Timeline

Ringette History in BC: A Timeline

This timeline we are building is a work in progress. If you have additional information, or spot something incorrect, please contact us: [email protected].

1963

  • Sam Jacks, a Parks and Recreation Director from North Bay, Ontario, invented ringette.

1973

  • May
    • Ringette in BC was started by Gertrude Marguerite (Trudy) Cuthbert, a member of the Langley Recreation Commission. Trudy lived in Langley for 4.5 years and in 1973 was a candidate for Alderman. She had been a Langley Recreation Commission member for 3 years where she was the founding member and a director of the Langley Family Life Association, the secretary of the Juvenile and Family Court Committee, and a director of the Langley Big Sister Organization. Her husband, Charlie Cuthbert, was the local superintendent of schools.
    • In a newspaper article, Trudy explains that 300 girls have expressed interest in playing an ice sport, stating that “recreation is just as important for girls as it is for boys.”
  • June 21
    • A girls hockey committee is formed. The newspaper reports that the committee is pursuing a project to gauge the interest of girls who want to play hockey at Langley’s new arena. Trudy Cuthbert was named the chair of the committee. Also on the steering group are Linda Taylor (Langley), Eileen Carpenter (Aldergrove), Christine Godler (Fort Langley), Pat Rawluck (Fort Langley), and Marilyn Mufford of Milner (Langley). There appears to be a special interest amongst girls in grande 10. View newspaper article. 
  • September
    • Trudy Cuthbert became the head of a steering committee tasked with bringing a girls team ice sport to local arenas.
    • According to the Langley Advance newspaper, the task force had a goal to determine which form of hockey it would end up being: the standard style hockey or the new alternative called “ringette hockey.”
  • November
    • Trudy Cuthbert and Eileen Carpenter were successful in bringing ringette to Langley, making it the first municipality in BC to offer the sport.
    • The Langley Advance newspaper announced that the registration for "ringette hockey" opens on December 1st at the Langley Civic Arena, at the Fort Langley Community Hall, and at Lorne's Lumber in Aldergrove. Registration proved successful with over 200 girls registering. Eighteen teams were formed for the new league.
    • The new league’s executive was as follows: Trudy Cuthbert (President), Bob Bailey (Vice-President), Eileen Carpenter (Corresponding Secretary), Linda Taylor (Recording Secretary), Roberta Bailey (Treasurer), Fred Boyd (Head Coach), and Pat Rawluk (Player’s Representative).
    • A meeting was held on November 4th at the Aldergrove Legion where parents had a chance to offer their input into the new sport. The meeting concluded with an enthusiastic response.
    • A meeting was held on November 11th at the Langley Legion for parents to discuss the new league. An advertisement is in the Langley Advance newspaper (November 8) calling the sport :ringette hockey."
  • December
    • On December 19 a parents meeting of the new league was held to question the ice time allotted to ringette at the Langley Civic Arena because the ringette group was only provided with 1.5 hours a week. In response, the rink manager stated that ringette was being organized right as ice was being sold, and so ringette missed out on the opportunity. The three user groups - minor hockey, figure skating and the Langley Lords hockey team, were not interested in giving up or selling their ice to make room for ringette.
    • During this time, the Aldergrove ice arena opened on December 24. The arena is a private rink built by Jack Loeppky, a local realtor. Free skating is offered on Dec 24, 26 and Jan 1 and many new ringette players take the ice.

1974

  • January
    • January 3 marks the first day of the first season of ringette in British Columbia. The first game takes place at the Aldergrove Arena. According to the Langley Advance newspaper, “over 200 Langley girls have registered for the first season and have been participating in skating practices at the Langley arena in preparation for the league opening.”
    • Meanwhile, Jack Loeppky worked to find 8 hours of ice per week for ringette at the rink. The new ringette league is called “Langley Municipality Ringette”
  • February
    • By February, there were 280 girls and 14 teams in the Langley Municipality Ringette league. Each team was sponsored by a different business, who provided each player with a new jersey. Businesses also donated paint, plywood, doors and materials used to build a storage room and to paint ringette sticks red, white or blue.
    • The new league received a $2,000 grant from the provincial government for ice time and a $1,500 grant from the municipality of Langley. The budget for the first season was over $9,000.
  • March
    • Langley Municipality Ringette held a parents day at the Aldergrove Arena, which began at 9:30am and ended at 12:30pm. Parent's day was a showcase of ringette where all 14 teams played a 20-minute game each for the benefit of the spectators and parents in attendance. Guests were invited from around the Lower Mainland.
  • April
    • The first season of ringette was closed.

