Competing in their first games the weekend of Sept. 17, the Houston Girls Hockey Association, also known as HTX Storm, launched July 10. The organization consists of three all-girls teams—one for girls ages 11 and 12, and two for girls age 10 and younger. Organization leaders said they hope to one day expand to include at least two teams for players ages 8 to 18.

The league was created to give school-aged girls a chance to continue playing hockey through college, since young girls can often feel discouraged playing on co-ed teams, Director of Membership Valory Zeck said.

“Unfortunately, what we see around the middle school years is a large [number] of girls start to quit due to boys growing larger than them, as well as the checking aspect coming into play in the 14 [and under] age group,” Zeck said. “We want to ensure girls do not have to give up their love of the game.”

The teams practice at six Greater Houston-area rinks, including The Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex in Willlowbrook, Ice Skate Memorial City in the Memorial City Mall, Spirit Ice Arena in College Station, Sugar Land Ice and Sports Center in Sugar Land, The Bellerive Ice Center in southwest Houston and Bear Branch Skate Park in The Woodlands. The organization’s address is 5315-B Cypress Creek Parkway, Box No. 517, Houston.