“Ringette? What’s that? Isn’t that the sport just like hockey?” Sport like hockey? Don’t think so. A mistake some people make is to assume ringette is just another way of playing hockey, but with a straight stick and ring instead of a puck. In my opinion they couldn’t be more wrong. Except for the fact the game is played on ice and some of the equipment is similar, it’s completely different. Confused? Read on and I’m sure you’ll learn more…
In 1963 a Canadian man by the name of Sam Jacks (the same man who invented floor hockey!) started a female only sport for his daughter, since at the time hockey was just for boys. He called it Ringette. They played for fun using broken hockey sticks and figure skates.
Since then the sport of Ringette has come a LONG way. It’s quickly growing in popularity and each year more and more girls join. It’s still a “girls” sport though some boys do play. You can be as young as 4 or 5 to start. The divisions go “Bunnies” (ages 4-7), “Novice” (8 and 9), “Petite” (10 and 11), “Tween” (12 and 13), “Junior” (14 and 15), “Belle” (16-18), and “Open” (19+).
The game involves all your basic positions (goalie, defence, forward, centre) but there are some very interesting rules. For example, you MUST pass the ring to a teammate over the two blue lines, and you can’t enter in the “crease” around the goalie. The cages or face masks of the helmets are triangles instead of squares, and to get the ring from an opposing player you need to “check” underneath their stick (in other words whack their stick with yours!)
Different then hockey? You bet! Ringette has been named “The Fastest Game on Ice” which some people disagree with. But not me. In Ringette you need to be quick and precise with every pass and move you make.
I love Ringette because it’s fast, fun, and of course Girls Only! I have played for five years and I hope to continue and keep improving and learning more. I think it’s a great way to exercise, make friends, and learn to work as a team.
If you didn’t know much about ringette to begin with I hope you learned something and you now know the difference between hockey and “The Fastest Game on Ice”!
If you would like to learn more about my favorite sport, visit www.ringette.ca