Ringette’s History

As we know, there is a multitude of sports available for all types of personalities. But today, let’s talk about a sport that was exclusive to women: ringette. Where does it come from? Why was it only for women? Learn more about this young Canadian sport.

The Beginnings

First, ringette was created in 1963 by Sam Jack (concept) and Mirl McCarthy (regulations) in Ontario. After the first regulations were created, the first games of that sport were played in northern Ontario in 1964 (mostly in local high schools). The following years lead to the spread of the sport in the surrounding areas.

Fifteen years later, while ringette is a sport that has grown in many provinces across Canada, representatives go to Finland to promote that sport. Following their ideas of greatness, the ringette representatives in Canada decide to introduce the sport in Sweden and in Soviet Union.

This gives a good start to the sport and helps it to evolve with the addition of new rules such as the concept of enlarged zone in 1986. Also in 1986, Canada, France, Finland, the United States and Sweden found the International Ringette Federation. This federation leads to the first international ringette tournament that takes place in Finland the same year.

In 1990, the first World Championship is held in Ontario, in the city of Gloucester. Not surprisingly, this is a Canadian team that takes the first title of world champion and, by the same time, the first trophy Sam Jacks named in honor of the inventor of the sport.

The 30 seconds rule

Continuing its rise, the sport connects national and international competitions. In 2002, a major rule is integrated: the stopwatch rule of 30 seconds. This admits that a team has only 30 seconds, from taking possession of the ring, to carry out an attack on the opposing goalkeeper otherwise the ring is given back to the other team. By its operation, the change to the regulation brings an increase in the speed of games in a global manner.

In 2004, the National Ringette League (NRL) was created, with 17 Canadian teams. Then, the sport knows a rise and a presence in several international sport events.

Why women only?

At the time of the invention of the sport, Sam Jacks was of the opinion that there was a lack of a women’s team winter sport. Thus, he wanted a sport that allowed women to be able to practice a competitive sport without  any kind of «dangerous» risks. Moreover, ringette is a sport where it is totally forbidden to make physical contact, because Mr. Jacks wanted a sport with the least possible risk.

Less risk does not mean less dynamic. In fact, as the sport is similar to hockey, but where the puck is replaced by a rubber ring that must be controlled with a stick without a paddle, it becomes easier to maneuver. As a result, since the rubber ring is easier to maneuver, the majority of games are played at a much faster pace.

Also know that now, the sport is open to boys and it is possible for them to play! So what are you waiting for?  :D