If you happen to be a local parent pondering which extra-curricular activity to put your child into this winter, the Quesnel Ringette Association would like you to consider enrolling them in the “fastest game on ice.”
Don’t know what ringette is? Think it’s just like hockey but for girls?
You might not be alone. But, there are many differences.
It does share similarities with hockey. There are goaltenders and the objective is to score a projectile past them. But the game play is very different.
For instance, there is a shot clock, meaning teams have 30 seconds from gaining possession to take a shot on the opposing net.
Players also have to pass the ring over the blue line, so there are no end-to-end charges by the most skillful or forceful player on the team.
“It takes a lot of skating skill and is very team based,” says association promoter Robyn Cassidy.
“You can’t have a superstar in ringette who scores all the goals. To move it up the ice, everybody has to be in there and playing.”
The sport has been played in Quesnel for more than 25 years with varying levels of popularity.
Those who have embraced it have found some success and had the opportunity to travel.
Jayden Mullen, 18, has been playing the sport for 11 years.
“You can make a ton of friends and connections and go very far with it,” she says.
She had the opporutnity to play in the Western Canadian Championship in Regina in 2013 and even made her way overseas to Sweden and Finland for in an international tournament in 2015.
The strategy, skill and team work required to be successful are all attractive to her.
“From a young age you learn great fundamental skating skills,” she says.
“There’s a lot of thinking and reading the plays and trying to figure out what your next move is on the fly.”
Mullen discusses the thinking and co-ordination that goes into scoring a goal in the sport.
“When you’re in the offensive zone, because the defence is set up as a triangle, you have to use all three of your players to pass around in order to move the defensive triangle and get an open shot.”
She passed on her knowledge for three years as a coach but took the last year off in order to concentrate on Grade 12. However, Mullen still plays and will help out the older groups whenever they need it.
For those interested in giving the sport a shot, sign-up is ongoing.
More information is available at quesnelringette.ca.