Creating Developmentally Appropriate Opportunities and Meaningful Competition
Ringette Canada's Children’s Ringette initiative represents a concerted effort to adjust ringette practices and competitions to meet the needs of children while promoting a fun, safe and healthy environment which supports the development of physical literacy and the long-term development of all players.
Children’s Ringette is a program that provides age and stage appropriate physical activity experiences for ringette players under the age of ten. The program is tailored to suit each child's developmental stage, rather than their age. They are able to develop foundational ringette skills, such as skating and ring control, and move up to the next stage when they're ready.
Highlights of Children's Ringette:
Ringette experience that is tailored to the age, size, and skill level of participants
Participants are grouped by developmental stages rather than chronological ages
Emphasis on fun, play and fundamental skill development
Maximized opportunities for participation and engagement
Adapted gameplay including small-area games and small nets
Divisions within Children's Ringette
There are three progressive age divisions within Children’s Ringette - FUNdamentals 1 (FUN1), FUNdamentals 2 (FUN2), and U10 (FUN3).
FUN1 is for children who are new to ringette or skating, learning basic game structure, and still developing basic skills, this group plays cross-ice.
FUN2 is for children who are learning to lengthen their stride, ready to learn more rules of ringette, and have developed some basic skills, this group plays Mini Ringette.
U10 (FUN3) is for children who demonstrate that they have acquired the physical, cognitive, and social readiness for more challenging play, this group plays full-sized ringette.
Both FUN 1 & 2 divisions use small-sized nets and play adapted games of 3 on 3 and 4 on 4 respectively. Smaller spaces ensure more touches, interactions, shots on net, and passes. Teams are split into smaller squads to ensure the majority of players are participating at a time. With these adaptations in the FUNdamentals divisions, children can experience maximum participation, practice learned skills, and move through divisions based on skill and readiness.
And it isn't only Ringette that is moving towards a more child-friendly sport experience! Check out these videos below to learn about some of the research behind the Children’s Ringette program, and to see what other Provinces and other sports are doing.