1975

  • Langley Municipality Ringette splits to form the Langley Ringette Association and the Aldergrove Ringette Association.
  • The Port Coquitlam Ringette Association was founded with Bev Felske as its first President.
  • Ringette was featured for the first time on Hockey Night in Canada.

1977

  • BCRA Provincial Championships are held at the Langley Civic Centre, March 26-27 with a referee & coaches meeting held on March 22 where rules were reviewed and a draw for 'team positions' was held.

1976

  • The BC Ringette Association was formed and the first provincial championship was held on March 27-28. The championship featured teams from the Langley Ringette Association, the Aldergrove Ringette Association and the Port Coquitlam Ringette Association.
  • In the petite division, Willies Septic Tanks and Linders Well Drilling, a team from Aldergrove were the provincial champions.

1978

  • The North Shore Winter Club Ringette was formed for the 1977-78 serason, Peter Griffin was a moving force behind bringing ringette to the area.
  • The North West Vancouver Ringette Association was formed.
  • Ringette was included in the BC Winter Games for the first time. Port Coquitlam hosts the 3rd Provincial Championships, March 11-12

1979

  • Aldergrove Ringette hosts the provincial ringette championships, March 16-18. Participants requested a banner that reads “welcome to Aldergrove, the Ringette capital of BC.”
  • The first national ringette tournament was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. BC sent a belle team.
  • Canada sends a ringette team to Finland for the first time.

1980

  • In 1980, newspapers reported that teams or clubs were being proposed or established in Victoria, Squamish, West Vancouver, Kitimat, Terrace, Prince Rupert and Prince George.
  • The Prince George Ringette Association was formed.

1982

  • In 1982, Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, and Howe Sound had teams participating in provincial championships at the exhibition level.
  • By 1982, members in BC ringette included Aldergrove, Fraser Lake, Howe Sound, Langley, North Shore Winter Club, Port Coquitlam, Prince George, North West Vancouver, Richmond (registered with NWV), and Vanderhoof.
  • A BC Ringette newsletter states that ringette programs are being initiated in Bellingham, WA and Grand Forks, BC.
  • Langley Ringette Association hosts Provincials March 11-14 at the Langley and Aldergrove arenas.
  • BC Ringette members participate in an ‘exchange' with Synchronized Swim Team from Hull, Quebec during the off-season. Athletes and chaperones from BC traveled to Hull where athletes were billeted with members of the swim team and vice versa.
  • Ringette Canada opens its national office and hires its first Executive Director, Wes Clark.

1983

  • Marilyn Egan of Abbotsford and Director of Publicity for Aldergrove Ringette, is hoping ringette will get started in the Abbotsford area.
  • The Salmon Arm Observer notes that “just over 700 girls are playing ringette in BC.”

1984

  • Surrey Ringette Association was formed.
  • Delta Ringette Association was formed and had 83 players for its first year.
  • Port Coquitlam Ringette Association hosts the National Ringette Championships in Port Coquitlam. Team BC wins silver in the Junior division.
  • Princeton has a ringette team.
  • Sandie and Bill Bryson (Penticton) are in Oliver as part of the Conference of BC Recreation Directors - representing the BC Ringette Association and promoting the sport.
  • Annette Wood starts a ringette team in Chetwynd after the women's hockey team in the area folded. 

1985

  • Aldergrove Ringette has 85 registrants. 
  • The Houston Ringette Association was formed by Lyle McNabb, who was its first President.
  • Chilliwack Ringette was started on October 9. It would run until 1992. Chilliwack had 17 girls registered from ages six to 16. Anne McAstocker was the coach.
  • Osoyoos forms its first ringette team.
  • Ringette forms in Burns Lake, Nikki Arsenault and Iris Unger start it.
  • Terrace, Smithers, Fernie, and Kitimat form ringette associations.
  • Revelstoke attempts to start ringette, question is put to the Parks and Rec department. 

1986

  • The Oliver Ringette Association was formed with Jim Harrington it’s organizer. However, by 1988 there were no more teams in Oliver.
  • Osoyoos offered a ringette school running from August 4-8, 1986.
  • Osoyoos has three ringette teams
  • Ringette teams form in Penticton and Kelowna.
  • The International Ringette Federation (IRF) was founded by Canada, Finland, France, Sweden and the United States. That year the first international ringette tournament was held in Finland.
  • First multi-day ringette camp in BC was held at Camp Cheekeye in Squamish. Participants and instructors stayed in cabins on site.

1987

  • The Abbotsford Ringette Association was formed by Jack Bailey.
  • BC Belle team wins bronze at Canadian Ringette Championships in Kitchener, Ontario

1988

  • Ringette is included in the BC Winter Games that takes place in Dawson Creek.

