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Ringette league has 16 teams

EDMONTON — The National Ringette League (NRL) has officially come into existence. The announcement was made here on the weekend by the NRL board of governors.
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EDMONTON — The National Ringette League (NRL) has officially come into existence.

The announcement was made here on the weekend by the NRL board of governors.

The league, which operates under Ringette Canada, consists of 16 teams in three divisions (Western - eight teams, Ontario - three teams and Québec - five teams) and features Canada's elite ringette
athletes.

"The NRL is a opportunity to showcase the sport that we as athletes love
and it is also a chance to increase the number of competitive games we are
able to play over the course of a season," said Alexis Snowdon, defence with
both the NRL's Edmonton WAM team and Team Canada, "It has been my experience that when people see ringette being played at this level they are absolutely mesmerized by how much finesse the game has and how exciting and fast paced it is. I believe the NRL is the best way to expose our sport and raise its visibility."

Snowdon joins 24 other world champion Team Canada athletes on NRL rosters
across the country. The league also includes Erin Cumpstone, catcher for
Team Canada's softball team that placed fifth at the 2004 Summer Olympics in
Athens. Cumpstone will be playing for the Saskatoon Wild.

"This is a very important milestone in the development of ringette in
Canada," said Jim Dawson, president, NRL Board of Governors. "The NRL
provides an environment where athletes and their coaches can benefit from
participating in a competitive forum, while also providing the opportunity
to foster growth opportunities for both the sport and its participants."

The objectives of the NRL are to move ringette into the mainstream of
Canadian sports activity, encourage greater public awareness of ringette,
create more and better competitive opportunities for athletes, and achieve
positive financial results at both a league and team level. The NRL
functions as a committee under Ringette Canada, the national governing body of ringette in Canada. It has an established Board of
Governors which includes: Jim Dawson as president, George McKenzie as
director of the Western Division, Glen Gaudet as director of the Ontario
Division, Michel Savoie as director of the Québec Division, and Keely Brown
as an athlete representative.

Teams in the Western Division will play a 25 game schedule, which will be
played over seven weekends during the season. Games will be played during
five tournaments (Saskatoon - November 12-14, Edmonton - November 26-28,
Regina - January 6-8, and Calgary - January 21-23, and Winnipeg - February
11-13) and teams will also participate in an interlock over two additional
weekends.

Teams in the Québec and Ontario Divisions will play an interlocking
schedule, with Québec teams playing 24 games each and Ontario teams playing
25 games each. Teams in the Québec and Ontario Divisions will also
participate in two tournaments during the season with results counting
towards league standings. In addition to vying for league championship titles, teams will also be competing for a berth at the 2005 Canadian
ringette championships being held from April 11-16, 2005 in Winnipeg,
Manitoba.

For more information on the NRL, including schedules, team rosters and
athlete profiles, please visit our website at www.nationalringetteleague.ca.



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