor's Academy rink, a team will be forged.
"Parents and I have been talking collectively for a while about forming a co-op girl's hockey team," states Ouellete. "The idea of starting one has always been in the air, there just weren't enough able bodies to form a team.
"We all have daughters who love hockey, and once the pee wee league ends, our girls are thrust into a league that may not be prepared for them," explains Ouellette. "Some of our girls can certainly handle boys, and it is allowed for girls to play on a boys team if they wish, but the reality is that it's better for girls to compete against girls."
The number of girls wanting to play hockey has increased steadily over the years. The Newburyport JV hockey team has five girls on the roster, including two goalies. Amesbury has sophomore Janelle Sidilou playing on its varsity squad.
Despite being the lone girl on her team, Sidilou, who also plays on an all-girls team in Exeter, NH, - The Lady Freeze - has no qualms.
"I love playing with the boys," Sidilou said. "We're not having a great year, but it's still fun to play with them. If a team was put together, I'm sure I'd think about it."
The task at hand for Ouellette and others remains a definite work in progress. Compiling the facts, setting dates, and reaching out to any willful female hockey players is a start.
Danvers Athletic Director John Sullivan knows what it takes to get a co-op team off the ground.
"Initially there was an experimental year with Masconomet, where we would travel and play with their team. Unfortunately, it became too expensive," said Sullivan.
Athletic directors from the Northeastern conference met with Sullivan to reach an agreement. They conferred on matters such as eighth-grade waivers for possible extra roster spots and accepting a cooperative pact designated by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. By doing so, a treaty was reached and Beverly would host a cooperative team that would include players from Danvers, Saugus and Salem.
"Since then, our program has been tremendous," said Sullivan. "Thanks in large part to the efforts of Ms. Rice."
Fiona Rice, the aforementioned coach of the Beverly co-op team, believes the benefits of such a program are far-reaching.
"The cooperative program is a great idea. It's exciting for the girls. They love to play and they love seeing each other," Rice said.
"The majority of the time, the girls will skate alongside each other during the season and then compete against one another in field hockey or softball later on. Other than staying active, it really is a great way to meet people and create lasting bonds that they normally wouldn't have had the chance to make."
The notion of starting a girls cooperative team is so new that even Newburyport athletic director John Daileanes was unaware of the program's possible creation.
"This is the first I've heard about it," Daileanes said. "The idea however, is a positive one, and it sounds like it has potential."
Amesbury athletic director Elizabeth McAndrews was contacted by Ouellete earlier, but is cognizant that many issues need to be addressed for a program to take shape.
"The initial issue when creating a new team is whether or not there will be enough girls who want to play," said McAndrews, who applauded Sidilou for pursuing what she loves. "You have to hand it to her. She holds her own. But unfortunately, she's the only girl I know that has expressed a desire to play the sport.
"If Amesbury were to host the new program, I would have to see more support from the girls in my school to start such an endeavor," she added. "If another school decides to host, I would have no problem informing the girls at my school about the program."
Akin to McAndrews' sentiments, Pentucket athletic director Dan Thornton knows that besides gathering enough participants, other obstacles may impede the sport's progression.
"There is always Title IX (a rule that demands schools have an even amount of boys and girls sports). That may propose a problem," Thornton said. "But this idea is in such an infant stage, that other priorities should be addressed first."
Perhaps as optimistic about the program as any, Thornton's acknowledgement of what needs to be done is priority.
"We need the girls to show their support," he said. "Girls have been trickling into hockey more and more lately, and honestly, anything we can drum up for our kids the better.
"The free skate will be important. If all goes well there, then a club team would probably be the next step," explains Thornton, who understands that most openings for a girls hockey team aren't local.
"Realistically, the kids, as well as their parents, would like this to stay in their respective district," said Thornton. "Rather than travel X-amount of miles north or south, or pay high costs to join a private school."
Masconomet coach Bill Haines, who heads a team of girls from Hamilton-Wenham, Georgetown, North Andover and Masco, is also hopeful about the River Rival Region's hockey future.
"It's a great idea," Haines said. "This is our fourth year as a cooperative team and eighth as a whole. The girls are always having fun, and making new friends is a given."
Haines also understands that sports and finances come hand in hand.
"Transportation is costly, as is ice time, but we're all doing this for a reason," said Haines. "Girls want to play. Shawsheen has a new program, so does Algonquin. Watching their brothers skate just isn't as much fun anymore."
Tom Coffey, a board member with Pentucket Youth Hockey, has helped push this idea along due in part to his daughter, Kiley, a sixth-grader at the Dr. John C. Page Elementary School in West Newbury.
"She loves to play hockey, as do a lot of her friends, but there's nowhere for our girls to play," Coffey said. "Looking around, our region is nearly the only one left that doesn't have some type of girls hockey team."
Coffey remains positive though, and knows that only time will tell.
"Myself and others are still figuring out how to make this co-op work, but finding the interest is our main goal right now," said Coffey.
"Once the free skate happens, things will hopefully begin to start rolling. If it all works out, we'll form a club team, talk to the athletic directors, and find a host school. After that, everything should fit into place."
If anything is certain, this call for change is one that has a limitless upside, and Marblehead coach Emily Hudak, whose team is comprised of girls from Marblehead and Swampscott, knows this all too well.
"It's my third year as coach, and my kids love it," she said.
"If you play hockey, you get hooked."
Interested in a girls hockey team?
What: A complimentary workout for girls interested in playing hockey
When: Feb. 10 (6 to 8:30 p.m.)
Where: Whiston-Bragdon Arena on Governor's Academy campus
Who: Girls in grades six through 11
Schools involved: Newburyport, Amesbury, Triton, Pentucket
For more info: Visit AmesburySport.com or contact Rob Ouellette at 978-465-3824