1989

  • Osoyoos has teams for players 3-18, and plays in the “Okanagan-Thompson Mainland League.”

1990

  • The first World Ringette Championship was held in Gloucester, Ontario where Team Alberta earned the gold.
  • B and C division provincial championships were held in Oliver and Osoyoos.
  • By 1990 Okanagan teams were established in Kamloops, Enderby, Lumby, Kelowna, Westbank, Penticton and Osoyoos.
  • Quesnel played its first ringette game on December 9, 1990 against Prince George. Former Chetwynd coach Annette Wood was instrumental in bringing the game to town after she moved to Quesnel. 

1991

  • Ringette was included in the Canada Winter Games for the first time, held in PEI. Team BC was included where it earned the bronze medal.

1992

  • Abbotsford-Matsqui Ringette Association was formed after Chilliwack Ringette Association folded. Registration was held on May 30, Fred Benz and Sherry Evans were behind the new association.
  • Port Coquitlam hosts the 1992 Canadian National Ringette Championships.
  • Quesnel hosts the C Division provincials. Teams attending include: Vanderhoof, Vernon, Langley, Port Coquitlam, Howe Sound, Terrace, Prince George, Kelowna, Lumby, Burns Lake, Enderby, Houston and Chetwynd. 

1993

  • The Nanaimo Ringette Association was formed and had 60 players by its second year.
  • Osoyoos ringette folded.
  • A provincial championship was held in Salmon Arm this year.
  • Vanderhoof Ringette Association reports 29 registered players, and is looking for more.

1994

  • The Lower Mainland Ringette League registered as a BC Society on August 2.
  • The Provincial C Championships are scheduled for Surrey from April 1-3.
  • The Provincial B Championships were held in Vernon.

1995

  • Ringette sends Team BC to the Canada Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Team BC earns the bronze medal.
  • Langley Ringette Association amalgamates with the Aldergrove Ringette Association to become the Fraser Valley Ringette Association.
  • Penticton hosts the Snogopogo Tournament.
  • Enderby Ringette has four teams this year - Novice, Petite, Tween and Junior. This is the first year that the Junior division has been offered in the association.
  • The Provincial B Championships are held in Richmond. The Provincial A Championships are held in Port Coquitlam. Enderby hosted the Provincial Ringette Playdowns to determine who will represent BC at the national tournament in Ontario; TORL all-stars won Jr.; Lower Mainland belles won.

1996

  • Team Canada won the International Sam Jacks trophy in the 1996 Word Championship after defeating Finland in a thrilling 6-5 overtime victory. Tracy Townsend (Crowe) from BC is on the team. 

1999

  • Team BC attended the Canada Winter Games held in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.
  • Ringette Canada announced the National Women’s Team Program and player selection camps were held throughout the country.

2000

  • Prince George Ringette Association hosts the 2000 National Ringette Championships. BC finishes third in the Belle and Intermediate divisions.
  • The 30-second shot clock was introduced to the game. 2002 The National Ringette League (NRL) was established. BC’s team at the time was called the BC Reign.
  • Edmonton hosts the World Ringette Championships in front of a sell-out crowd. It was televised on CBC TV. An impressive 144,000 viewers tuned in to see Canada win the title 3-1 over Finland. (RC website) Leanne Ball (Ross) (Port Coquitlam), Kim Beach (Delta), Blair Whitmarsh (Langley), a metal training coach, were on the roster.
  • Quesnel hosts the BC Winter Games February 24-27, ringette is included. 

2003

  • The Western Ringette Championships were started. Typically held at the end of March, the competition involves teams from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia competing in U14, U16, U19 and 18+ divisions of competition.
  • Team BC sends a team to the Canada Winter Games held in Bathhurst and Campbellton, New Brunswick. Team BC earns the bronze medal.

2007

  • Team BC sends a team to Whitehorse, Yukon for the Canada Winter Games.
  • Shannon Bettles (Langley) and Kim Beach (Delta) are named to the senior national team that competed at the World Ringette Championship in Ottawa. Tracy Townsend (Langley) was an assistant coach with the team. Team Canada earned the silver medal, Finland won the gold.

2008

  • Prince George Ringette Association hosts the 2008 Western Ringette Championships.

2010

  • Comox Valley Ringette Association was formed. It started with a small masters team and a U10 team of children 7 to 12 years old. Haley Hill is one of the people who started the association.
  • Fraser Valley Avalanche based in Langley, joins the National Ringette League.
  • 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of ringette in Canada.
  • The 2002 National Women’s Team was included into the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame. Leanne Ross, Kim Beach are from BC.

