What it’s like to play

Ringette a one-of-a-kind sport

By: Elizabeth Merritt (@emerritt95)

Ringette is a one of a kind sport that is often overlooked.

“I had tried out hockey and I hated it,” says Kennedy Younger of U19A Calgary North Rage and has played ringette for 13 years.

“It’s like nothing else matters except doing your job every shift and doing it for your teammates,” shares Younger.

Younger just competed in the 18th Annual Western Canadian Ringette Championships in Calgary and won gold in the U19A division. She started ringette when she was five years old after watching a University of Alberta game.

“I loved everything about it ever since then, how much fun it was, how fast I could go, the challenge that came along with learning how to pass and stab the ring,” says Younger.

“I continued with the sport because no matter what team I was playing on, I always had so much fun pushing myself to be better for my coaches, my teammates and myself,” explains Younger.

“Thinking and trying out new plays in practice, getting bag skated until I was going to puke, the dressing room talks, the hilarious team events at hotels,” says Younger.

Even though some games can be frustrating when they’re lost, it makes you want to practice harder to feel the amazing feel of winning.

Ringette is a sport invented in North Bay Ontario in 1963 by Sam Jacks and is played by girls mostly and it’s a combination for floor hockey and lacrosse. It’s played on ice just like hockey, has the same equipment, and some of the same rules.

“There’s nothing that quite compares to the rush you get after making a sweet play of scoring a nice goal and there’s nothing that compares to playing the game,” explains Younger.

In ringette you have to pass the ring across the blue line, you cannot enter the goalie’s crease, and only three players from each team not including goalies are allowed in the end zone of the rink past the ringette line.

Instead of using a stick with a blade and a puck ringette uses a straight stick and a rubber ring. There are no off sides in ringette so a team can have one of the players as the “cherry picker” down by the other team’s end of the rink.

“My favourite thing about ringette is the headspace I get into when I’m on that ice. It’s like literally nothing else matters except doing your job every shift and doing it for your teammates,” says Younger.

The atmosphere during games changes game by game depending on what the outcome of the game holds. Tournament games have a more intense atmosphere right from the start of game one because there is a chance the tournament could be cut short for any team at anytime.

“Ringette has taught me so many things that I can apply to my life like how effective teamwork is and how dedication and hard work does pay off,” says Younger.

“My favourite experience of ringette would be winning the gold medal game in overtime in WCRC. That was the best moment in my life and nothing will ever compare to seeing that goal go in and hugging and jumping on the pile of my teammates,” shares Younger.

In ringette you have to be dependent on your teammates in order to succeed in games because you can’t go end to end with the ring.

“There’s nothing that quite compares to playing the game. It’s such an adrenaline rush and it’s awesome that you get to experience it with some of your best friends!” explains Younger.

“Everything about ringette made me continue to play and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!” shares Younger.

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