Play starts Friday and continues through Sunday at the West Ferris and Pete Palangio Arenas in North Bay this weekend in the third annual Agnes Jacks ringette tournament.
Twenty-two teams from around Ontario including North Bay, Timmins, Iroquois Falls, Sudbury, Ottawa, Nepean, Oshawa and Upper Ottawa Valley will be competing in various age divisions.
"A few new things are happening this year,” said West Ferris ringette president Jeff Francom. "With the tremendous growth of our sport at the grassroots level where we now have over 220 players in our association (most under the age of 12), we felt we needed to open our event to give these house league players a chance to experience a tournament format.
“As a result, our novice and petite divisions are for either C or recreational competition so our house league teams can play. We are also providing A competition at the tween and junior divisions,” he said.
As well, this marks the first year that a university varsity ringette team, Laurentian University, has been invited to attend the tournament for an exhibition series against belle teams from North Bay and Timmins.
“Ringette is a recognized university sport at Laurentian and Ottawa this year and we are working hard to catch western Canada, where several universities play for the Canadian university championship each year. Having Laurentian play at our tournament is a real honour,” Francom said.
The exhibition games with Laurentian are Sunday at Pete Palangio Arena, with North Bay playing Laurentian at 9:15 a.m. and Timmins meeting them at 12:15 p.m.
In addition to the games, there will be a reception Saturday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. in the West Ferris Arena auditorium to honour Mrs. Jacks, the ambassador of ringette in Canada. The general public is asked to join the ringette community in thanking Mrs. Jacks for her hard work and dedication to the sport of ringette. Her late husband Sam was the founder of the sport.
There is no admission fee and the WFRA is hoping for large crowds.
To view the game schedule, check the website at www.eteamz.com/wfra .