Supporting and promoting international sport worldwide

Spotlight on Ringette

Ringette is a winter season sport played on an ice rink using ice skates. The game can be credited to Canadians Samuel Perry Jacks and Mirl McCarthy. Both led the Northern Ontario Recreation Directors Association (NORDA). Samuel Jacks was originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to Canada with his family in 1920. A creator and inventor, Jacks can also be credited with floor hockey. Mirl McCarthy, also known as Red, was a Canadian sports star in baseball, football, track and field, and hockey. The birthplace of ringette is shared by the city of North Bay and the town of Espanola, both in Ontario. Espanola had the honours of staging the first game in 1963 under the direction of McCarthy, the same year the sport was also invented. The common myth connected to ringette is that the sport was created for girls as they were not allowed to play ice hockey. This is of course not true. At the draft of the first set of ringette rules, there were already programs in place for girls in ice hockey and broomball. The problem is that these programs were unsuccessful in drawing in and maintaining female participation during the winter season. The creation of ringette was to correct the problem in the administration of sport for females in the regional areas.   

Ringette is played in two halves of 20 minutes each. In the National Ringette League, the format is four quarters of 13 minutes each. A team may only have six players on the ice at one time. This will be made up of a goaltender, two defenders, two forwards, and one centre. The goaltender may also be pulled during the game and replaced with a defensive or offensive player. The sport has an indoor and outdoor version. The indoor court version is called gym ringette, while the winter sport is played on an ice rink. The main objective to win a match is to score more goals than your opponents. Players wear ice hockey skates and with exception of the goaltender, carry a straight stick that has a ridged plastic tip at the end. The sport uses a blue rubber pneumatic ring. One of the main features of ringette is that it does not involve intentional body contact on an opponent. The sport is officially mixed but has a primary popularity among female participants. The International Ringette Federation (IRF) is the official governing body for the sport worldwide. Ringette is a growing sport and the federation is responsible to promote and develop it. In addition to setting the rules and ensuring that current member nations maintain the integrity of the sport, IRF also oversee the management of competitions. This includes the World Championship.  

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