2011

  • The Lower Mainland Ringette League Thunder was formed in 2011, and joined the NRL that year. Team BC sent a team to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the Canada Winter Games.
  • The Ringette Heritage Tour visits Quesnel. 2012 Burnaby New Westminster Ringette hosts the 2012 Canadian Ringette Nationals.
  • The Lower Mainland Thunder won gold at Nationals in the NRL Division, the first time a team from BC has done so. The LMRL Thunder become the BC Thunder, a name meant to better reflect the team’s reach.

2015

  • Team BC sends a team to the Canada Winter Games in Prince George.

2016

  • Chilliwack Ringette Association was formed again. There were 18 players in its inaugural year, a U9 team and a U10 team. Founding members of the association were Shannon Bettles (President), Laurie Benton (Registrar and Director of Player Development), Christine McPhee (Equipment Manager and Treasurer), Nicole Borges (Vice President and Director of Officials) and Julie Wilson (Director).

2019

  • The Lower Mainland Ringette League hosts the 2019 World Ringette Championships in Burnaby, BC. Jeaneen Briner chairs the host committee made up of volunteers from the Lower Mainland Ringette League.
  • BC Thunder goaltender Kiana Keska was named to Canada's national junior team, which went on to win the gold medal. Haley Hill of Comox plays for the United States national team, and Arran Arthur competes with the Czech Republic national team.
  • Team BC sends a team to Red Deer, Alberta, for the Canada Winter Games.

2020

  • The COVID-19 pandemic halts ringette game play for two seasons in BC, and across Canada. Ringette practice continues in a modified way. Rules are implemented to ensure athletes keep a distance from one another, equipment is cleaned, and teams do not cross paths. Each association must produce a provincially approved safety policy, and facilities are implementing additional safety measures for teams to follow.
  • Ringette BC introduces its new five-year strategic plan, which amongst other changes, creates “zones” as follows;
    • Lower Mainland Ringette League:
      • Zone 1: Coquitlam-Moody Ringette Association, Port Coquitlam Ridge Meadows Ringette Association
      • Zone 2: Richmond Ringette Association, Delta Ringette Association, Vancouver Ringette Association
      • Zone 3: Burnaby New Westminster Ringette Association, North West Vancouver Ringette Association
      • Zone 4: Surrey White Rock Ringette Association, Chilliwack Ringette Association, Fraser Valley Ringette Association
    • Thompson Okanagan Ringette League:
      • Zone 5: Greater Vernon Ringette Association, Shuswap Ringette Association
      • Zone 6: Kelowna Ringette Association, Westside Ringette Association
    • Northern Ringette League:
      • Zone 7: Terrace Ringette Association, Houston Ringette Association
      • Zone 8: Prince George Ringette Association, Quesnel Ringette Association
    • Island Ringette League:
      • Zone 9: Comox Valley Ringette Association
  • The Western Canadian Championships hosted by the Prince George Ringette Association were canceled two weeks short of the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The provincial championships held in Salmon Arm were cancelled the day before the event started, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many athletes had just arrived, or were en route. 

2021

  • Victoria Ringette Association was formed again.

2022

  • Shannon Bettles is inducted into the Ringette BC Hall of Fame in the builder category.

2023

  • Smithers Ringette Association was formed. The founder is Dani Huisman.
  • Alberni Valley Ringette Association forms, bring the total number of ringette associations on Vancouver Island up to four. However, the association did not receive enough registrations to form a team during the 2023 season.
  • Team BC sends a team to Prince Edward Island for the Canada Winter Games.
  • It is announced that Beverley Felske, first President of the British Columbia Ringette Association and founder of Port Coquitlam Ringette, will be inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. She becomes the first person representing the sport of ringette in BC to receive the honour.
  • Ringette British Columbia inducted Yvonne Johnson into its Hall of Fame at Sun Peaks resort during its annual AGM. Yvonne has played ringette since it started in 1974 and is still playing, never having missed a season since.
  • Ken Kirkland, a long-time official from Langley, is inducted into Ringette BC Hall of Fame.

2024

  • Ringette celebrates its 50 anniversary year of the sport’s induction to the province.
  • Chilliwack Ringette Association partners with Skwá First Nation and Ringette Canada to launch the Community-Led Indigenous Ringette Pilot project. Program supporters include iSPARC, Ringette BC, LMRL, and generous private donors. 
  • Bev Felske was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in May. Her daughter, Cindy Nedo, accepted the honour on her behalf. The event marks the first time a person in the sport of ringette is inducted into the Hall. 
  • Arran Arthur is inducted into the Ringette BC Hall of Fame in the builder category for her work as a devoted president of the Comox Valley Ringette Association for several years.