The St. Albert Ringette Association has announced the launch of a 3-on-3 league this spring, with games to be played at Servus Credit Union Place from April 19th to June 6th.
Including the league’s finals, teams will play ten games throughout the spring season.
The league will host four teams in each of its three age divisions, with each team comprising 12 skaters and a goalie. In total, over 100 athletes are expected to partake.
All players under the age of 19 are eligible to play, however U10 players must have Step 3 ringette experience prior to registration.
For players who are only familiar with the traditional version of ringette, this spring league will provide an opportunity to develop a different set of on-ice skills. As SARA executive Ryan McNeil points out, having fewer players on the ice can make for a quicker and more demanding matchup.
“3v3 is a completely different game from traditional ringette – it is faster paced, and higher scoring, with very few stoppages of play. With only three players on the ice, everyone must be involved in all facets of the game.”
And the differences aren’t just stylistic — there are also a number of unique rules.
“Some of the specific rule changes include all penalties resulting in a penalty shot, and when there is a goal margin greater than four the team that is down is allowed to add a fourth player to the ice until the spread is reduced to two – this helps ensure all games are competitive and exciting. Other than in a few instances, play never stops – for example after a goal, the scoring team must retreat past the red line, and the team that is scored against can immediately restart the play and head up ice.”
But the fact that this iteration of the sport can at times feel novel and more challenging is no reason for less experienced players to shy away, insists McNeil. Even relative newcomers are encouraged to sign up.
“Teams are comprised of players at all different skill levels. Many of these players are friends or have played together in the past when they were younger, and while they don’t usually get the chance to play together, 3v3 provides an opportunity for them to team up again and have some fun.”
Like many youth sports organizations throughout the city, creating chances for year-round play is a key priority for SARA.
“Giving our players an extra opportunity to stay on the ice helps with player development and retention, but most importantly, it provides the players with an opportunity to play with their friends in a positive and healthy environment,” added McNeil. “Keeping young athletes, especially young females, involved in sport is very important to the association, and this is another way to help do that. This is an inclusive program that welcomes players of all skill levels and is focused on fun.”
Registration for the league will open at 10:00 AM on February 3rd. The fee for skaters is $199, and the fee for goalies is $99.
A 24-hour priority registration window will be in place for existing SARA players, and all inquiries can be directed to [email protected] .