For a number years, students at Trent have been trying very hard to create a ringette team, and this year it has finally happened, Trent Ringette has finally managed to hit the ice.

The team  this year has 13 players all from Trent and a male goalie from Fleming.

Trent Ringette is doing multiple fundraisers to  raise money to help support this new team. The first is this upcoming Monday and Tuesday, November 26 and 27, there is a jar raffle at Bata Library. The second will be happening in early January when the team begins to sell their 2013 year calendar portraying the lives of “The Girls Under the Equipment.”

As of now,  the team  will  be competing in two  Ringette tournaments. The first takes place in Ajax’s from January 8 until 10, and the second in Whitby from February 11 until 13.

Now that we know a little bit about Trent’s new Ringette team, it is time to  learn a little bit about ringette.

Ringette combines the speed of hockey, the team play of soccer, and the fast transitions of basketball, making it a fun and challenging sport, and truly the fastest game on ice. It was developed in 1963 by Sam Jacks, the late Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of North Bay, Ontario, but the first complete set of rules for Ringette were not composed until 1964.

Let’s begin with  the players. Generally a team has anywhere between 12-16 players, and only six, including the goalie, are allowed on the ice at a time.  A team at regular strength on the ice plays with a centre, two forwards known as the left and right wingers, two defensemen and a goalie. The teams can change players on the ice during a stopped play or on the  move. If the players are changing lines on the go, only the  regulation number of players can get involved in the play, or a penalty is assessed for too many players on the ice.

Next up is the playing surface. Ringette is played on a rink similar to a hockey. It has five circles which  are known as the “free pass circles,” one in  the center and two in each end. These circles are used to start play. Each circle is divided in half, and a team starts play with the ring on the ice in their half of the circle. There are also two  blue lines that divide the ice into thirds.

From one team’s perspective, there is the offensive zone (the opponent’s end), the neutral zone (the middle of the ice), and the defensive zone. At the end of the ice in each end, just inside the blue lines, a thin red line runs across the ice touching the top of the free pass circles. This is called the “free play line”.  The goalie’s crease is a semi-circle around the goal mouth, eight feet in radius.

In  the goalie’s crease, not any other player from  either team is allowed to enter, or play the ring if it is in the crease. The goalie must play the ring within 5 seconds or the offensive gets the ring in  the nearest free pass circle to the goalie crease. The goalie can’t draw or carry the ring into the crease from outside the crease. If a team pulls its goalie for an extra skater, one of those skaters can enter the goal crease and play as if they are the goalie. But they must follow all the rules that a goalie would follow with respect to a goalie ring.

If a  player is skating with the ring, they can’t carry the ring over a blue line, the ring must be passed across the line to another player and a pass cannot cross two blue lines. When all six players are on the ice, only three skaters from either team are allowed into the free play zone. Players can trade the ring as they enter and leave the free play zone, as long as the limit of three players is met.

With the Ringette season just around the corner, we should wish  the new Trent ringette team the best of luck and show them  our support any way we can.