When you reflect back on your ringette season, surely tournaments come to mind as one of the most rewarding experiences playing ringette.

Tournament season is in full-force right now within Manitoba and outside the province. In January, several associations hosted tournaments across all ages and levels.

Tournaments bring out the best in players, with a minimum of about 4 games per weekend, they have the opportunity to spend the weekend with their teammates and continue to make building blocks of improvement each game as well as develop critical life skills.

I had an opportunity to reach out to a couple of tournament organizers within the Ringette Manitoba community.

Transcona had a largely successful tournament, with 30 teams from MB and SK attend with many repeat teams. Tournament organizer, Murray, usually starts receiving emails about registration for the following year in April, long before teams are even formed. The one learning is to never go into a game with a predetermination.” Anything can happen, like one of our Transcona Ringette U12 C teams ended up playing a U12 B team from another club. The parents on the U12 C team didn’t enter the game thinking their girls stood a chance. The best in these girls came out, at points in the game the U12 B team was winning and held the game in a tie until the last minute of the game, when the U12 B team scored the winning goal. Final score was 8-7 for U12 B team. They did lose, but they proved that anything can happen in a tournament. We also had A U16 AA team enter our U19 A loop.  Despite the size difference in the players, the U16 AA team battled hard and ended up make the gold medal final. Unfortunately, they didn’t win the final game, but they worked hard and didn’t give up. ” Murray Ziolkoski.  Certainly tournaments teach the lesson never to give up and continue going in the challenge of adversity.

The Selkirk tournament was also successful, with four divisions with four teams in each. They also had two feature games U14 AA Magic vs U16 A Interlake. Their intention is to feature these teams as they have local players that don’t always have a chance to play in Selkirk with the second feature game Selkirk’s two R4U teams which is the youngest age division.  “Usually we host 2 tournaments with 2 different age categories (Snowman Classic and Rings of Steel) however this year we used four rinks and hosted one big tournament. Selkirk Ringette likes to put tournaments on to give our players opportunity to play and develop the sport within our community.” Denise Fetterly

The challenge of a tournament gives the players more vigor and stamina that they do not always have during a regular season game.

More than anything, tournaments usually involve the team spending more time together, which strengthens the camaraderie and develops the team.

The teams do not necessarily come out with a medal, but the sportsmanship, discipline, learning about goal-setting, and how to deal with success and failure are surely experienced.

-Jen Ewacha, Ringette Manitoba, Director of Publicity