Esso Golden Ring brings A teams to city

The 27th annual Esso Golden Ring Tournament awarded a dozen teams from across Western Canada with gold medals and trophies for their accomplishments on Sunday.

152 all-girls teams competed in age categories ranging from seven to 19 at the world’s largest ringette tournament that took place in the city.

The games were fast and exciting, leaving few to wonder why ringette is one of Canada’s fastest growing female sports.

“[The] tournament’s been excellent — jammed packed, lots of games, lots of action, lots of competition, and lots of fun,” said Jay Heard, under-14 B assistant coach for the Calgary E Xtreme.

Chris Broadurst, head coach of Zone 5 — an under-19 AA team made up of players from areas surrounding Edmonton — was happy with how the girls played. He said they “had a game plan and stuck to it,” and hopes to have the same results next year since there will be a good number of returning players.

The Calgary E Xtreme ringette team celebrating after a 4-3 victory against the Sherwood Park Bomb.

Photo by Kassidy Christensen

Sam Jacks created ringette in 1963 in North Bay, Ont. It is similar to hockey in the sense that it is played using skates and on ice, but it uses wooden sticks and a rubber ring and has a different set of rules. Games consist of only two periods, making the sport very fast-paced. Ringette is most popular in Canada — as it is a Canadian invention — but many countries around the world have both male and female leagues of their own.

The tournament also hosted three National Ringette League games featuring the Calgary RATH, giving spectators a chance to watch a higher level of the game.

kchristensen@cjournal.ca