Take 5 with… Janyce Gunn

Take 5 minutes to get to know our officials supervisors, on-ice officials, shot clock operators, and more.

Our next installment features Janyce Gunn, who has been involved in ringette since athletes wore figure skates and mittens! 


Where did your officiating journey begin?

“I can hardly believe it, but I have been involved with ringette for 50 years now. When I started playing, we wore figure skates, and helmets without masks. Sweatshirts were our team uniform, and I wore mittens instead of hockey gloves. We certainly have come a long way from there! In my second year, I had to get ‘boys skates’ and it seemed like every year after that, more and more equipment was introduced, as the sport continued to get faster and more physical.

“I started officiating when I was 15 years old, and have been reffing ever since. I stopped playing several years ago, but officiating has allowed me to remain involved in the sport I love. Living just 45 minutes east of Toronto (where there are 4 larger ringette associations within a 15 minute drive from my home) gave me the opportunity to be involved in many games and tournaments, which was a real benefit when I was first starting out. I always appreciated the encouragement and support I received from the experienced referees in my region as I progressed through the levels.

I started reffing at our Provincial Championships and have officiated at 15 Canadian Ringette Championships. I was honoured to be part of a great team of officials at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax. Another highlight for me was being able to take part in the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown as one of the supervisors. Today, I still officiate locally, but have taken on a supervisor’s role at the CRC’s for the past 6 years. I have evaluated many of our ‘up and coming’ officials this year and am so pleased with the hustle and enthusiasm our Level 2 and Level 3 officials have displayed for our sport.”


What advice do you have for officials?

“I would recommend that if you are new to officiating, accept games that are at your level. Don’t get yourself into games that are over your head. It takes time to build confidence. Initially, blowing your whistle to make a crease or a blue line call can seem daunting, but the more games you do, the easier it gets. If you have been officiating for a few years and hope to advance through the ranks, I would recommend you try to get as much feedback as possible – and to be open to receiving that feedback. During tournaments, listen to the officials as they talk about interesting or unique situations in their games, to learn from them. If something happens in a game and you aren’t sure that you made the right call, check your Case Book so that you will get it right the next time. If you are on the ice during a game and realize you have made a mistake, own it, and fix it if you can. Hopefully, players and coaches will understand that we can all make mistakes, but correcting your mistake is the best way.


What are you most looking forward to at the 2024 CRCs?

“As we approach the end of the season and another CRC’s is around the corner, I look forward to seeing my friends on the “Officiating Team” and look forward to watching some fabulous, fast ringette. If you have never officiated, and enjoy the sport, get involved. Find a Referee Clinic at the beginning of next season. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. You will love it!! ”


Thank you for joining us in for this Take 5 series! Catch all the CRC #Dieppe2024 action in Dieppe, NB, April 7-13, 2024 live or on the Ringette Canada YouTube channel.

Territory acknowledgement

While we are a proud Canadian organization, we acknowledge that our head office is located on traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Ringette Canada extends our respect to all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples for their valuable contributions to this land. We are committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

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