What is Ringette?
Ringette is a Canadian invention that has become one of the fastest team sports on ice. Sam Jacks, a recreation director and sports enthusiast from North Bay, Ontario, invented the sport in 1963 when he saw the need for a winter team sport for girls. Ringette, like hockey, is played on ice with skates and stick with six players per team on the ice at once. The objective is to score goals by shooting the object of play into the opposing team’s net at either end of the rink during stop-time periods of play. But this is where the comparisons between ringette and hockey really end. The stick is straight. The object being pursued by the players is a rubber ring, not a puck. There is no intentional body contact. The rules of ringette make it a wide-open and dynamic sport. The emphasis is on play-making and skating skills. Players cannot carry the ring across the blue lines on the ice. Only three players from each team, plus the defending goalie, are allowed in the end zones at the same time, which keeps the play open, puts a premium on sharp offensive moves, and requires defending players to skate close to their opponents. These features of the game demand the development of keen skating skills that give ringette players fantastic skating and agility.