Learn to Skate and Play
The program is designed to teach young children 4 years and older skating skills, and participants may start as non-skaters or have very basic skating skills. As their skating skills improve they will learn some of the fundamentals of ringette. The skills learned and developed in the program will prepare children for house league play. Although ringette has historically been organized for girls, boys are welcome in the WFRA programs, including the Learn to Skate and Play program. The Learn to Skate and Play program is also referred to as the Under-8 division, or the Bunnies program.
On average, teams have three ice sessions in every two week period, including practices and games. All West Ferris players are part of a house league team. Players (U14 and older) may also be involved as “minor officials”, including score-keeping, time keeping, and working the shot clock. Playoffs in March end the season with some exciting competition!
Similar to the rep program, the House League teams are organized by age divisions: U10 (sometimes referred to as Novice ), U12 (sometimes referred to as Petite), U14 (sometimes referred to as Tween), U16 (sometimes referred to as Junior), U19 (sometimes referred to as Belle), and 18 + (sometimes referred to as Open or Adult). Based on enrollment and the number of teams, for some seasons House League teams may be configured differently by the intermingling of age groups. These variations on divisions are decided upon based on player evaluations and division enrollment.
Each year, WFRA aims to support a rep team at each age group (U10, U12, U14, U16, U19 and 18+). The teams level of play (A, B, or C) is based on evaluation of the team, and factors are considered and a decision made by the coaching team, the parents, the players, and the Board, based on the overall skill level of the players and the degree to which the players and their families wish to commit to extra practices and travel. “A” level teams are required to declare their level of play with Ringette Ontario in the spring and make their requests for tournaments in the early summer; “B” and “C” teams declare the team with Ringette Ontario and make their tournament requests in the early fall, as do all teams in the U10 and U12 age divisions.
The costs for participating in a rep team are not covered by House League registration fees. Players and their families participate in several fundraising efforts to cover a large portion of tournament fees and the costs for ice rental (for additional practices), with the balance paid by Rep team registration fees paid to the team account. Families must also cover the costs of meals, accommodation and travel to out-of-town tournaments.
The North East Region offers the AA development program, made up of players from across northeastern Ontario, who attend a series of training camps and two to three tournaments in addition to their home association’s rep team commitments. The AA program allows for the opportunity for the players to gain experience playing at a highly competitive level in order to further develop their skills and opportunities as a player.
Adult players are those over eighteen years of age. House league teams may be made up of a combination of U19 and adult players, or there may be an adult (18+) division, based on numbers. Adult players may also wish to be a part of the rep team program, either playing in a West Ferris team or on a team combined with players from a neighboring association. A WFRA Adult (18+) team is currently under development, with expectations of playing at the A level in the 2020-2021 season.
WFRA has two sets of gym ringette equipment, with instructional manuals. The equipment is specifically designed for use on gym floors and is available to loan out to groups or schools. WFRA volunteer instructors may also be available, subject to scheduling and availability.
Nipissing University Lakers Ringette
The WFRA is affiliated with the Nipissing Lakers ringette program. The affiliation is mutually beneficial where the Lakers program provides a conduit for local players to study at home and continue their participation in the WFRA House League program, and the opportunity to continue playing at a competitive level. In addition the WFRA is appreciative of the Lakers players volunteering with the WFRA Learn to Skate program.
WFRA Special Events
East – West
Held in January, East-West is a special event where house league players face off in entirely different team configurations. East-West is a fun and friendly one day at home tournament. All WFRA house league players are assigned to teams based on school divisions, and East competes with West in a series of games, with points accumulating as each division plays East vs. West. Features include Spirit Cheers, player participation prizes, wildly cheering crowds, and a group photo of all the participating players.
Annual General Meeting
WFRA’s major fundraising activity is running a bingo at the charity bingo hall one evening every two weeks. Three WFRA parents volunteer for each bingo night and the revenues from the bingo nights pay for approximately half of the House League ice time. Bingo is a major contributor in the WFRA effort to keep registration rates low. Recently, the WFRA acquired a Nevada lottery ticket box at the 6-11 Convenience Store on Lakeshore Drive. Rep teams also carry out fundraising activities, but those budgets and fundraisers are managed separately from the WFRA general finances and fundraising. The WFRA welcomes additional fundraising ideas.
Clinics and Camps
Many WFRA players also participate in ringette camps during the summer. These camps are offered by organizations such as the National Ringette School and PEAK for players and goalies, and Camp Pulsion and 5 Count for goalies. The Eagle Lake Ringette Camp offers a residential camp in Sundridge. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the summer of 2020 not all of these camps are operating; check with each program for details.