Sports, such as hockey, soccer or basketball are what many people come to expect as an answer when asking others what types of sports they play or are interested in. Ringette is not usually a common response, even though there are over 25,000 ringette players Canada-wide according to the National Ringette School.
Ringette is an on-ice sport where the players wear similar equipment to hockey, but use strategic plays from soccer, basketball and lacrosse. The goal of the game is to score more than the other team by shooting the rubber ring into the net, past the goalie. The ring is controlled by a straight stick that resembles a hockey stick, but without the curved blade at the end.
A Northern Ontario native, Samuel Perry Jacks, who is also the creator of floor hockey, invented ringette in 1963. The sport was intended for female players to have a winter sport, but currently there are more than 700 male players nation-wide according to Ringette Canada. The Port Coquitlam ringette league includes a lot of players from Riverside, including grade nine student, Megan Parsons and grade ten student, Teagan Ewart. “I joined ringette because I thought it would be really fun and I wanted to make friends,” said Ewart, a member of the PCRMRA who has been playing the sport for nine years. This Canadian sport has now spread all over the world to countries such as Finland, Germany, Australia and many more.
The rules of this sport are very unique compared to others; they promote sportsmanship and team play. For example, there is no intentional body contact allowed and a player must pass over the blue line to another player before he or she can come in contact with the ring again. Ringette uses the red line at the top of the defensive circles (the ringette line) as a barrier for only three players per team to enter. Also, no skaters from either team can enter the goalies’ crease without getting a crease violation and losing the possession of the ring. There are six players on the ice at a time. One centre, two forwards, two defense and one goalie.
Canadian Ringette has accomplished and achieved lots throughout the years. The establishment of the ringette Hall of Fame is one of them. This Hall of Fame recognizes some of ringette’s key players, coaches and people who have helped with the development of the sport.
Ringette continues to spread world-wide to skaters everywhere that want to be a part of the “ultimate team sport,” according to National Ringette School.
Feature photo courtesy of Lower Mainland Ringette