The Newmarket and District Ringette Association is holding a Come Try Ringette event on April 23 to introduce new players to the sport.
The event takes place at 2:15 p.m. at the Magna Centre in Newmarket. Children age four and up will be able to learn about ringette and give it a try, as well as enjoy some games and activities off the ice and giveaways, said association president Alyssia Byers.
Ringette is similar to hockey as there are five players plus a goalie from each team on the ice at the same time, and the aim is to get an object into the opposing team's net using a stick, however, Byers said there are a lot of differences, too.
Ringette moves faster and requires more team effort as a single player cannot carry the ring across the blue line and must pass it. The stick is straight with no curve and there's a ring instead of a puck.
The ring-and-stick combination requires less stick handling, so there's more focus on skating skills, which has attracted a lot of active hockey players to the sport as an opportunity to improve their skating, Byers said.
It's also a social sport — Byers said the motto is "fun and friendships happen on ice."
She said players who start young often stick with the sport as they grow up, adding that her own two daughters have been playing for 11 and nine years respectively.
Ringette has typically been a female-dominated sport, but it is open to males and they are welcome to attend the upcoming event.
In the past, Byers said the Come Try Ringette events have been a big success and last year more than half of the people who took part registered for the season.
The Newmarket and District Ringette Association serves Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury and Bradford. It has an U10 fun team, which plays locally, as well as regional competitive U12, U14, U16 and U19 teams.
Anyone aged four and older is invited to the Come Try Ringette event and registration is open online. Participants need to bring skates, a helmet, and mittens or gloves but sticks will be provided. You are asked to arrive by 1:45 p.m. for registration so you are ready to hit the ice by 2:15 p.m.
Byers said anyone with questions about the event or the sport can contact her at [email protected].