What Is Ringette
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Ringette is a Canadian game that was first introduced in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario. Developed originally for girls, ringette is a fast-paced team sport played on ice in which players use a straight stick to pass, carry, and shoot a rubber ring to score goals.
For ten years, play centered in Ontario and Quebec, however the sport quickly spread across Canada and is now played in all ten provinces and the Northwest Territories. The sport has become one of Canada's favourite activities for females, with over 50,000 participants across Canada, including players, coaches, officials and volunteers - a remarkable growth rate for such a young sport.
Ringette, like hockey, is played on ice with skates and sticks by five skaters and a goaltender on each of two teams. The mission is to score goals by shooting the object of play into nets at either end of the rink during stop-time periods of play. But there the comparisons between ringette and hockey really end. The stick is straight. The object being pursued by players is a rubber ring, not a puck. There is no intentional body contact. And 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 speed and agility.
Internationally, ringette is played in a number of countries around the world, including Finland, Sweden, the United States, France, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Since 1990, a world ringette championship has been held on a regular basis, with Canada and Finland being the predominant challengers. Canadian ringette athletes have continuously served as ambassadors of the sport, introducing ringette in countries as far away as Japan, Australia, Germany and New Zealand. High performance ringette athletes develop through provincial AA programs, the Canada Winter Games Program, the National Ringette League, and the U19 and Senior National Team Programs.
In Nova Scotia there are ringette associations and university teams in many parts of the province offering a variety of programs for individuals of all ages. If you are looking for a team sport that promotes fun, sportsmanship, fair play and a healthy lifestyle then ringette might be for you!
For more information on ringette programs offered in Nova Scotia, please contact us.