Ringette is a Canadian team sport that was invented in 1963 by Sam Jacks, a recreation director and sports enthusiast from North Bay, Ontario. Ringette was born after Sam Jacks saw a need for a winter team sport for girls. Interestingly enough, Sam Jacks was also responsible for the development and introduction of floor hockey in 1936.
Originally play centered mainly in Ontario and Quebec, but quickly spread throughout the country and is now played in every province except Newfoundland, as well as in the Territories. The sport currently boasts over 30,000 registered players on over 2000 teams, with over 8000 coaches and over 1500 officials. While it is primarily a female sport, there are currently over 700 males playing ringette across the country.
Internationally, ringette is played in a number of countries around the world, including Finland, Sweden, the United States, France, Slovakia, Russia, the Czech Republic, Japan, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and Abu Dubai. 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 across the world.
Over the years, ringette has noted many achievements and accomplishments. These include the establishment of a Hall of Fame, which recognizes outstanding ringette achievements and contributions to the development of the sport; the introduction of a Learn to Skate Program for four to six year olds; a successful National Team Program; the introduction of a U19 program; the development of programs such as the National Coaching Certification Program and the National Officiating Certification Program; the development and implementation of a comprehensive Long Term Athlete Development model and a Come Try Ringette recruitment system; and an expanding National Ringette League
Ringette has been part of the Canada Winter Games since 1991 when the event was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.