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By Travel Medford | 10/24/2022 | Hockey, Sports, Things to Do

THE GROWTH OF HOCKEY IN SOUTHERN OREGON

As we head into the winter season, our athletic attention turns from outdoor sporting events like football and soccer, to those sports more suited for the colder climate, primarily that of boys and girls basketball. Whether you have an athlete in Middle School, High School, or even College, there’s a good chance over the next few months that you’ll find yourself in one of the many basketball gyms throughout the Rogue Valley. But of course, basketball isn’t the only indoor winter sport that Medford has to offer.

It’s been a long, and at times difficult, process to bring a competitive hockey team back to the area. Yet, thanks to new ownership and a wide assortment of community partners, The Rrrink in Medford is now home to the Rogue Valley Royals. The team is sanctioned by the United States Premier Hockey League, and competes against 4 other teams as part of the leagues Northwest Division. The men’s team is composed of both local and non-local players, many of whom have even come from out of state. Players range in age from 17-21 primarily, which means some of these players are still students in high school throughout the Valley. The team’s season kicked off the first weekend in October, and will continue all the way through the end of February 2023. For more information on the team and tickets please visit https://www.roguevalleyroyals.com/home.

sports, hockey, tournament, competition, things to do, sports events, the Rogue Valley Royals

When Bobby and Ali Ruddle took over the Rogue Valley Royals this past year, they set out not only to bring hockey back to the area, but to grow the sport within the youth ranks as well. This goal was not gender specific either, as Ali herself was a local hockey player growing up. Ali and Bobby strive to offer ways for the club to provide a space where participants feel both welcome and safe being out on the ice, regardless of their skating skills or hockey experience. “The hockey community is so tight knit, and this club has already provided such a fun opportunity for multiple generations of families to go and learn something new together!” Ruddle added. Prior to 2015, four of our local High Schools had female hockey teams, one of which was Crater where Ali Ruddle played all four years she attended. Currently, our local women’s hockey league operates under the Southern Oregon Women’s Hockey Club, separate from the Royals. But Ali and the rest of the Royals organizations hopes that their efforts and support will help bring hockey back to the local high schools like it once was.

So, what are you waiting for? The puck has already dropped, and the ice has been freshly cleaned by the Zamboni’s. Whether you are new to the sport or a lifelong fan, and regardless if your goal is to try something new or be the best in the world, your first move is to head over the The Rrrink and strapping on a pair of skates! And with Know Your Role being fully endorsed by the Ruddle’s and the Royals, you know it will be a safe environment for you or your child to learn, grow, and develop as a hockey player. Travel hockey is even available through RVHA for those looking for a more competitive edge. And don’t forget to head over one weekend to catch a few Royals games, and to show your support for yet another growing sport here in Southern Oregon.  It’s no wonder Medford is your Sportgound, Where the West Coast Plays!

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