Children’s Ringette initiative is now in program development phase
Ringette Canada is pleased to report that our Children’s Ringette initiative is now in program development phase. Children’s Ringette refers to all programs up to and including U10 and U12 programs and represents a concerted effort to make adjustments to ringette practices and competitions to meet the needs of children. It also promotes a fun, safe and healthy environment that supports the development of physical literacy and the long-term development of all players.
Over the course of the coming seasons, a number of positive changes will be introduced, starting with the phasing in of small-area games (cross-ice and half-ice ringette) as the standard of play. Asking young children to play on a full-ice surface when they are first learning to skate and pass the ring is similar to asking older players to play on an enormous frozen soccer field. The move to small-area games reduces the playing area and scales the game to the size of its players.
“Developing skills at a young age is a very important step in the overall growth of any player,” noted Natasha Johnston, Executive Director, Ringette Canada. “We want to be able to give children the best opportunity to acquire these important skills, and our Children’s Ringette initiative creates a perfect environment to make that happen.”
Some of the benefits of small-area games include: each player being able to spend more time with the ring, leading to improved ring control, passing and shooting skills; more opportunities to apply practiced skills; more opportunities to accelerate/decelerate and change directions, reinforcing fundamental skating skills; and smaller nets provide an appropriate challenge for skaters and goalies.
By changing the format of games, we also hope to influence the way practices are run. In essence, we’re changing the “test” games to better support development so that coaches who “teach to the test” will focus more on the right skills.
To find out more about our Children’s Ringette initiative, including an overview of what is happening in your province, please visit the Children’s Ringette section of our website here.